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Discuss: Freedom to Play - at No Extra Cost

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Shadow Elusive
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Discuss: Freedom to Play - at No Extra Cost

Bonus update on our accessibility plans. They're extensive. Thoughts!?!?

original update here: http://cityoftitans.com/forum/freedom-play-no-extra-cost

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Truvidien
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Keeps sounding better and

Keeps sounding better and better! :)

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That is just awesome.

That is just awesome.

I'm really proud of MWM for both their integrity and wisdom in this, and glad to be on board.

FIGHT EVIL! (or go cause trouble so the Heroes have something to do.)

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I don't think about such

I don't think about such difficulties because they don't affect me personally, nor do I have anyone around me with such difficulties (or they haven't shared), so I may have missed it if there are games with such features. Or I plain missed the games with such features. I'm not all that much of a gamer, really. Perhaps they are difficult and costly to implement, although I expect the only real difficulty lies in making the decision to implement them in the first place.

If it turns out that CoT is one of the first games to go the distance, then doubly good on MWM.

- - - - -
Hail Beard!

Support trap clowns for CoT!

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I'll be perfectly honest and

I'll be perfectly honest and say that this was an update I've been waiting three years to make, and I'm pleased with how it has been received.

It is only when we stand up, with all our failings and sufferings, and try to support others rather than withdraw into ourselves, that we can fully live the life of community.

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I'm hearing-impaired, but I

I'm hearing-impaired, but I still like music and power-sounds, and environmental sounds, and audible clues too. However, when the soundscape gets too complicated, I simply cannot separate out the parts I need from the ambient noise. CoH was the first game I played that let me tweak the volume of those different layers of sound, separately. I'm glad to see that CoT is also considering their differently-enabled players.

That said, it would be useful to have a way to temporarily toggle-off parts of that ambient, to allow a focus on important cues. (Hmm, I guess this belongs in Suggestions.) Perhaps a button-press to call up a 'Sound Suppression' window, where we can check or uncheck various sound-sources? It's inconvenient to go into Preferences and make global changes, that are only needed temporarily.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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I have a friend who's really

I have a friend who really wants to play MMOs but he usually can't because of the extreme motion-sickness he gets from the graphics of most games. It's pretty bad for him - he usually can't last more than a minute or two at a time before he has to stop. If CoT actually manages to provide some kind of features that would help people like that then he'd probably be into this game for years to come. :)

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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A member of my SG in CoH was

A member of my SG in CoH was epileptic. He couldn't team with anybody using electric armor or the elec control pulsing sleep because they triggered him off. The ability to turn off power effects both your own and other peoples' was something I brought up internally at a very early stage.

Tech Team and Forum Moderator

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Something I've seen the last

Something I've seen the last year or so is a new glasses technology called "Enchroma." It works by adjusting how the color-separating sensors in the eyes process color by using lenses which pre-process the light spectrum in a way that triggers the misformed color rods in the eyes. This might help, so I'm posting the link here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea_xOqNvntA

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Dragonflight wrote:
Dragonflight wrote:

Something I've seen the last year or so is a new glasses technology called "Enchroma." It works by adjusting how the color-separating sensors in the eyes process color by using lenses which pre-process the light spectrum in a way that triggers the misformed color rods in the eyes. This might help, so I'm posting the link here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea_xOqNvntA

Today was a richer day for hearing about those, thanks. Not because I'm colorblind, or any close acquaintances. It's just a marvelous thing to hear is in the world. Enjoyed all the youtube vids that one led to, of person after person seeing color for the first time. And such a magnificently simple solution.

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Like Darth Fez, these things

Like Darth Fez, these things don't affect me, personally. But I count among my friends (that I know of; there may be others with issues that haven't come up yet) people who are colorblind, dyslexic, autistic, prone to seizures (epilepsy, IIRC)... And that doesn't even count some of the friends I've made on these forums.

For all their sakes, thanks!

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This is a great update to

This is a great update to read for me. Several years ago I suffered a severe repetitive strain injury in my forearms caused by a variety of activities, both hobby- and work-related. My physiotherapist has described it as one of the worst cases he's seen, and gaming was completely out of the question for some time*. After a lot of work and expense my condition is much improved and I'm able to enjoy several games, though I still have to carefully monitor my time played and the feeling in my arms to maintain the improvement. Being able to reduce some of the strain on my arms by adjusting the interface will certainly make it easier for me to enjoy this game as much as possible.

Note to devs: Reducing the number of button presses/clicks needed to perform activities is most beneficial to someone with my condition.

*This actually caused me to miss the last year and a half or so of CoH, including the shutdown. For those of you that miss the game, adding that extra time--as well as the feeling of missed opportunity--certainly does not make it easier. But I am all the happier that this spiritual successor looks as promising as it does.

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So are these options you're

So are these options you're building in as simple as check boxes that toggle colors/particle effects/sounds, or is there more to this?

Currently trapped inside the Speed Force...

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Sounds even better than CoH

Sounds even better than CoH

Yee Haw Wilbur

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Much as I loved CoH the game,

Much as I loved CoH the game, the best part about CoH was always the community. I'm glad to see that tradition carried forward.

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Something that I should have

Something that I should have mentioned in the update directly, and which I am grateful to have had pointed out to me - we are also very interested in being epilepsy-friendly with how we approach the visuals.

It is only when we stand up, with all our failings and sufferings, and try to support others rather than withdraw into ourselves, that we can fully live the life of community.

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As an autistic individual

As an autistic individual myself, I started crying when I read that we'll be able to turn off sounds and the like that cause discomfort. I can't even describe how much that helps. I already had a lot of hope for this game, and finding out that SE is autistic too is just... It definitely assures me that things that plague other games and make it so I can't deal with them for extended periods won't be present here.

Thank you so much.

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

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or to selectively mute sounds

"or to selectively mute sounds and visual effects that might cause pain or nausea"

That really means a lot to me. I have a seizure disorder that includes some mild photosensitivity issues. Generally speaking, the only response any other game company has to any request for help modifying or limiting certain visual effects is to redirect to a lawyerspeak disclaimer that says people with seizures should see a doctor before playing a video game... as if there's anything in the world you can do that a seizure won't make dangerous. It's not like we're in the old days of Super Nintendo and Sega where just playing anything subjected you to a flashy, poorly refreshed rave on your TV screen. Nowdays, it's usually only a couple specific effects that are likely to give me trouble in any game (if the whole game was problematic, like Time Clickers for example, I'd just stop playing it). The idea that I might be able to determine exactly what effect was causing problems and either change or disable it so it doesn't is just wonderful. I'm reminded of SWG... Most of it was fine, but unless I was in an ARC-170, or was able to zoom out further than I was able to get the game to allow, the firing effects for Ion Cannons was just the right kind of flashy to give me twitches and a headache. Had I been able to go into some power customization interface in the game, and tell it to replace Ion firing effects with just about any other firing effect, it would have been a total non-issue.

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Great update!

Great update!

I'm especially looking forward to enjoying the game with my children. To that end there's two accessibility options that are needed:

First, there needs to be difficulty sliders for the gameplay. And the easiest setting needs to be easy enough for a child of some age (10, 13?) to be able to survive with the help of an in-game adult. Game balance will need to be considered; perhaps a substantial xp penalty.

Second, there needs to be a "child" flag to set at the account level. This should be invisible to other players. It would prevent the child account from seeing any text or chat originating from accounts not on a whitelist. Or trade or team or supergroup requests. Etc. The child account would be linked to one or more adult accounts, who could do some simple admin functions for it while in game.

