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  1. #1
    Xsyon Citizen
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    Languages, Tribes and the Importance of Gestures

    So, a different thread than my normal blood related previous threads. Time to touch on a topic that most MMO's fail to embrace.

    Let's take a look at the game setting. We're at Lake Tahoe, It's 2012, Hell broke loose..Lots of things got wiped out..Lots of people died. The survivors of the ordeal are now divided up and seperated by the expansive wasteland.

    People begin to bond together and form "tribes".

    I'm pretty sure this have been been brought up in another thread (I cant seem to spot which one though) and i've decided to repost and expand on it.

    The gameplay area is vast. It seemingly takes an age to cross only a fracation of it on foot. Right now in Beta we only have a handful of citizens. Global chat is Disabled. Local/Regional chat is available, so at least we can call out to see who's online.
    Everyone can communicate easily and without hassle within a certain proximity to others, and the availability of third party communication tools makes the process a hell of a lot easier.

    So why dont we add something a little "fun"?

    TRIBAL LANGUAGES
    I think the title pretty much says it. A language used by a tribe.
    Languages are diverse across the world, from english to german and arabic to cantonese. Even in small sections of the world languages are diverse. Take a look at India for instance.
    India has 22 National Languages and 844 different Dialects. Now that is a hell of a lot. India is fairly large so we'll jump to a smaller example. Papua New Guinea has an overall collection of 820 Languages, but for the sake of simplicity the government have selected three as official languages.

    Now thats fairly shocking.

    Anyway, to the point. Lets start out with the beginning when you first login. Your more than likely to be alone and stuck along the shores of the lake or deep in a forest high up in the surrounding mountains. You dont know any languages, except maybe the baby babble of "blurghh coo hoo"..if you get my drift. So after making your first campfire, your first small tent and killed your first deer for food you finally come across another traveller.

    They run over to you and they begin to speak..do you understand what they are saying? NO.

    DigbyCaesar: Neeya feta moo!

    Why? Because you havent learned their language yet....or maybe, they dont know a language themselves (I'll get around to the latter statement and how you can communicate alternatively a bit later). How do you learn their language? Well, there should be 2 ways. You could follow them around for a while and if they're not socially inept and proceed to keep talking you'll eventually start picking up words that form into something correctly. Alternatively, they could teach you via a skill (most likely in the box along with terraforming, foraging etc).

    DigbyCaesar: net untenebtu u noot i met CRAP nety ooto met nitela.

    CRAP would be the word you would understand. It works on a progression bar basis, right from Unknown <No Words Understood> to Inept <A few words>, to Novice <Quite a few words understood>, onto Master <Most words understood> and ending with Fluent/Native <Can understand the language completely>. The process shouldnt be expansively long but not too simple or short to learn the language.

    Progress and the list of languages known should be shown in the Social Tab, Languages can be selected to communicate in: i.e Choose Patswani and type as Normal. If a language is not labelled as your Native language and is barely used, the level will decay over time, requiring you to re-learn it..even if your Fluent.

    If your being taught by someone, both characters should remain static or otherwise the "session" is halted. Learning to an inept level should only take roughly about 10 minutes, anything more should require a larger amount of time. Thats the basis, now how to implement.

    On Tribe Creation
    Aswell as claiming a Territory, Setting up a Totem and naming your Spot you should also be presented with a box that states "Native Language". You can input the name of your language and voila a new complete language thats unique to your Clan. The first members of the tribe learn this language automatically to a Native level and afterwards newer additions to the group will either have to be taught or spend a good amount of time around you. Language creation should be optional and can be skipped and the group can choose a known language or use multiple known languages to communicate.

    Overtime you may see tribes forming and using known popular languages. Languages have a tendency to be influenced by larger neighbors. Belgium is heavily influenced by French, Dutch and German. One side of Xsyon could end up using a completely different language to the other side or the whole of Xsyon could end up using one language altogether.

    Example: Tribe A settles on the west side of the lake and becomes a major faction in that region.
    Tribe B lives on the south side of the lake. They are a smaller, not as powerful tribe. They frequently Trade with Tribe A.
    Tribe B has their own language but due to their frequent communications and trade with Tribe A, they adopt Tribe A's language as a second official language.

    Languages are important. They can enhance roleplay in this game vastly opening up the possibility for multi-lingual traders, diplomats etc. It can become crucial in tribal talks, spying, general diplomacy, war. Multi-lingual characters can become a key valuable member of a tribe, rather than that blacksmith you can throw to the pigs when you find someone who can produce better quality goods.

    Now, Didnt i say something about if your communicating with someone who didnt know a language Alternatively?.

    The Importance of Gestures

    We've all played around with them at some point. From the praying gesture to the one where you shove your middle finger up at someone. But really..they can play a big role when you cant communicate with someone. Body language in real life is processed subconsciously and if your good at noticing it, it can tell you a lot about someone. Across the ages Body Language has played a vital role in communication and even now it's used almost all of the time, from the waving of the hello and goodbye to the shrug when you dont have an idea about a proposed question.

