New version: multiplayer and chatting

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loboLoco
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New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by loboLoco » Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:48 am

Our original vision for WolfQuest was as a multiplayer game. During the original development period, however, we put much more effort into the single-player missions, and as a result, there's not a great deal to do in multiplayer. And then over time, we had to place more and more restrictions on chatting in order to ensure (or at least try to ensure) a safe environment for players of all ages. And so now....multiplayer just isn't that great.

We aim to improve that with the new version:

1) We've switched to a more robust MP service (Photon), which should make MP games more robust. As part of that, we're eliminating the bugs that make Private Games finicky to join.

2) We're creating a new multiplayer map that should be a lot of fun to explore and hang out in.

3) We're planning to add co-op multiplayer to Slough Creek. That's not guaranteed yet, since we haven't gotten deep enough into the work to be sure of it, but so far we're optimistic. It would let up to five players join a game as adults (parents and older offspring), raising the pups together. (Yeah, I know everyone wants to play as pups. That's not in the plan for this new version initially for a number of reasons, but if we get lots of sales, who knows what we might do?)

But what about chat? We've added a new option, voice chat, which is obviously unconstrained by the lexicon. That will be available only in Private Games. For Open Games, we plan to offer only Phrase Chat and No Chat, and encourage players to use Private Games if they want better chat options.

So what about text chat (with or without the lexicon and bad-words blocking)? I had thought that for tablets, text chatting was not very desirable -- it'd be quite awkward having the game pause for the virtual keyboard -- but I've learned that some people really prefer text chat over voice chat. And if we do eventually release this new version of the game for Mac/Win, then text chatting is obviously attractive for many people.

So we have to figure out how to balance risks and benefits of text chat. Possibly, Private Games could have some kind of text chat option. Everybody (including me) would prefer that to be open and unconstrained by the lexicon, but I do worry some about the risks that would entail.

So: what do you think about private vs. open games with these options? What would you really like to see? Knowing what you do about the current MP situation, what risks do you think these options would create or prevent?
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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by alethe » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:02 pm

I like it! Voice chat in private only offers more privacy just in case you don't feel comfortable chatting without the filters.

I think that text chat is doable on the ipads, it'll just be harder, ya know. If the game will be continued on Mac/Win devices, will the lexicon be updated? As in, less frivolous filtering?

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by Owlir » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:08 pm

Hmm. I love that "voice chat" will be added to the game, I will for sure use it when I am in a private game. I am also very happy about a new map, I am sure it will create a lot of benefits.

As for the negatives, I cant really see any.

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by SilkenGalaxy » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:30 pm

TeenyWolfy approves of the new changes! (Why am I talking lime Elmo?) Anywho, I don't feel really comfortable about voice chat as I sound like a little kid when recorded and I'm 13 :/, but I'm fine with it as long as it would be a private server to hang out with my friends in! Now for text chat, I think its doable (if that's a word) but I personally think that you guys should only filter out curse words/inappropriate terms, and that's it, hope you guys put screenies of the new map soon!

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by duskypack » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:32 pm

I, personally, prefer Lexicon Chat. Voice Chat makes me uncomfortable, but I still want to chat. The co-op mode sounds like a dream come true. It would be pawfect for pack roleplays and Wolfquest videos tell a story.

What is the new map gonna look like?!?!

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by Koa » Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:30 pm

But what about chat? We've added a new option, voice chat, which is obviously unconstrained by the lexicon. That will be available only in Private Games. For Open Games, we plan to offer only Phrase Chat and No Chat, and encourage players to use Private Games if they want better chat options.

So what about text chat (with or without the lexicon and bad-words blocking)? I had thought that for tablets, text chatting was not very desirable -- it'd be quite awkward having the game pause for the virtual keyboard -- but I've learned that some people really prefer text chat over voice chat. And if we do eventually release this new version of the game for Mac/Win, then text chatting is obviously attractive for many people.

So we have to figure out how to balance risks and benefits of text chat. Possibly, Private Games could have some kind of text chat option. Everybody (including me) would prefer that to be open and unconstrained by the lexicon, but I do worry some about the risks that would entail.

So: what do you think about private vs. open games with these options? What would you really like to see? Knowing what you do about the current MP situation, what risks do you think these options would create or prevent?
If you were to add an unrestrained version of chat in Private Games, I think you would have to make it really clear that Private Games "should only be used with people you know," and that entering a Private Game with people you don't know is not recommended. Would some kind of "disclaimer" or "warning" like that help avoid trouble? I mean, private games are private games and in the past when moderators used to handle reporting users, we couldn't do anything about private games whatsoever.