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I'm in the 'not directly

I'm in the 'not directly affected' camp, but seeing this is just heartwarming. Attention to detail, careful considerations of the players, while these things surpass just this topic, this topic says a lot about how much attention to detail and player consideration there is in this development team. Thank you, devs.

Under Construction...

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Very inspirational post. I

Very inspirational post. I myself have a close friendship that I fostered through your "predecessor". I'm looking forward to community again. Take your time...do it right! Haha

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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

As an autistic individual myself, I started crying when I read that we'll be able to turn off sounds and the like that cause discomfort. I can't even describe how much that helps. I already had a lot of hope for this game, and finding out that SE is autistic too is just... It definitely assures me that things that plague other games and make it so I can't deal with them for extended periods won't be present here.
Thank you so much.

I assume SE is me. It's actually Terywn - real name David MacKay - who is autistic, not me. He wrote the update, and he's my boss's boss :D. Lead of Business and PR.

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Playing CoH was always a

Playing CoH was always a minefield for me, due to issues with photosensitivity and migraines. Unfortunately it also constricted my friends, who wanted to play with me but could not due to their powers' graphics. As much as I can, I want to keep that from happening to our players. The diversity of our development team is one of MWM's greatest strengths.

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Shadow Elusive wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:

Halae wrote:
As an autistic individual myself, I started crying when I read that we'll be able to turn off sounds and the like that cause discomfort. I can't even describe how much that helps. I already had a lot of hope for this game, and finding out that SE is autistic too is just... It definitely assures me that things that plague other games and make it so I can't deal with them for extended periods won't be present here.
Thank you so much.

I assume SE is me. It's actually Terywn - real name David MacKay - who is autistic, not me. He wrote the update, and he's my boss's boss :D. Lead of Business and PR.

oh, woop.

Well STILL.

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

As an autistic individual myself, I started crying when I read that we'll be able to turn off sounds and the like that cause discomfort. I can't even describe how much that helps. I already had a lot of hope for this game, and finding out that SE is autistic too is just... It definitely assures me that things that plague other games and make it so I can't deal with them for extended periods won't be present here.
Thank you so much.

To be fair, a sizable portion of the options mentioned were actually registered out of selfish motives - they are what I felt necessary for me to be able to truly enjoy the game. It's a very happy side effect that they would help so many other people.

As we speak, we're also investigating other options that haven't been mentioned to further enhance the goal of providing enjoyment of our world to as large a number of people as possible.

It is only when we stand up, with all our failings and sufferings, and try to support others rather than withdraw into ourselves, that we can fully live the life of community.

Business Director

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I have to kick in from the

I have to kick in from the 'not directly affected, but quite pleased this is being addressed' camp. This is an amazing step forward.

A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.
~Roald Dahl

Shadow Elusive
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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

Shadow Elusive wrote:
Halae wrote:
As an autistic individual myself, I started crying when I read that we'll be able to turn off sounds and the like that cause discomfort. I can't even describe how much that helps. I already had a lot of hope for this game, and finding out that SE is autistic too is just... It definitely assures me that things that plague other games and make it so I can't deal with them for extended periods won't be present here.
Thank you so much.

I assume SE is me. It's actually Terywn - real name David MacKay - who is autistic, not me. He wrote the update, and he's my boss's boss :D. Lead of Business and PR.

oh, woop.
Well STILL.

Well yeah, all points still equally valid and all. Terwyn was quite touched to learn somebody cried.

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Halae
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Terwyn wrote:
Terwyn wrote:

To be fair, a sizable portion of the options mentioned were actually registered out of selfish motives - they are what I felt necessary for me to be able to truly enjoy the game. It's a very happy side effect that they would help so many other people.
As we speak, we're also investigating other options that haven't been mentioned to further enhance the goal of providing enjoyment of our world to as large a number of people as possible.

Everybody's entitled to some selfishness, I think. The best times to indulge are when it results in something others can use. Either way, you have my heartfelt thanks.

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

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Terwyn wrote:
Terwyn wrote:

Something that I should have mentioned in the update directly, and which I am grateful to have had pointed out to me - we are also very interested in being epilepsy-friendly with how we approach the visuals.

*whistles innocently*

I never had any issues with seizures in CoH. Not Once. The only instance of video games causing seizures (not counting my old Original NES and the CRT screen that it was played on...) was when I was shopping around for something to play while we make this game. I ran into one that I can't even stare at the login screen for more than 60 seconds before having a seizure.

Aquashock wrote:

As much as I can, I want to keep that from happening to our players. The diversity of our development team is one of MWM's greatest strengths.

I have to agree with Aquashock on this. We do want to keep negative things from happening whenever we are able to prevent them. I don't want to have anyone unable to play CoT because of some biological twist.

The diversity we have in our dev team is utterly staggering sometimes. It has provided us with a grand showcase of things (medical, psychological, and otherwise) that can all be overcome if a video game is done right.

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I personally don't have

I personally don't have anything to worry about aside from my Audio Processory Disorder and the occasion background sound that drowns out what people are saying and doing no matter ho hard I try to tune it out.

However, I have friends, and know family members or friends of friends, who could benefit from feeling included by such options. For this, I'm happy and grateful.

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I remember having to quit a

I remember having to quit a Synapse TF midway because a Sonic Defender had his shields bright White, and he kept moving around so the Bright white shield would Appear and Disappear from my cameras view. It actually caused real pain at the back of my eyes. :/

Even though i might not get seizures, as a regular player, I would like the option to Override what colors or other Effect options I see from that player. ;)

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I don't think I was around

I don't think I was around for the update that discussed MWM making a "fully interactive virtual social networking platform that just so happens to double as an entertainment medium." Can someone link me to this or clarify how a "fully interactive virtual social networking platform" differs from a CoH/V spiritual reboot? I don't want to read too much into this and make a false assumption, but from the offset that sounds a little like the game is being designed as an IMVU-like hangout game for CoH veterans. I'll be honest - most of the people I played CoH/V with were people I knew in real life - it wasn't a place I went to meet people as much as a place I went to design cool characters and beat the snot out of a ton of enemies with godlike powers and interesting synergy. Again; I'm probably misreading. Cool update, otherwise!

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You are, actually. Sorry

You are, actually. Sorry about the way my brain processes language.

You write "MMORPG," I write "Interactive Social Entertainment and Networking Platform." Same thing, slightly different focus. Basically what I am meaning is that while we're building a game, we're also building a living virtual city, and it's the relationships and interactions between the people who inhabit it that gives it its soul. That is not to diminish the importance of the actual game, rather to admit that the game-play itself can only go so far in providing enjoyment.

I generally prefer solo play, but I've found that sometimes it's a hell of a lot more fun to game with other people. I love team competition games, for example.

It is only when we stand up, with all our failings and sufferings, and try to support others rather than withdraw into ourselves, that we can fully live the life of community.

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Right. Thanks for the

Right. Thanks for the clarification, and keep up the good work. I'm excited to see what the future has in store.

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To be honest I am not

To be honest I am not directly affected by any of these things, but it makes me very happy to know that things are being considered. Even though I'm not directly affected by this, it actually still makes a big difference to me. Of course no one "needs" to read the following, but on a personal note, I'd like to explain why.