    Gestures should be expanded. Right now, one of the most useful gestures i use is the raising of the arms and the "Hoo Hoo" sound. I use it to alert someone to my presence, usually from a medium to long distance. If they can hear it, they look around and eventually see me..often replying back with the same thing before we engage closer to communicate. It's a hello gesture of sorts.

    I feel whats needed (especially if you cant understand what someone is saying) is an expanded or modified set of gestures. We already have some, but often i feel they have the wrong sounding.
    Sure, the often musical and odds sounds are fun but they dont seem to fit with the important gestures. Replacing the sounds of ones such as Hello, Come here, Go away, Stay with a small voice clip (i guess something like "Simlish" works) makes them more effective and noticeable.

    Adding in more slightly advanced ones such as Go there (A pointing animation), Kill that thing (Pointing but with a hand stabbing animation after), I'm hungry/thirsty (Rub Belly/Imitate a drinking motion), I'm hurt (Not sure how this can be presented) and even adding in more combat orientated call out gestures such as an Alert (A "Hooo Whoop Whoop" Sound) and even a Battle Cry ("Rargh"..Just really loud) can all add up to an effective communication system..and sometimes, they can be more effective in stealthy situations (take the modern example: http://www.imagepoop.com/image/702/C...d-Signals.html)(OKAY I WAS JOKING ABOUT THAT ONE, but still you should get the point).

    I think this is it for my basic summary. This really all adds up to adding a massive factor to immersion..something not everyone enjoys, but Languages and general gesture use are a concept not really embraced my most MMO developers these days. Only 1 or 2 MMO's actually contain Languages, Check out Starquest Online as a slight example.

    Additional Note: I do apologise if these suggestions are a tad vague, i was kind've tired whilst writing it and i've really never done large forum posts. I'd be happy to answer any questions and as usual guys all suggestions are welcome.

  2. #2

    Re:Languages, Tribes and the Importance of Gestures

    hi Digby, this sounds really fun

    Of course, I like it because it would suit the Nomads really well since we are an RP tribe. Having said that, do you think this would be accepted by those tribes who are not so much into RP?

    Also, although this will not be an issue for the Nomads since we are a 100% RP tribe who, for immersion purposes, will only use text-based chat as our standard mode of communication, but what do you think about tribes and people who prefer to use vent? Wouldn't vent sort of render your whole suggestion moot? In other words, how can this be implemented so that everyone will find it equally fun and useful? Or are you suggesting this as an optional use only?

    Again, I like the idea because it would add the RP factor to the entire world. I'm just wondering if it can be applied to the entire player base taking into consideration the variation of preferred gameplay styles that will be used by the different tribes.

    * THE LAND OF XSYON IS OUR BACKYARD ... WE JUST LET OTHERS PLAY IN IT *

  3. #3

    Re:Languages, Tribes and the Importance of Gestures

    I guess it depends on your RP. The Audacian Republic's RP does not comply with this suggestion, not that that would matter particularly to us, because all other tribes are barbarian to us anyway

    I like the suggestion, but I cant see this being anything that will be put in, because it would have to be in for Prelude start, and it sounds like a lot of work that would consume a lot of time, and I doubt Jooky will be wanting to do that.
    Kinslayer
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  4. #4
    Xsyon Citizen
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    Re:Languages, Tribes and the Importance of Gestures

    Ashanti wrote:
    Also, although this will not be an issue for the Nomads since we are a 100% RP tribe who, for immersion purposes, will only use text-based chat as our standard mode of communication, but what do you think about tribes and people who prefer to use vent? Wouldn't vent sort of render your whole suggestion moot? In other words, how can this be implemented so that everyone will find it equally fun and useful? Or are you suggesting this as an optional use only?
    Ventrillo and other such programs would really only render internal chat (tribal talk) pretty much moot, and i reckon it's going to be used a fair amount of either way (unless each tribe starts telling people to jump onto their vent/xfire/etc channel when meeting up, which doesnt seem like something they would do.

    The whole fun of Languages and such is not only the immersive factor but it also introduces the possibility for a real essence of diplomacy, spying, large combat scenarios (aka, The enemy wont be able to find out what tactics you've got going if their own spies don't understand your language..adding in the ability to have an advantage over your enemy).

    The idea probably couldn't be optional, due to how it needs to fit in with normal communication and modify a large aspect of it. If it was implemented as an optional thing only, then i see it only being used lightly and eventually becoming obsolete over time.

    This really just adds in and touches on a concept most MMO's dont take in, and typically most MMORPG's end up becoming the usual skill based, level up, grind grind games that i tend to stay far away from. This is something that could make Xsyon unique as it's already picking up on a rare niche...Wilderness Survival.
    There are no starting towns and no NPC's so far and i really dont want to see any. A fully player run orientated game would be awesome.

    This is something that could make Xsyon popular in the Indie department.

    Kinslayer wrote:
    I guess it depends on your RP. The Audacian Republic's RP does not comply with this suggestion, not that that would matter particularly to us, because all other tribes are barbarian to us anyway

    I like the suggestion, but I cant see this being anything that will be put in, because it would have to be in for Prelude start, and it sounds like a lot of work that would consume a lot of time, and I doubt Jooky will be wanting to do that.
    Kin, I dont see a roman stlye faction fitting in with a post-apocalyptic north american region but that's just my honest opinion :P .

