Breaking the fourth wall

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I was playing Pokemon Omega Ruby on my 3DS XL and noticed fourth wall breaking dialogs with multiple NPCs. That got me thinking... when is this acceptable to do? It didnt seem too out of place in that pokemon game.
 

Andar

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That is the key: "when it fits the game"...

It is great for parodies, sometimes it fits a game set in a pseudo-real world - but it rarely fits a game set in a medieval or most fantastic worlds.
 

JosephSeraph

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it really depends on context, you need to assess the pros and cons of that tool
personally, i think its great for comedy or meta-narrative, but it can just as well break suspense or immersion.

speaking suspense, i heard some games use fourth wall breaking for particularily creepy effects, like that cute horropr visual novel thst was all the rage on steam (whose name i forgot =c )

really its all about how and why, identifying the possibilities this narrative technique brings and applying to your work
but since this opinion is kinda stagnant, i'd like if y'all mentioned a few places where fourth wall breaking was interesting, and some places where it was detrimental to the game!
 

Amarok

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i would check both Ar Nosurge: ode to an unborn star and Nier: Automata for really good examples on how to do that.
I wont go into details since that would imply massive spoilers for both games but basically, if you are not doing it for fun/parody make sure that breaking the wall really has weight over the game story and world so instead of breaking the inmersion of the player they get even more emotionally involved.
 
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There's this RM1 game that takes the writting seriously for the most part, but occasionally it throws a subtle fourth wall break into the dialog, like: "we passed that big tree a few screens back". It worked, because with how rarely they happened, it made you smile without getting distracted from the story.
 

blade2000br

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As a writer, I just love making fourth wall breaks on my game series. Since I use for very comedic purposes, it makes you laugh your ass off, while getting engaged in the history being shown. I also enjoy making fun of the mainstream games and the over-used formula for several games and animes.

Also, be honest here:
When you see a villain powering up like a madman, shouting some bull**** stuff to say he's the best and the protag just go like "Hey, I got an entire episode of demonstration. And didn't had artificial effects" in a jokingly manner, you would open a smile on your face and say "ta's true".

You just gotta know when to put and make sure you nailed it, otherwise, it get's tiresome.
 

TheoAllen

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speaking suspense, i heard some games use fourth wall breaking for particularily creepy effects, like that cute horropr visual novel thst was all the rage on steam (whose name i forgot =c )
Doki Doki Literature club?

I guess, it's between a choice of breaking the immersion and comedic purpose. I used fourth wall breaking once, since mine wasn't focusing on the immersion. Though, I'd say once or twice breaking the fourth wall in a place that not obvious is good enough. Like, it's trying to tell the player that it's breaking it (and see if the player gets it), while not telling the player straight forward.
 

JosephSeraph

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yeah that one, @TheoAllen ! I also played an indie horror game that changed files up within your pc etc which was a fun scary sort of 4th wall breaking
 

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