First I have to say, as a kid for some reason I loved all the different fantastic colors just in general. I'd always get the multicolor sprinkles on desert or find someway to incorporate as many colors as possible into any sort of artwork project that I made. Kind of silly, yes, but for some reason I just was drawn to things that were colorful and flashy. I love games that have flashy skill effects that make my jaw drop. On top of this, sounds that match those incredible skill effects, I love. I enjoy my games far more when they have large skill effects and the appropriate sounds to match, that cause an incredible sense of power, immersion and emotion. To me, the more the merrier.

Now if you chose to read this, you might be asking, "What's your point, the above doesn't explain why it effects you, you just said you're ok with everything". Well you're right, as I said it's not a direct effect. The thing that matters to me though, is what accommodations like this "means". Let me Explain.

I'm not going to pretend that I have a clinically diagnosed case of agoraphobia(fear of going outside), but I really don't leave my place unless I have to. I have a job that requires me to leave and of course I have to makes trips to the store, but I don't go out otherwise. This is largely due to a fear of interacting with other people. To me, forming a relationship with another person is a risk. I find that whether the person means to intentionally wrong you or not, it usually ends up happening. Maybe I have a skewed perception of things, but I think so many people are so concerned with themselves that they don't realize what their actions and decisions do to others.

I've noticed different online communities seem to attract a "type" of individual. I've been apart of many different communities from horrible(Smite) all the way to CoX(Amazingly good). While I've gotten pretty good at ignoring the bad ones, I love playing with other people. To me CoX was full of people willing to give to others in need, whether it be material or help in general. The fact that it had a helper system and people were just roaming around giving out free enhancements to those who needed it was great. I started playing way back in the early days when I was about 15 and I remember I had no clue what I was doing. Some guy just came up to me and told me to follow him around and showed me what to do. To me, the community that we have here feels like what I wish the whole world was like. I feel like CoX, the community here, and hopefully CoT is attracting the type of individuals that make me feel like I'm not taking a risk when getting to know others.

My point is, I am not directly affected by the accommodations being made, no, but it means a lot to me to know that these things are considered. It shows what kind of people we are. And I say "We" because even though most of us here don't have a hand into the decision making to implement these things, the devs are apart of our community and the responses on this thread show everyone's support. Considerations like this make me feel comfortable in this community and gives me personally a place to enjoy interacting with others where I don't feel I'm taking a risk.

Nothing means anything. This is the natural state of everything within our reality. It is only your existence, your relative position, and your perspective that can make something meaningful.

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Knowing full well how little

Knowing full well how little consideration accessibility options are given in most games, I am both fascinated and intrigued to find the MWM team taking on this challenge right from the design stage.

From the day it launched, CoH was a massive innovation over everything else out there. As it progressed down through the years, it began to show the strain of being first and doing things the hard way. Let's be honest, by the time "Going Rogue" came out, the game needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. Patching in power customization, AE, and moral alignment on top of the existing code base had resulted in countless small, annoying bugs that could not be resolved without starting over and laying a new foundation. Like everyone else, I wish they could have held on long enough for a new game engine to be built, but they couldn't. Had they been tasked with adding a layer of accessibility options like the ones discussed in this update, it probably would have killed the game just as dead as NC Soft pulling the plug.

Emotionally and physically, having these options means nothing to me. However, I do understand that including these considerations right from the design phase will open the game to a large number of people who either cannot play MMORPGS, or must restrict how and when they play them. Adding in these considerations right from the design phase will help to insure that City of Titans hits the market at the cutting edge, bringing in a level of innovation that will push the field in new directions and force other titles to do the same.

In short, an excellent idea that pleases me greatly even though it does not apply to me.

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Pleonast wrote:
Pleonast wrote:

First, there needs to be difficulty sliders for the gameplay. And the easiest setting needs to be easy enough for a child of some age (10, 13?) to be able to survive with the help of an in-game adult. Game balance will need to be considered; perhaps a substantial xp penalty.

If CoT manages to come up with mission difficulty settings that are similar to CoH then the "lowest" settings should be simple enough for a typical 10 year old. Like CoH there wouldn't be any need to impose an "XP penalty" because the relatively few enemies you'd face while in that mode basically already limits the amount of XP you could earn per hour anyway. The real key is to make sure you have the kids play character builds that are fairly simple to play. Things like Scrappers and Brutes tended to be easier to play because of their built-in defenses. Likewise you'd probably be better off avoiding things like Controllers and Masterminds because of the extra handling involved and their general squishiness.

Pleonast wrote:

Second, there needs to be a "child" flag to set at the account level. This should be invisible to other players. It would prevent the child account from seeing any text or chat originating from accounts not on a whitelist. Or trade or team or supergroup requests. Etc. The child account would be linked to one or more adult accounts, who could do some simple admin functions for it while in game.

I'd have no problem with there being a "child" flag for accounts to help shield them from various chat invites and other aspects they don't need to deal with. Obviously I'd also have no problem with the game having a profanity filter which would probably be selectable for any account, not just one flagged as a child account.

But the one problem I do have with your suggestions is the idea of generating/maintaining a "whitelist" of supposedly safe people child accounts could chat with. How exactly would/could the game actually create such a thing? The only reasonable way to handle this is to assume everyone starts out on the virtual "whitelist" until a GM puts you on the "blacklist". It's the blacklist that would actually exist and prevent those on it from talking to child accounts. Note that I said "until a GM puts you on the blacklist" - I have no problem with people individually being able to Ignore other people but the only people who should have the authority to put you on a permanent global "blacklist" should be a GM.

I suppose one alternative to your "whitelist" idea is to allow players to self-restrict themselves from talking to child accounts. I know it sounds strange but there are some people out there who don't actually like kids and don't want to have to worry about talking around them about "adult" things. Perhaps if a player knows he/she is prone to saying things that most kids shouldn't hear they could flag themselves to make sure kids never can hear them in the first place. Something like this would be much easier to implement than trying to maintain a global "safelist" that could be easily compromised anyway.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Pleonast wrote:
First, there needs to be difficulty sliders for the gameplay. And the easiest setting needs to be easy enough for a child of some age (10, 13?) to be able to survive with the help of an in-game adult. Game balance will need to be considered; perhaps a substantial xp penalty.

If CoT manages to come up with mission difficulty settings that are similar to CoH then the "lowest" settings should be simple enough for a typical 10 year old.

As Lothic said, CoH was very user-friendly in this sense. In large part this was due to the fact that CoH allowed us to play superheroes, not the kinds of heroes who need to get their feet wet by slaying rats and weeding gardens. To shamelessly borrow from Arcana, once again, if you had a computer randomly generate a build in CoH there was probably at least an 80% chance that the build would be viable (i.e. a player would be able to successfully handle the standard game content with that build).

As for the rest, yeah. As the ESRB states, "Online interactions not rated by the ESRB." The person who allows the child to play in an online environment is responsible for that child. This is not MWM's, or anyone else's, duty. That said, a setting that would allow an account to only communicate with those people who are on a friends list could certainly be a thing.

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Lothic - I assumed what he

Lothic - I assumed what he meant was, the child account was inaccessible via chat or team invites and so on by default, and you created the whitelist, adding the accounts of the kids parents, relatives, and friends. It sounds like you were thinking a global whitelist, but I doubt that's how parents would think. They want to decide who is safe, not have it be decided for them anyway.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Lothic wrote:
Pleonast wrote:
First, there needs to be difficulty sliders for the gameplay. And the easiest setting needs to be easy enough for a child of some age (10, 13?) to be able to survive with the help of an in-game adult. Game balance will need to be considered; perhaps a substantial xp penalty.