As far as Open Games go, it's difficult because yes, text chatting would be very attractive to people if the game was released for Mac/Win. I'd add it though with that in mind. If people find the text chat undesirable or clumsy on the tablet, then they can simply choose Phrase Chat or No Chat as an alternative. In regards to specifics and "with or without the lexicon," I think the lexicon should be kept if text chat were to be kept for Open Games, even though it is "a bother" for some. I do not think unrestricted chat for Open Games for this kind of game is a good idea.

If you don't want to add text chat at all for Open Games, I'd recommend it least be added in co-op so people can effectively communicate. Although, would co-op be within the "open" or "private" game category, or both? Regardless, I do know that effective communication is really important for any kind of co-op game, and restricted communication may hinder the success of those that play.

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by Mist Haven » Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:59 pm

Koa wrote:
If you were to add an unrestrained version of chat in Private Games, I think you would have to make it really clear that Private Games "should only be used with people you know," and that entering a Private Game with people you don't know is not recommended. Would some kind of "disclaimer" or "warning" like that help avoid trouble? I mean, private games are private games and in the past when moderators used to handle reporting users, we couldn't do anything about private games whatsoever.
I agree, voice chat should be enabled in Private games, for they're usually made for playing specifically with people you know, so it would be safer.

Also, the keypad might work, and some people might find it comfortable and some won't. It's good to have an option, although Phrase chat could be more simpler to use when playing. It all comes down to the person.
I'm really excited for more updates. Thank you for keeping us informed!

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by Nordue » Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:38 pm

  • It's exciting to see that the community can finally have some input on this aspect of the tablet game! Things are happening :mrgreen:!

    From the perspective of a Moderator, I have concerns over the pressure for a reporting effort to exist, if text chatting is indeed implemented into the tablet game. I will admit it is attractive to me to not have a restricting Lexicon or a text option in either version of the WQ game, especially if the co-op option is to happen for tablet MP. In a no-text option scenario, there is no need for a game reporting system. By contrast, if text is implemented into the tablet game, there might be be inconsistencies between the two game versions with respect to the existence of a reporting system. Some, especially parents, might question that difference between the PC-Mac and tablet games.

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by duskypack » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:20 am

Spring... Why are you so far away?

Perhaps it would be cool if after you sign in you can choose a custom name?

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by alethe » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:23 am

That was a feature a long time ago. Made reporting difficult so now they don't allow it.

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by loboLoco » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:29 am

Tonbei: my goal would be to eliminate the need for reporting bad behavior. Private Games would, as Koa suggests, have a warning. The simplest and safest thing is to have only phrase and no chat in open games.

However, I appreciate all the comments in the "MP isn't what it used to be" thread, saying that a major appeal of the game in the early days was the opportunity to meet and play with people in open games. Restricting chat to Private Games would inhibit that greatly. i don't know if we can find a way to go back to those days, but it's worth trying.

I probably need to,do more research on how other MP games handle this, though WQ is somewhat unusual in its combination on topic and audience. Please post examples if you know if any that would help inform our thinking here.

(And remember that text chat will still be shut down in the original game, at some point -- probably this year, I expect -- so the new version would offer more chat options than the original game at that point.)
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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by SilkenGalaxy » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:43 pm

The lexicon chat makes rping easier, especially wolf pack rps, but there's one plus side to no lexicon..... no innapropriate/mean players! :P

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by xxwarriorwolffernxx » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:32 pm

I like the idea, but private games don't work for me. Like, I cant get in them.

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by Koa » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:35 pm

xxwarriorwolffernxx wrote:I like the idea, but private games don't work for me. Like, I cant get in them.
loboLoco wrote:1) We've switched to a more robust MP service (Photon), which should make MP games more robust. As part of that, we're eliminating the bugs that make Private Games finicky to join.
The tablet version of the game will hopefully not have the same problem as the current Win/Mac version.

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Re: New version: multiplayer and chatting

Post by Nordue » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:39 pm

loboLoco wrote:I probably need to,do more research on how other MP games handle this, though WQ is somewhat unusual in its combination on topic and audience. Please post examples if you know if any that would help inform our thinking here.
  • Hmm, FeralHeart might be one example. That game is an MMORPG that has undergone chat changes over time. I personally don't know a whole lot of details, but they could be looked up if this example is of interest.

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