[MUD-Dev] DESIGN: Role playing and Voice Chat

Ted L. Chen tedlchen at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 8 18:09:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 2006

On Wednesday, October 26, John Buehler wrote:

> For example, the 'mad cacaphony' may be exactly what some
> roleplayers think is missing.  It's not possible to sotto voce a
> comment to a friend - that is accidentally overheard.  A comment
> cannot be disavowed (it's been logged).  A commanding voice cannot
> be used to silence the din and get a point across.  Nor can a
> well-reasoned quiet voice silence a room.  Those experiences don't
> exist in text.  Having other people stop typing?  Yes.  But the
> experience of din versus quiet is not going to be there.  That's
> an audial thing that will appeal to a different type of player
> than does the visual experience of scrolling text.

I've seen creative uses of text be used to convey differring levels.
Most seem to establish themeselves as defacto and widely understood
standards like (( )) or [[ ]] for out of character text.

In Anarchy Online, the roleplayers are starting to adopt ~insert
text~ as something mumbled but intended for the recipient to
overhear.  This is not unlike improvisers who subtly cue each other
to maintain continuity and help direct the flow of conversation.  In
voice, it is much more difficult to discern whether mumbling is a
technical issue or part of the roleplay.

As for shouting, all-caps along with the built-in 'shout' channel
are sparingly reserved for just the circumstances you described.

Keep in mind that most successful roleplay follow the same
guidelines of on stage improvisation.  That is, future intent must
be communicated to fellow players, and mutual implicit agreement
must be had over the direction it is heading.  One day, voice may
help achieve this, but I highly doubt it will as the sole means of
communication.  Face captures anyone?  =)

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