If CoT manages to come up with mission difficulty settings that are similar to CoH then the "lowest" settings should be simple enough for a typical 10 year old.
As Lothic said, CoH was very user-friendly in this sense. In large part this was due to the fact that CoH allowed us to play superheroes, not the kinds of heroes who need to get their feet wet by slaying rats and weeding gardens. To shamelessly borrow from Arcana, once again, if you had a computer randomly generate a build in CoH there was probably at least an 80% chance that the build would be viable (i.e. a player would be able to successfully handle the standard game content with that build).
As for the rest, yeah. As the ESRB states, "Online interactions not rated by the ESRB." The person who allows the child to play in an online environment is responsible for that child. This is not MWM's, or anyone else's, duty. That said, a setting that would allow an account to only communicate with those people who are on a friends list could certainly be a thing.

I actually assumed this is what Pleonast meant anyway. Definitely a good idea.

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Yeah if Pleonast meant a

Yeah if Pleonast meant a "friends list" when referring to what they called a "whitelist" then that would certainly be fine. In this context the term "whitelist" (and conversely a "blacklist") seemed more global in nature to me.

It'd obviously be much easier to restrict an account to only being able to talk to a short, finite list of predefined friends than it would be worrying about whether any random player is "vetted" by the system to be safe to talk to kids. Still the idea that a player might be able to self-flag their own account as an "adult" account (which would automatically prevent their own chats going to "kid" accounts) does still seem like a good idea to me. If you're going to bother making "kid" account flags then also having an "adult" flag doesn't seem too far fetched to me.

As far as other issues like team/supergroup invites go I had already assumed that a "kids account" would be shielded from those by default.

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Shadow Elusive wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:

Lothic - I assumed what he meant was, the child account was inaccessible via chat or team invites and so on by default, and you created the whitelist, adding the accounts of the kids parents, relatives, and friends. It sounds like you were thinking a global whitelist, but I doubt that's how parents would think. They want to decide who is safe, not have it be decided for them anyway.

Yeah, my intention is that a "child" account would not be able to interact with most other players, except for those accounts "white-listed" by the associated adult account. No way would I want the game staff to maintain such a list.

Maybe the white list could be the same as the friends list; I'm more concerned about functionality then implementation.

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I checked internally. While

I checked internally. While the particulars of application have not been agreed on, the subject of child accounts has been discussed several times. So we're planning to have something to serve that purpose.

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Pleonast wrote:
Pleonast wrote:

Yeah, my intention is that a "child" account would not be able to interact with most other players, except for those accounts "white-listed" by the associated adult account. No way would I want the game staff to maintain such a list.

I agree it would simply be impractical for the GMs to maintain a vetted "whitelist" for kids. But there may be value in the GMs maintaining a specific global "blacklist" against people who should never be able to chat with ANY kids regardless of what individual adult players may allow. Just something to consider.

Pleonast wrote:

Maybe the white list could be the same as the friends list; I'm more concerned about functionality then implementation.

Implementation-wise if we assume a child account is linked/locked to a specific adult account then the adult's friend list could serve as the child's friend list. In this case of course while the adult account has the ability to add or drop people from their list the associated child (while using his/her child account) could not alter their list.

I suppose the Devs could get a little fanicer by allowing for an adult account to have both a "child's friends" list and a "personal friends" list so that the adult could have a list of friends that's different from the friends they allow for the linked child's list.

Shadow Elusive wrote:

I checked internally. While the particulars of application have not been agreed on, the subject of child accounts has been discussed several times. So we're planning to have something to serve that purpose.

Obviously all this will depend on how detailed the Devs want to get with the entire idea of the "kid account" concept. It frankly would be easier (if a bit draconian) to just make it so that a kid's account could not send/receive chats directly with anyone (except maybe the linked adult's account).

Lot's of things to think about here because a lot of this can snowball pretty fast...

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Do you have to create

Do you have to create different UIs for each of these afflictions or what? How are these options going to be implemented in game?

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Zerohour wrote:
Zerohour wrote:

Do you have to create different UIs for each of these afflictions or what? How are these options going to be implemented in game?

Just for the sake of "political correctness" I doubt there's going to be a single menu which lists a bunch of "afflictions" with a toggle button for each one.

I imagine the controls to configure all of the various audio, video and GUI options that will help with these issues will be spread around where you can usually find them in games like this. I think the key here is that unlike most games there will actually be unique options available to account for things like color blindness and the like.

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So how about those who have

So how about those who have difficulty reading stuff (due to bad eyesight/being legally blind?)? Will you be providing voice over stuff or at least a method for a screen reader to this (I have no idea how this works) or TTS speech (although that doesn't always work and can be surprisingly bland).

Yes, I know that I just sprung the whole "Voice acting" card.

Would you be allowing addons similar to WoW and how they allow the player to customise their interface even further beyond what you do out of the box so that the person could customise/add in features that you haven't necessarily thought of.

Legally blind player plays WoW. And he isn't the only one. But being able to *replace* parts of the UI for those players, is a god send.

The game might not have been designed for them in mind, but allowing them to chop and change things as they need is very useful, if not essential. Being to rearrange the health/endurance stuff so that they are central and *around* the character help (instead of the traditional top and bottom bar).

These are all options, but if you are going out of your way to help yourself, it could well be worth while coming up with options for disabilities that you might not necessarily suffer from.

And yes, I am 100% able bodied.

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Shadow Elusive wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:

I checked internally. While the particulars of application have not been agreed on, the subject of child accounts has been discussed several times. So we're planning to have something to serve that purpose.

Excellent!

I understand it'll be lower priority than many other things. As long as the hooks (like the ability to mark an account as "restricted", and link a "supervisor" account to it) are planned or put in, details of exactly what the restrictions are can be done later.

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I'm curious to know why more

I'm curious to know why more game companies don't do this. I can't think of any other game that offers anywhere close to this proposed level of accommodation to such a wide range of people. I suspect money and added development time...?

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Zerohour wrote:
Zerohour wrote:

I'm curious to know why more game companies don't do this. I can't think of any other game that offers anywhere close to this proposed level of accommodation to such a wide range of people. I suspect money and added development time...?

Exactly. You have to remember most game development companies have to place a fairly high priority on making money to satisfy their investors and other operating costs. While I'm quite sure MWM hopes to eventually "make money" at some point that isn't really their top goal behind creating CoT so they technically have more freedom to stress features that may not be as "cost effective" as most games can afford.

Sure the traditional game companies might realize that (for example) "if they included better support for color-blind people they might gain X number more retail sales" but their bean-counters will tell them that it would cost Y and Z extra time and money to do that. Usually that Y and Z isn't worth the X for them. On the other hand the MWM folks really aren't pressed for time and they aren't really looking to make billions of dollars so their priorities can shift to areas most games don't even worry about.

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I imagine it has to do with

I imagine it has to do with the fact that most boardrooms are probably not precisely bastions of political correctness. Let's just say that para-e-sports aren't likely to be a thing anytime soon. Or, to put it in more neutral language, there's probably not sufficient ROI in catering to that demographic.

Let's face it, this is an industry that's still trying to come to terms with the fact that women exist outside of monitors and TV screens.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

I imagine it has to do with the fact that most boardrooms are probably not precisely bastions of political correctness. Let's just say that para-e-sports aren't likely to be a thing anytime soon. Or, to put it in more neutral language, there's probably not sufficient ROI in catering to that demographic.
Let's face it, this is an industry that's still trying to come to terms with the fact that women exist outside of monitors and TV screens.

