[MUD-Dev] Chatting in MMPORPGs

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Tue Jul 10 19:51:35 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Peter Tyson writes;
>> From: Derek Licciardi [mailto:kressilac at home.com]

>> As for which is better, I guess it is a matter of preference.
>> Wouldn't it be nice if you could have it either way and set it as
>> an option while in game?

> Yeah, valid comments. One thing though (that perhaps I didn't
> cover to well in my 9am haze) is that the exactness of the
> interface is less of a concern for me, rather how in game speech
> is tied to an ingame character. Having live voice would make
> things even more confusing (at least for me) as I wouldn't get to
> see the persons name OR be able to link that name to someone I can
> see on the screen. End result would be almost a double blind for
> me as firstly I'd have to recognize the voice, secondly, tie it to
> a character name and thirdly tie it with someone on screen. Voice
> over IP stuff I've heard so far is indistinct.. and you Americans
> all sound the same anyway ;)

> Am I the only one who finds the inability to identify speakers
> annoying? :) And how do you overcome it?!

When using voice technology, and a character speaks, use a graphic
indication on the character that is speaking.  Ideally, that graphic
is synchronized to modulate (flicker) along with the voice so that
multiple speakers can still be tracked.

To deal with players speaking as distinct from their characters, two
approaches quickly come to mind:

  1. Use the same graphic technique on the character, but use a
  different color, different graphic placement, etc.  Something to
  indicate that it's the player.

  2. Present some graphic that actually represents players.  This is
  where actual player pictures can be used, or simply some iconic or
  cartoon image.  That graphic can be treated as speaking character
  avatars are.

As I've mentioned before, I think that character audio should come
through appropriate to the character, and player audio can either be
the player's voice or they can use a disguised voice via the
character voice acting ability of the game.  It doesn't take a
genius to come up with that part.  I'd hope that a disguised voice
would be clearly indicated as such by the game.


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