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Noods

All encompasing chat?

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Noods    205
Ive come upon a design decision and I wanted to get some feedback from others. Im contemplating ading a chat to the connection server for my game so people can chat while not playing. Every player would have access to this chat, both those of "good" and "evil". What do you think the pros and cons would be for adding a all encompasing chat?

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Obscure    175
Sounds like a pretty standard game feature to me. Is there something in particular that is concerning you?

Only problem with chat is abussive people. You need to have an easy to use blocking system. Right click on their name and select "block" seems to be the normal method.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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Noods    205
Well, I plan to have every player hit the channel when they connect to the server. From that point, the payer can select his character and log in, or chit chat with other players. That makes the chat a very public place. What Im worried about is people spilling the beans on something secret in a place where everyone in the world can hear it.

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Zao Martyr    100
quote:
Original post by Noods
Well, I plan to have every player hit the channel when they connect to the server. From that point, the payer can select his character and log in, or chit chat with other players. That makes the chat a very public place. What Im worried about is people spilling the beans on something secret in a place where everyone in the world can hear it.


Do something fancy and make an out of game lobby...(sort of like in Phantasy Star Online)

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Noods    205
Also, I forgot to mention, I plan on having players establish their own "channels" of communication, wether they be person to person, guild chats, alliance chats, etc. I also plan on having methods that other players can disrupt those methods of communication. Being able to leave the game and chat publicly would essentially defeat that purpose...

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Obscure    175
quote:
Original post by Noods
Also, I forgot to mention, I plan on having players establish their own "channels" of communication, wether they be person to person, guild chats, alliance chats, etc. I also plan on having methods that other players can disrupt those methods of communication. Being able to leave the game and chat publicly would essentially defeat that purpose...

Including all the relevant details does help when posting a question. This isn''t just a game but a game where communication (and its disruption) play an important role. Based on the new information I would say that you don''t want a public chat forum for the reasons you stated.

However I will add the proviso that the users will very quickly establish their own lines of communication outside the game (swapping email/IM/web/forum info) so that part of the game (restricting communication) will be redundant.



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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Saluk    127
Yes I''ve thought about this some, and you really have to think about the players and how resourceful they can be If you have a secret area, it will be on a public map on a community page shortly after it''s found. If you don''t let the players communicate, they will use Aim. Kind of hard really to design creatively when the players are one step ahead of you

It just shows the importance of designing for the players rather than designing a cool design.


Even with everquest, where they wouldnt let you tab out of the game, someone hacked it and put it in a window so that you can use aim or whatever to communicate with people. I think it would be better to leave out disrupting chat channels, have the public chat channel (encourages them to at least use your chat so you can see what they are talking about), and come up with some other game design that is similar to disrupting chat channels. Takes the place of it somehow as a mechanic, but doesn''t actually interfere with chats.

Two things that don''t work in mmorpgs, but would make them a whole lot more intriguing: limiting chat and keeping secrets

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Obscure    175
Yes secret places are hard to keep secret but hidden places are possible. Obviously as was just stated the secrets spread quickly but a hidden location can be kept hidden by making the player character the key, rather than the knowledge of the places location.

The old wizard who tells you of the place gives you a potion to drink in front of the door. The potion turns you into a magic key so even if you tell others they can''t gain access (unless they too perform some quest for the wizard).

Different scenario, different key (nanobots injected into you, an amulet etc).

Anyway I digressed from the original point of this thread sorry.


Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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krez    443
i had a similar problem with people ruining in-game "secrets" with out-of-game chat (whether through the game itself, or with some other method, such as AIM or IRC, or websites). here is a link.
i don''t know if it will help, but basically you will have to make the information traded in-game a game object that cannot be disclosed simply by chatting.

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Saluk    127
Yeah, if you have the information stored in parchments, or PDA''s or something of the kind, then you have to trade it to the player. If it''s a high tech game, you can send it over the ''net, but others can be listening in and get that info too. But you can''t use the information without actually having gotten the information. This works really well for building things.

Also, if there is say, a map to somewhere in the wilderness, you can easily explain that without the map the character will never find that particualar spot. Coding this would be a bit more difficult however, making something appear for one person and not the next. But I think it''s worth it.

Ought to add more role-playing in these massive "role-playing" rpgs I think.

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Leffe    301
The above described techniques of keeping secrets won''t work. Relying on a special key to get access to the secret, what would stop the one that finds the key from telling others where it is?

If the way of finding the key was different for every player, the secret would be kept for ever, mostly. Some people would of course search the world for it, because someone else told them that it exists, and maybe some others confirmed that they found it in different places... This is not a very fun way of keeping secrets though, as you can only place the key at a random(maybe a little intelligent) location. Not at some predefined, really hard to find location, that made someone chuckle while setting it up.

Secrets is not really something you can have in massive multiplayer games.

Oh, and by the way, how many here knows of the secret in Half-Life on the map crossfire ? I can only get there by noclipping, there''s a button that supposedly opens it inside, but outside... I''ll have to decompile/dump ents,

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Saluk    127
Well, if you make the key in limited number than it gets interesting When people are done with the quest they can hide the key somewhere for the next player to find and make their own quest for the player where to find it. If they want to of course.

Like your guild could have a storeroom with a password and the best equipment in there. The password, instead of being an actual password, can be a piece of knowledge that you pass around like an item. But if you give someone else the password you still have it. Could lead to intrigue.

If you have to tell players the secrets by actually finding their characters and giving them the secrets, that helps limit secret spread. And for the most difficult places to find, you can use the key system where there may only be one key in existance.

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Obscure    175
quote:
Original post by Leffe
The above described techniques of keeping secrets won''t work. Relying on a special key to get access to the secret, what would stop the one that finds the key from telling others where it is?

Yes it does. You simply have not understood what we said. Both my examples are one off - a spell or an injection that have turned the player character into a key. He can get into the secret place but no one else can because the wizard/doctor has vanished now.

He could lead others to the secret (maybe for a price) but just telling them would have no value because they couldn''t get in. Sure it wouldn''t be secret (as in unknown) but it would be secret in that access is limited.



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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