Yeah I'm sadly sure there's a lot to this as well. As you say many people still find it hard to believe that there are female gamers much less gamers that may have various physical disabilities.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

I imagine it has to do with the fact that most boardrooms are probably not precisely bastions of political correctness. Let's just say that para-e-sports aren't likely to be a thing anytime soon. Or, to put it in more neutral language, there's probably not sufficient ROI in catering to that demographic.
Let's face it, this is an industry that's still trying to come to terms with the fact that women exist outside of monitors and TV screens.

More than a quarter of the membership of the project is either one of the people this directly pertains to, or has an immediate family member in which that is the case, In several cases both are true.

So it's for our comfort that we're doing things this way. By making the necessary accommodations that we ourselves require, they will already be in place long before any player can get online. This also means that we will have the opportunity to refine things as we go.

It is only when we stand up, with all our failings and sufferings, and try to support others rather than withdraw into ourselves, that we can fully live the life of community.

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While I can't comment on why

While I can't comment on why other games do or don't do what we're doing, I can address the time and money concern: we're not actually designing expensive or original features, we're just adding a lot of extra on/off switches and letting you change a wider range of command hotkeys. It's not nearly as intensive as it sounds.

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Shadow Elusive wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:

While I can't comment on why other games do or don't do what we're doing, I can address the time and money concern: we're not actually designing expensive or original features, we're just adding a lot of extra on/off switches and letting you change a wider range of command hotkeys. It's not nearly as intensive as it sounds.

I have no doubt that modern systems like UE4 allow you to just "add in a lot of extra on/off switches" to enable built-in features but clearly that has not always been the case even in the relatively recent history of game software development. Back in the "good old days" (say anything 5+ years or older) many of things you can just "flip a switch" for now would have usually represented a pretty large investment in extra time and effort.

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Well we all know that no one

Well we all know that no one is going to pay to play the game, right guys? HHAH haha ...... :|

I'm PAYING FOR IT O_O

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Zerohour wrote:
Zerohour wrote:

I'm curious to know why more game companies don't do this. I can't think of any other game that offers anywhere close to this proposed level of accommodation to such a wide range of people. I suspect money and added development time...?

Time more than anything else. Also (depending on point of view) blindness to what people what/need.

This is why I actually enjoy Wildstar. Sure, it isn't a perfect game, but you are able to change the color of the telegraphs to any color that you want.

They even have several presets for various forms of colorblindness (Deuteranopia, Protanopia and Tritanopia).

Now saying that on top of that, there is the potential for addons to add/remove/mute various sounds in the game. You also have your various particle effects (which can be tweaked as needed). (and also suppress all other effects apart from those that you cast yourself via a /slash command IIRC)

But the main thing is getting it *started* early enough in the process so that it helps guide your development for how the game plays (and how various optimizations might need changing)

Side note: Motion Sickness in games can (depends on the person) be combated by tweaking/changing the Field Of View of the game world. Most games typically have this either as a .ini alteration or a slider. Console games need not apply typically (as is standard for a lot of things or so it appears). Whilst I don't suffer from *bad* motion sickness when playing a game, I get it in real life if I have to sit in the back of a car for too long (strangely enough though, trains/planes don't give me this issue). But when I feel a bit bad whilst playing a game, I find that tweaking/altering the FOV helps relieve the symptoms for me.

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I prefer that I Don't have to

I prefer that I Don't have to run some third-party modification in order to enjoy a game. I absolutely 'Get It' that the Devs are making these game features for not-entirely-selfless reasons and I applaud them. There is absolutely no reason to make a game that you cannot comfortably play yourself. Doing so, inevitably, leads to bad games.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

I agree it would simply be impractical for the GMs to maintain a vetted "whitelist" for kids. But there may be value in the GMs maintaining a specific global "blacklist" against people who should never be able to chat with ANY kids regardless of what individual adult players may allow. Just something to consider.

I would humbly suggest that if a player was found to behave in a manner that they should never be allowed to chat with any children, then that player should just be banned.

One of the issues I have encountered in the past is not knowing the age of my teammates. Humour or general banter that might be perfectly appropriate among adults may not be with children around. I suppose one should err on the side of family-friendly anyways in an MMORPG environment, but inevitably that will not always be the case.

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Pyromantic wrote:
Pyromantic wrote:

Lothic wrote:
I agree it would simply be impractical for the GMs to maintain a vetted "whitelist" for kids. But there may be value in the GMs maintaining a specific global "blacklist" against people who should never be able to chat with ANY kids regardless of what individual adult players may allow. Just something to consider.
I would humbly suggest that if a player was found to behave in a manner that they should never be allowed to chat with any children, then that player should just be banned.

I'd probably agree. But my comment here was more in response to the implication that the GMs "shouldn't maintain information about the whether people can or can't talk to kid flagged accounts". This would be a clear case where I'd actually want the GMs to maintain blacklists, or more generally as you point out banned lists, related to kids.

Pyromantic wrote:

One of the issues I have encountered in the past is not knowing the age of my teammates. Humour or general banter that might be perfectly appropriate among adults may not be with children around. I suppose one should err on the side of family-friendly anyways in an MMORPG environment, but inevitably that will not always be the case.

This is a prime example of why I suggested the idea earlier that we should be allowed to flag our own accounts as "adult" accounts. This way we don't have to be quite so careful to censor our own chatting because the game would automatically prevent chat from "adult" accounts from reaching "kid" accounts. As you say you never know when kids may hear/see something they shouldn't and this would help prevent accidental situations like that.

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Shadow Elusive wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:

I checked internally. While the particulars of application have not been agreed on, the subject of child accounts has been discussed several times. So we're planning to have something to serve that purpose.

Now hold on a minute here. When I suggested child NPCs that could not be targeted and could not be affected, merely as realism figures playing in parks or running hopscotch games on the sidewalk, I was shut down completely by both the staff and the community. No one would even consider it because of the fear of child predators and/or sadistic players trying to attack the child NPCs.

And now we're looking for a way to make the game safe for real children playing without an adult sitting right beside them?

Don't misunderstand me. Making the game safe for children is an excellent idea. I applaud this effort fully. It just seems very contradictory that fear of child predators magically imposing their will on mindless NPC characters that are essentially no different than animated statuary is a huge problem but putting real children in that same position is not a problem, "provided proper safety measures are in place."

All I was suggesting was something to add some realism to the city and it was shot down by almost everyone as being too dangerous. But subjecting real children to those same conditions can magically be made "safe" with a few software tweaks?

It seems to me that if children are going to be playing the game, they would find it more entertaining and perhaps even comforting to see child NPCs playing in parks. Maybe if they find a group of four child NPCs in a park tossing around a baseball it will inspire them to get outside and toss a baseball around!

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Odd, I know _I_ never said

Odd, I know _I_ never said anything negative about untouchable child NPCs. Trying to affect them should summon doom-bots onto the offenders, of course. One of my characters is Empowered by the dreams of children, so I'd be happy to see them running around in the park. Still, I do seem to recall a big stink raised over the subject.

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Terwyn wrote:
Terwyn wrote:

More than a quarter of the membership of the project is either one of the people this directly pertains to, or has an immediate family member in which that is the case, In several cases both are true.
So it's for our comfort that we're doing things this way. By making the necessary accommodations that we ourselves require, they will already be in place long before any player can get online. This also means that we will have the opportunity to refine things as we go.

