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Kurock

Universal language: Beyond the emote

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Communication in a MMO  

Communication is important. To make deals, or just to flip off your opponent.

 

yellow-talk.ico

 

The classic global text chat has been used extensively as a means of communication, though as MMO's become more complex and immersive, the means of communication necessarily also changes.

As example Ultima Online had text hovering over the players avatar with no distracting bubble. In a large open world, local discussions just made logical sense.

But communication is not only limited to text. Some examples include The Endless Forest, where communication is done through emotes and symbols, and Journey, where players use visual cues to signal intent. The older Battlefield games relied heavily on "Context Menu" communication and in-game sound to communicate. Communicating with sounds and UI elements is much more efficient than the in-game text chat functions.

 

Voice (VoIP) is the next logical step (discussed here), but voice suffers from a large disadvantage: not everyone speaks the same language and even then not with the same proficiency.

 

Emotes (discussed here) are universal, but even with an extensive emote library, it is difficult to conduct a meaningful conversation.

 

 

Discussion

Does DU need a (simple) universal language? Should it be created by NQ or the players?

As an alternative, how about a library of emotes which extend beyond the usual "sit" and "flip off" that could convey concepts like "deal" or "no deal"?

Or do you think global text chat with a 3rd party voice app is sufficient? 

 

 

Further reading.

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It would be good to have a context menu when in a party or team.... quick sound / (visual cues if the avatar does not disappear :-) ) it will help assist quick language cues/references.

 

By universal language i though this was already defined by devs as being an english based game, referencing the business language used in the world today.

 

Anyway that aside even If there is a language barrier it also opens up job roles for proxy/ trade or communication professionals, or those natural diplomats who like to be mediators or can speak/understand both sides.

 

In summary, a vocal cue context menu would be good to have in certain situations. Parties or squads may only require simple actions and cues to issue and aknowledge or the activites or understood actions were simple and pre-agreed on.

 

Chat boxes should be present or have separators or tabs for the types of chat (or something like it for: squad, Org / alliance, local area (5 hex tiles) and whisper chat.

 

I think GLOBAL chat should be hidden bar server announcments, to encourage org communication to known what is happening outside and for the clever....well they could take advantage of this in the form of jobs or bulletins in game.

 

VOIP it is a great option whilst not in game, discord is handling it nicely, in a round about sense. ie to chat you have to be in the same org and voice channel to chat....though to fix this simply have a communal or gathering area to go to. So to VOIP with someone you only have to meet up and invite them.

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1 hour ago, Kurock said:

Discussion

Does DU need a (simple) universal language? Should it be created by NQ or the players?

As an alternative, how about a library of emotes which extend beyond the usual "sit" and "flip off" that could convey concepts like "deal" or "no deal"?

Or do you think global text chat with a 3rd party voice app is sufficient?

 

My ideal feature or idea about this is integrated voice communication - at least on a local level. This allows for better and faster communication with strangers - otherwise you would be limited to text (or 'emotes') and would have to invite them to whatever app or software you were using first. Not really viable in some or even many situations or sudden encounters.

 

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As for hovering chat bubbles, thinking about it more, I severely suggest those for the game later on, maybe with the further ability to tweak their size or formatting. Why? Simple: With the single shard environment in mind, and in addition to further urban hotspots, you might have to expect many players to be in areas of interest, like markets. Imagine trying to read everything in one chat window alone - you may not be able to keep up without inviting people into groups and whatnot.

 

Bubbles (in addition to being able to how far you can "hear" or in turn speak, at least a bit) seem necessary. I remember them from SWG (Star Wars Galaxies) and it was really useful already once just a dozen people were in a room. You could stand in some corner and solely focus on the bubbles. In other MMORPGs being in hotspots was a nightmare, you had to keenly watch chat and often scroll to make sure you did not miss anything, and once "posting rate" becomes too high, it's basically no longer possible to keep up at one point without bubbles or your own channel.

 

I would not mind some context menu in addition to having a wide array of "emotes" - especially for the RP crowd in mind. Should the devs eventually focus on emotes, I kindly suggest to also add a few stances that are "lopping", such as standing around, arms crossed, sitting, leaning, doing sit or push-ups (looped), saluting (short and then looped) and much more. This should not be underestimated as this "emote diversification" isn't solely for a "small crowd of RPers" who might use them more. It also helps content creators in showing or creating better things such as posters or movies about the game or out of it. The more, the merrier.

 

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In short, the more you invest into communication from the game (dev) side, the easier players will be able to communicate and also organize later on. While it may be more work compared to what other games offer, I think it is worth it. At least, worth a look and serious consideration. It will be a huge world after all and the more options you have in limiting or expanding communication while being able to chose different channels for appropriate situations and with different ranges and so on, the better it will be for the player in the long run.

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I only want to add one thing:

 

As already discussed in some antenna thread I'm against a local or global Chat in the sense of eve (so you instantly see who's near). The chat itself May be fine to have, but no User list in there.

 

Comms with emotes/Sound/gestures are all fine (to me not the most pressing issue though)

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I guess it would be expected of me to defend my own VOIP suggestion, But I do not see 3rd party apps conveying messages correctly, you cant have the experience that a VOIP system offers. On the idea for emotes though I think that would work incredibly well, dealing with people from multiple backgrounds can lead you to the basics of communication at times and a simple gesture can be an easy and effective way to tell a message. 

It could also be further integrated as gestures animated by the player, such as a wave or salute, making some incredible rallies possible. 

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On ‎2‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 4:48 AM, Lethys said:

Comms with emotes/Sound/gestures are all fine (to me not the most pressing issue though)

Unless your going to install a universal translator type system and I don't think any game has done that yet ?

Then I would have to also agree with using Comms with emotes/sounds/gestures.

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