    I'm not a code pro in any shape or form, but i dont believe this will be tremendous amounts of work. A slight change to the social tab on the UI, code to transform entered text in the chat box to a random but clean set of words (This is the End ---> Nayt il der Net) which if another client understands, is transformed into crystal clear english and code for adding language groups (names) which adds player names to that group and their level of comprehension (as before, unknown/adept/novice/master/fluent-native). But what do i know eh? B)

    Thanks for the feedback both of you, much appreciated. :laugh:

    Edit: If you wanted to create a tribe and name your language English or Latin or Dutch etc, theres no reason you shouldnt be able to. You could spread the language and everyone can end up using it, the possibilities are endless!

  5. #5

    Re:Languages, Tribes and the Importance of Gestures

    For people that may be wanting to setup something like a trading post, What about speaking multiple languages. I mean if you wanted to sell to every one, You would have to know what they was asking for, Right?

    John Wooden ~ Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.
    Benjamin Spock ~ Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.

  6. #6
    Xsyon Citizen
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    Re:Languages, Tribes and the Importance of Gestures

    Definetly, i'm sure i put somewhere that multiples should be allowed (if i didnt drop it in, it's probably because i was zonked at the time). Not allowing to learning of multiple languages would be supremely illogical, but i do know that i mentioned if you didnt type or listen in/to a language for a period of time, your level of comprehension for that language would decay slightly (a language classed as native would not decay, but fluent would..hell..i forget more of my french than i learn it :laugh: )

  7. #7

    Re:Languages, Tribes and the Importance of Gestures

    Your idea is really interesting and it would add a lot of fun to the game. I wonder though how it could be implemented.

    Since people could learn multiply languages and get better or worse in them they should work like skills, not a setting in the social tab. It could work as a kind of chat filter, but much more complicated. Every message sent to the chat box should contain a language code, and the message transformation has to happen on the receiver side. If the receiver player has the language skill assigned to the message he-she can read it, otherwise the message turns into a random generated text.

    This raises another question. Let's say a player is chatting to another one. Both of them knows English and French. A third player is listening to them, he only knows French. Should he understand them ? If not that means that conversation has to has a designated language code, which can be cumbersome to assign it before typing a text.

    Having a default (native) language can help a bit, but what if playerA knows English, German and French and native English, and he meets playerB who knows French, German and Dutch and native Dutch. How can they understand each others ? Does the game selects automatically a language they both know, or they have to select it manually ? In the latter case how do they know which one to select (since they can't ask the other player which languages he knows), or they have to scroll through all of them ?

    These are just some questions that popped up in my mind I guess it can be implemented, but its not such a small work...it has to be done carefully so that it wouldn't lag the chat system.

    And there should be some kind of help for new players, if someone is new in the game and can't even talk to others that could scare him off from the game.

    As a final word I like your idea and wish it get implemented one day.

  8. #8
    Xsyon Citizen
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    Re:Languages, Tribes and the Importance of Gestures

    I did do another long post for this but it ended up getting wiped due to a browser issue .

    Typically each language has a language code (Hex maybe?). If 2 people speak both Creole and Gujarati but a third person only knew creole, then that is all they would hear/see. The gujarati would come out as unknown text (sugd dfge fxcv eqe). If someone doesnt know any language (or selects no language) whatsoever and sends messages over chat, it will always come out as a non translateable jumble..always.

    Basic Send Flow:

    Heard/Spoken Known Languages listed in dropdown menu in Social Tab, along with the persons current skill level to that language (Unknown -> Fluent/Native)

    Normal text entered and sent

    Language code assigned

    Skill Level Assigned

    Text Jumbled

    Message fully sent

    Basic Receiver Flow:

    Message received in chat along with Language name.

    Receivers skill applied for that Language

    Text Unjumbled

    Text Displayed (DigbyCaesarCreole) Heya Buddy!

    In that case both parties understand Creole at a novice level or more, if the receiver or the sender had an adept level, buddy would most likely come out as a jumble of letters. As for starting characters, (Now that i've re-read others posts aswell as my own) they should be able to choose from any inworld language that is known to maybe 5%+ of the inworld characters (But you may end up starting in a region where no one knows it, which is all part of the fun!)

    Im hoping this cleared some bits up..otherwise i may just end up farting out brainpower. :laugh:

    Additional Note: IRL Languages do not translate. Everything is translated AS IS. So if your French and you type Bonjour, then it will be received as Bonjour (again, assuming both parties have a reasonable skill level for the selected language.

  9. #9

    Re:Languages, Tribes and the Importance of Gestures

    But its in an area that already speaks english. What did everyone forget how to talk? The only other ways of speaking would be ebonics or spanglish

  10. #10
    Xsyon Citizen
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    Re:Languages, Tribes and the Importance of Gestures

    Depends on the timeline (I havent quite spotted it yet). If it's been more than a 100 years since Post-Apoc, then im dandily sure theres going to be some language changes..otherwise, my answer would be the annual koolaid parties.

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