Another fine example of why some selfishness is necessary. You need to treat yourself well to feel well, and it's difficult to treat others well if you're not feeling well. Plus, we're much more likely to get good stuff from devs who want to play the game they're creating.

Now for a bit of humor:

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Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

Shadow Elusive wrote:
I checked internally. While the particulars of application have not been agreed on, the subject of child accounts has been discussed several times. So we're planning to have something to serve that purpose.

Now hold on a minute here. When I suggested child NPCs that could not be targeted and could not be affected, merely as realism figures playing in parks or running hopscotch games on the sidewalk, I was shut down completely by both the staff and the community. No one would even consider it because of the fear of child predators and/or sadistic players trying to attack the child NPCs.
And now we're looking for a way to make the game safe for real children playing without an adult sitting right beside them?
Don't misunderstand me. Making the game safe for children is an excellent idea. I applaud this effort fully. It just seems very contradictory that fear of child predators magically imposing their will on mindless NPC characters that are essentially no different than animated statuary is a huge problem but putting real children in that same position is not a problem, "provided proper safety measures are in place."
All I was suggesting was something to add some realism to the city and it was shot down by almost everyone as being too dangerous. But subjecting real children to those same conditions can magically be made "safe" with a few software tweaks?
It seems to me that if children are going to be playing the game, they would find it more entertaining and perhaps even comforting to see child NPCs playing in parks. Maybe if they find a group of four child NPCs in a park tossing around a baseball it will inspire them to get outside and toss a baseball around!

For the record I'd have no problem seeing child shaped NPCs in the game as long as there was strictly no way for players to affect them at all. They should be completely untargetable and unkillable. If there was any need to deal with them reacting to any danger around them in the environment they should just instantly run away and/or fade away and not animate as being "afraid" or "hurt" in any way.

Also for the record I have no problem with the game making things "safe" for younger players and if one way to do that is to implement "kid accounts" then that would be helpful. But I do believe there should always be a role for parental supervision and the game should NOT bend over backwards to make it so extremely safe for children that parents don't have to be involved. There's a point where trying to implement so many features to make things "kid safe" would become impractical at best and/or even impossible. We must all remember this game is likely going to be rated at least "Teen" and it'll have all the ramifications implied by that rating. It would be commendable for MWM to cater as much as it can to kid players but that will not (and should never be) the main focus of their developmental efforts.

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I have no recollection of

I have no recollection of this suggestion about child NPCs, nor do I have any notion why it would be shot down. Our NPCs will probably be untouchable by default anyway. Can't help ya here Greyhawk. I'm equally clueless. Maybe they just figure there's going to be disastrous battles happening all around anyway, and there's no realistic way for that to go down without the children being affected on some level (they fade away instead of running or cowering?)

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Shadow Elusive wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:

I have no recollection of this suggestion about child NPCs, nor do I have any notion why it would be shot down. Our NPCs will probably be untouchable by default anyway. Can't help ya here Greyhawk. I'm equally clueless. Maybe they just figure there's going to be disastrous battles happening all around anyway, and there's no realistic way for that to go down without the children being affected on some level (they fade away instead of running or cowering?)

The notion of children (NPC or otherwise) existing in games like these has always been a relatively "hot button" issue - I remember it being debated back on the CoH forums.

When you think about the history of computer games there really aren't too many games where having children around would have been appropriate or reasonable in the first place. Many games are either combat shooters/simulators or MMOs based on fantasy dungeons and dragons type stuff. Games depicting "modern city" settings where normal children would be just walking around in the background are actually relatively rare.

I get that most people don't want to see even fictional children get hurt in any way so in many cases it's just easier to not even have them around. It's certainly easier to omit them when you're developing a game on a budget and decide not to waste any resources on adding them to the game. But in the long run having a big modern city without children can look as weird to some people as having that same city appear without cars. It eventually just gets very noticeable (in a bad way) that you don't see them.

Again I think as long as NPC children are completely untargetable and there are no animations that would show them in fear and/or pain then there's no reason not to include them. Sure it might technically be "unrealistic" for children to be unharmable or unkillable, but that's a better compromise than for them not to exist in the game at all.

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Something I've been

Something I've been forgetting to respond to here - no voice actors. Heavily limits our ability to produce content, and very expensive. All our reasons not to have them in general still apply here. JAWS is the current top text to speech converter, that's what we're going to try and accommodate.

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Shadow Elusive wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:

Something I've been forgetting to respond to here - no voice actors. Heavily limits our ability to produce content, and very expensive. All our reasons not to have them in general still apply here. JAWS is the current top text to speech converter, that's what we're going to try and accommodate.

Yeah based on the grassroots / low budget nature of this effort I never really had any major expectations for voice acting to appear in CoT. And seriously that's one area of game development you can't really do "on the cheap" either - bad voice acting is so, so much WORSE than having none at all. If a game is going to try for voice acting at all it really needs to be able to budget for decent actors.

As an alternative aren't there utilities like "virtual magnifying glasses" that can take screen text and expand it up to relatively huge sizes for the visually impaired?

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Capacity to change text size

Capacity to change text size is pretty basic. I would be stunned if it's not already planned for.

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Shadow Elusive wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:

I have no recollection of this suggestion about child NPCs, nor do I have any notion why it would be shot down. Our NPCs will probably be untouchable by default anyway. Can't help ya here Greyhawk. I'm equally clueless. Maybe they just figure there's going to be disastrous battles happening all around anyway, and there's no realistic way for that to go down without the children being affected on some level (they fade away instead of running or cowering?)

It started here.

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Shadow Elusive wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:

Something I've been forgetting to respond to here - no voice actors. Heavily limits our ability to produce content, and very expensive. All our reasons not to have them in general still apply here. JAWS is the current top text to speech converter, that's what we're going to try and accommodate.

There must be a few of you in MWM that can swing some convincing voices! Hell I bet there are people here, including myself, with a modicum of talent for it that would do it for free. It's 2015, you should at least consider even just primary NPCs to say *something*

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Honestly I don't really have

Honestly I don't really have a problem with Child NPC's being put in danger. I've seen plenty of movies/shows where children in danger is a main point for a hero's interaction. For example Spiderman. The Goblin almost drops a trolley?(not sure if that's what its called) full of children. As long as its not some disgusting blood-filled/gory/macabre scene I don't really see a problem with it.

Furthermore, I like greyhawk's suggestion for having them just playing catch or with a family pet etc.. I really cant see why anyone would have a problem with this. It would make the city feel far more realistic. I think it would also bring about a greater sense of wanting to keep the city safe being on the hero side and all.

As far as implementation goes, I wouldn't say it needs to be a priority, but I agree it would be something nice to add after release if possible.

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Zerohour wrote:
Zerohour wrote:

Shadow Elusive wrote:
Something I've been forgetting to respond to here - no voice actors. Heavily limits our ability to produce content, and very expensive. All our reasons not to have them in general still apply here. JAWS is the current top text to speech converter, that's what we're going to try and accommodate.

There must be a few of you in MWM that can swing some convincing voices! Hell I bet there are people here, including myself, with a modicum of talent for it that would do it for free. It's 2015, you should at least consider even just primary NPCs to say *something*

Ya if you need a voice like Ben Stein just let me know. Monotone is my gift.

Oh my vocal and linguistic hero, how can I not look up to you...

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Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

Shadow Elusive wrote:
I checked internally. While the particulars of application have not been agreed on, the subject of child accounts has been discussed several times. So we're planning to have something to serve that purpose.

