[MUD-Dev] Is difficult communication the barrier to community in MMORPGs? (fwd)

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Thu Jun 13 08:03:22 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

David Clifton writes:
> Wed, 12 Jun 2002 John Buehler wrote:

>> To me, it's a no-brainer.  Voice.  We went through a discussion
>> of that recently.  In my opinion, the use of voice communication
>> technologies as a standard of gameply will dramatically change
>> the way these games are viewed.

> While I agree that certainly voice communication, once entirely
> feasible by bandwidth and the like (perhaps p2p would be required
> to really support it on top of the kind of bandwidth some games
> use...of course then there are security concerns...), would be a
> grand step, I hesitate to say that it will be-all and end-all.

Dunno about 'be all and end all'.  I just said it would dramatically
change the way these games are viewed :)

> Ever try to really understand a teleconference with two people
> talking? Three? Four? All at once? Some screaming in excitement
> while others cry in frustration? The size of some groups moving in
> muds?

Well, we just discussed that too.  I've been in more teleconferences
than I care to remember (never co-design something with a group in
another country).  The technology used there is poor, at best.  The
pickups are located a couple feet from the speakers and there is one
pickup for each end of the teleconference.  Compare that with a PC
game where each participant wears a head-mounted microphone.  Speech
quality goes up considerably.  And because our speech is being
routed into characters (or player representations of some form), 3D
sound cues can be used - among others.  Visual cues can certainly be
brought to bear to help sort out who is speaking what words.

In truth, I imagine that these games will eventually be discovered
as a viable means of having teleconferences (where current
teleconferences aren't really all that viable).  Or even for


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