Now hold on a minute here. When I suggested child NPCs that could not be targeted and could not be affected, merely as realism figures playing in parks or running hopscotch games on the sidewalk, I was shut down completely by both the staff and the community. No one would even consider it because of the fear of child predators and/or sadistic players trying to attack the child NPCs.

I've spend more time than I have to actually spare searching on this as I took exception to the part where "staff" assuming this meant a dev, had spoken out specifically toward the fear of predators / sadistic players....and couldn't find where this was accurate. The closest I found was in the thread already linked in this one where the dev post was just about the general npc targeting issue, not specific toward children npcs.

That being said, anything we do put into the game will have to adhere to the standards we need to meet for the regions we intend to target for the game. Sometimes, at least with the U.S. there have been cases where some changes to games were requested to meet a particular rating when the rating guidelines never specified such, or there was already another game with something similar in it that had the rating (IOW, whomever does the approvals can sometimes be a bit arbitrary, biased, or rules have changed over time. It happens.).

Greyhawk wrote:

And now we're looking for a way to make the game safe for real children playing without an adult sitting right beside them?

I don't think anyone is advocating for parents to stop parenting where they can walk away in the belief that the child-flag account is somehow absolutely safe. There is no such thing when it comes to being on line, even with parenting controls for search engines. If anything, it would probably be something like parenting controls for the game settings that a parent can set up in the master account.

I used to let my son play CoH on my account and each of his characters had a lot of options turned off from what types of chats he could see. I also placed in his character's description field that said something to the effect of "Please be aware CHILD is at the keyboard with their PARENT! Treat this character accordingly. Any abuse will be reported."

I mainly allowed him to team with real life friends of mine or other family members. When in an instanced mission with friends / family I could do stuff around him (since our PC is in the living room) and still see what he was doing. Occaisionally, I let him join a pick up group, but never without me sitting with him.

I'm glad to say that I never once had an issue with any player in the game interacting with my son inappropriately.


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Zerohour wrote:
Zerohour wrote:

Shadow Elusive wrote:
Something I've been forgetting to respond to here - no voice actors. Heavily limits our ability to produce content, and very expensive. All our reasons not to have them in general still apply here. JAWS is the current top text to speech converter, that's what we're going to try and accommodate.

There must be a few of you in MWM that can swing some convincing voices! Hell I bet there are people here, including myself, with a modicum of talent for it that would do it for free. It's 2015, you should at least consider even just primary NPCs to say *something*

And then MWM would need to find people to do it in French, German, and Spanish. People keep forgetting about that bit.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Zerohour wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:
Something I've been forgetting to respond to here - no voice actors. Heavily limits our ability to produce content, and very expensive. All our reasons not to have them in general still apply here. JAWS is the current top text to speech converter, that's what we're going to try and accommodate.

There must be a few of you in MWM that can swing some convincing voices! Hell I bet there are people here, including myself, with a modicum of talent for it that would do it for free. It's 2015, you should at least consider even just primary NPCs to say *something*

And then MWM would need to find people to do it in French, German, and Spanish. People keep forgetting about that bit.

I tend to see voice acting in games as an "all or nothing" kind of thing.

I'm perfectly fine with a game that has zero voice acting. But as soon as a game tries to put it in it better go all the way and use it literally ALL the time or I tend to notice it more as a weird half-baked attempt. I start asking myself immersion-breaking questions like, "Why was voice acting used here and not there?" and so forth.

As I implied before it's actually relatively hard to make sure voice acting is done well in a game and surprisingly easy to screw it up. I'd simply rather MWM not worry about voice acting for CoT and concentrate on more important aspects of the game.

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Voice acting can also make it

Voice acting can also make it extremely difficult to update or create content. You either need to get the same actor, or get someone to redo all of a particular character's parts. IMO it just isn't worth it.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Zerohour wrote:
Shadow Elusive wrote:
Something I've been forgetting to respond to here - no voice actors. Heavily limits our ability to produce content, and very expensive. All our reasons not to have them in general still apply here. JAWS is the current top text to speech converter, that's what we're going to try and accommodate.

There must be a few of you in MWM that can swing some convincing voices! Hell I bet there are people here, including myself, with a modicum of talent for it that would do it for free. It's 2015, you should at least consider even just primary NPCs to say *something*

And then MWM would need to find people to do it in French, German, and Spanish. People keep forgetting about that bit.

Or they could do what the vast majority of games do and just do the speech in one language and then just change the UI accordingly to others.

Hell, remember that even CoX eventually stopped developing the french/german clients (granted at Issue 23....) and that was just for *text*. There was NO French/German version of I24 even worked on....

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Pyromantic wrote:
Pyromantic wrote:

Voice acting can also make it extremely difficult to update or create content. You either need to get the same actor, or get someone to redo all of a particular character's parts. IMO it just isn't worth it.

This is indeed a big part of our own worries. And Lothic is also right - it's all or nothing. Either you can do it really right, really well, or it's a mediocre effect at best, a nuisance at worst. Yes, voice acting is all the rage in MMOs now...but I can only name two, maybe three who did it right. The rest would have been just as well off without it entirely. Just because it's a trend doesn't mean it's a good idea.

DCUO did it very well - but they had a whole roster of professional voice actors already associated with the characters. SWTOR did it well, but they had a monster budget and a monster IP behind them. I think D&D Online does it well, but that's partly because it's really narration. And that's really it. Neverwinter, for instance, the voices are just there, they might as well have skipped them. Mediocre effect on the game.

Having voice acting is no more a necessity for being a good game in 2015 than action based combat is. We will be able to make a much more sustainable game with much larger amounts of high quality content for skipping voice acting, and we consider that a higher priority.

That said, we'll probably consider some very judicious insertions of voice overs and such at some point. But never more than that, even if we do have a big budget. Understand, this subject has been carefully debated, considered, and then shelved more than a year ago. Subject is CLOSED. You can debate it all you want of course, but we aren't going to change our minds.

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I think it's the right

I think it's the right decision.

Even in games that have voice acting, very little of it is good enough to enhance the game rather than come across anywhere from cheesy to annoying. To me, it's a "do it very well or don't do it at all" kind of thing. And I want lots of content more than I want lots of voice-overs.

So, luckily for me, I come down on the wining side of this now-closed topic :P.

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Empyrean wrote:
Empyrean wrote:

Even in games that have voice acting, very little of it is good enough to enhance the game rather than come across anywhere from cheesy to annoying.

Exactly.

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So no "grunts" or "urgh"

So no "grunts" or "urgh" sounds to go with the powers; and yes, I do consider voice acting to cover that as well.

So it really will be city of mutes.

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

So no "grunts" or "urgh" sounds to go with the powers; and yes, I do consider voice acting to cover that as well.

this is the most useful implementation of voice acting IMO. Per Lothic's and other's observation, most of the time voice overs are more a risk than a benefit. i'd much prefer reading the dialogue because it's faster. if and when CoT ever adopts AR/VR as the primary interface, then having everything voice over would make sense.

That said (written?), Gangrel makes a good point. using limited voice work for exclamations, cries, etc, could work to add some additional texture to combat. Perhaps something for down the road rather than launch, though.

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

So no "grunts" or "urgh" sounds to go with the powers; and yes, I do consider voice acting to cover that as well.
So it really will be city of mutes.

The idea of having "grunts" while using powers, taking damage or jumping might be cool. These types of sounds wouldn't really need to be done more than once so there'd be no issues with "multi-language dialogue" or updates to the game. We would need multiple voices to choose from and we'd have to have the option to turn the effect completely off if desired. I know there are plenty of recent games which have offered this feature (e.g. ESO) so I'd probably have no problem if it were added to CoT sometime after launch.

As far as the more general question of "voice acting" for CoT with actual spoken dialogue goes all I can tell you is that I played CoH fairly regularly for its entire 8.5 year run and I can honestly say there wasn't a single time I recall ever thinking to myself anything along the lines of "this a great game but it would be even better with voice acting". Count me as someone who could very, very easily live without any kind of voice acting/effects in CoT at all.

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

So no "grunts" or "urgh" sounds to go with the powers; and yes, I do consider voice acting to cover that as well.
So it really will be city of mutes.

CoH had grunts and other generic vocalizations, for instance when your toon jumped. I'd imagine these could easily put in - but those are far from full voice acting and could even by synthetically generated, or plucked from sound libraries out there.

As for the question of full voice acting - I'm all for leaving it out. Unless you are a major studio with a lot of cash to spend it is really hit or miss. It'll slow down development as well, so yeah, just leave it.

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I think ESO is another game

I think ESO is another game that did voice acting very well.

I don't have a preference over the matter. I understand that it would be a lot of work and time to implement and it wouldn't be worth it in that sense. But any added feature is always nice. Just have to weigh the pros and cons.

I do hope at some point there are noises with attacks and what not. Could you imagine a silent Kamehame

I also fall under the "does not affect me" but I am happy to hear that these options are being considered. The more people that can join the community the better!

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

So no "grunts" or "urgh" sounds to go with the powers; and yes, I do consider voice acting to cover that as well.
So it really will be city of mutes.

Those are considered sound effects not voice acting.

The hope is to provide a selection of customizable voices, but not sure how much of that will be in at launch

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Minotaur wrote:
Minotaur wrote:

Gangrel wrote:
So no "grunts" or "urgh" sounds to go with the powers; and yes, I do consider voice acting to cover that as well.
So it really will be city of mutes.

Those are considered sound effects not voice acting.
The hope is to provide a selection of customizable voices, but not sure how much of that will be in at launch

Considering that the event that you just showed up to and what someone (who was not me) said when you went "There will be no voice acting" it is something that quite a few people DO think does count as voice acting.

But if that is the case, then stuff like "Hi-yaaaaH!" when you unless a powered up punch (to go with a power) would count as a sound effect as well... or would that style of FX be not counted as it would require someone to record it?

This is the thing, there is a WIDE range of things that voice actors/voice actors can be used for, and not just for the long monologue.

So saying something as wide ranging as "There will be no voice acting/voice actors used" makes it seem like it WILL indeed be a very quiet game.

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1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

Minotaur wrote:
Gangrel wrote:
So no "grunts" or "urgh" sounds to go with the powers; and yes, I do consider voice acting to cover that as well.
So it really will be city of mutes.

Those are considered sound effects not voice acting.
The hope is to provide a selection of customizable voices, but not sure how much of that will be in at launch

Considering that the event that you just showed up to and what someone (who was not me) said when you went "There will be no voice acting" it is something that quite a few people DO think does count as voice acting.
But if that is the case, then stuff like "Hi-yaaaaH!" when you unless a powered up punch (to go with a power) would count as a sound effect as well... or would that style of FX be not counted as it would require someone to record it?
This is the thing, there is a WIDE range of things that voice actors/voice actors can be used for, and not just for the long monologue.
So saying something as wide ranging as "There will be no voice acting/voice actors used" makes it seem like it WILL indeed be a very quiet game.

On the other hand voice synthesizers can be set up to speak convincing lines of dialogue without there being a "recorded human voice" involved at all. Live human beings aren't essential in every case where "recorded sounds" are involved.

I don't think we need to get "wrapped around the axle" trying to decide whether the game needs paid human voice actors in order to record either spoken word dialogue or non-word "Hi-yaaaaH!" sounds or not. The point has been made pretty clear that having good human voice actors is relatively too expensive for CoT regardless of what they'd be used for.

Based on simple economics alone it seems far more likely that this game would get some "grunting" non-word sound effects long before it would get full blown spoken word recordings from voice actors. That of course would include all sorts of "sound effects" that have nothing to do with human vocalizations at all so the idea that this will be a "very quiet game" is relatively nonsensical unless you define "sound" as a thing that can only be produced by a live human being.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Gangrel wrote:
Minotaur wrote:
Gangrel wrote:
So no "grunts" or "urgh" sounds to go with the powers; and yes, I do consider voice acting to cover that as well.
So it really will be city of mutes.

Those are considered sound effects not voice acting.
The hope is to provide a selection of customizable voices, but not sure how much of that will be in at launch

Considering that the event that you just showed up to and what someone (who was not me) said when you went "There will be no voice acting" it is something that quite a few people DO think does count as voice acting.
But if that is the case, then stuff like "Hi-yaaaaH!" when you unless a powered up punch (to go with a power) would count as a sound effect as well... or would that style of FX be not counted as it would require someone to record it?
This is the thing, there is a WIDE range of things that voice actors/voice actors can be used for, and not just for the long monologue.
So saying something as wide ranging as "There will be no voice acting/voice actors used" makes it seem like it WILL indeed be a very quiet game.

On the other hand voice synthesizers can be set up to speak convincing lines of dialogue without there being a "recorded human voice" involved at all. Live human beings aren't essential in every case where "recorded sounds" are involved.
I don't think we need to get "wrapped around the axle" trying to decide whether the game needs paid human voice actors in order to record either spoken word dialogue or non-word "Hi-yaaaaH!" sounds or not. The point has been made pretty clear that having good human voice actors is relatively too expensive for CoT regardless of what they'd be used for.
Based on simple economics alone it seems far more likely that this game would get some "grunting" non-word sound effects long before it would get full blown spoken word recordings from voice actors. That of course would include all sorts of "sound effects" that have nothing to do with human vocalizations at all so the idea that this will be a "very quiet game" is relatively nonsensical unless you define "sound" as a thing that can only be produced by a live human being.

Having played with TTS voices (from both Cereproc and Ivona) to go with Voice Attack whilst some of them are "good" it mainly depends on the voice engine that you are using. And then you have the additional tweaking/effects to overlay on top.

*side note: For commercial purposes, you can expect the price for commercial usage of a TTS to range from £99 per voice per year up towards the $950+ (sorry for currency differences, it all depends who you go from) if not higher (Ivona don't list the price, you have to request it. They also have some VERY highly rated TTS voices out there)

These prices were concerning the usage of a TTS voice in a single youtube video.

Source: Linkage.

But of course, the hard thing to get out of them is stuff like *shouting* or anything that feels like emotion. They kind of suck at that.

Quote:

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2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
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4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

But of course, the hard thing to get out of them is stuff like *shouting* or anything that feels like emotion. They kind of suck at that.

I never really assumed that any mechanical means to create voices for games would be better than actual humans being recorded. And I never assumed that such mechanical means would be necessarily cheaper to use either.

My main point was that the quibble over the definition of "sound effects" and whether you needed actual humans to make them or not was relatively pointless to this discussion. I have some amount of faith that MWM will try to do as much as they can with the resources they have available. If that means we can end up with "grunts" and/or "Hi-yaaaaH!" type sounds that (perhaps ironically to you) are not actually based on human recordings but are instead synthetically produced I'd probably be fine with that. As I believe Minotaur was pointing out you don't really need high-cost voice actors to produce decent non-word vocalizations.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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