Perspective

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    mudlab.org Forum Index -> Design
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
kaylus



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Tallahassee, Florida

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:09 pm    Post subject: Perspective Reply with quote

I have been working on expanded communications system that tie emotes in to make an atmosphere that is more conducive to role-playing (or at least easier on the eyes). But I was curious about perception of character and perspective... I've noticed that on many games that people get "in-character" there seem to be a couple places that users get confused with the style of writing.

For example, emotes (with arguments) show up in 1st [ed: oops 2nd person, rather] person to the player but must be written in 3rd person.

grin slyly, pushing a piece of hair out of her face.
You grin slyly, pushing a piece of hair out of her face.

Most people can wrap their mind around the concept, but it looks pretty ugly and, of course, the people that can't wrap their mind around it (and sometimes people just forget) make mistakes:

grin slyly, pushing the hair out of your face.
You grin slyly, pushing the hair out of your face.

... looks good, but looks like utter rubbish to the other people in the room, and they curiously wonder why they, as a bald priest, had hair in their face.

It also gives the character the feeling that they are the character themselves. Which can be immersive, but can also cause problems with the way a player deals with their situations, at least from a psychological aspect.

What would the thought be on a game that was written in 3rd person? We have been examining this a bit, and while it doesn't look too bad, I'm not sure players would take on the idea.

Then comes the thought about exactly where you would replace the perspective. If you aren't going to do it completely throughout the MUD then it might just be a waste of time, but would a combat system be easy to navigate without being 1st person[ed: oops, 2nd person, rather]?

It is, admittedly, much easier to scan lines of text when you know "You" is going to be there. But then again, it isn't much harder to scan out lines that start with your char. name.

Quote:
Instead of:
> say Hello!
You exclaim, "Hello!"

Use:
> say Hello!
Kaylus exclaims, "Hello!"
or:
> say Hello!
[You] Kaylus exclaims, "Hello!"

------
Instead of:
> slash troll
You slash upwards at the troll with your vorpal blade, narrowly missing.

Use:
> slash troll
Kaylus slashes upwards at the troll with his vorpal blade, narrowly missing.
or:
> slash troll
[You] Kaylus slashes upwards at the troll with his vorpal blade, narrowly missing.


Any thoughts, opinions?


Last edited by kaylus on Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:59 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Author Message
KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Writing the entire mud in third person could be an interesting experiment, although I don't think it would feel as immersive as second person. I'm not sure how well it would be received by an audience who are used to playing in second person, either.

Having said that, it would certainly make things like "emote" a lot simpler, and would also cut down the number of messages you had to write (you'd only need the "X does something to Y" messages, not the "X does something to you" and "You do something to Y" messages).

It'd also make combat and roleplay logs look pretty nice, as you'd never see references to "you" - it'd be more like reading a novel. In fact I always thought it would be cool to write a mud in third person past tense, as the logs would really feel as though you were reading a story ("draw sword" = "KaVir drew his sword", etc).

Would you only use it for IC stuff, or also for OOC stuff? For example if someone sent me an OOC tell?

I can also see it feeling bit confusing if you start adding viewer-specific information, such as an introduction/recognition system. Even avoiding that, there are likely to be situations where you'll want to give the player information about their character that they wouldn't really know from their third-person perspective ("KaVir feels really sick").
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Author Message
kaylus



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Tallahassee, Florida

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that is my main fear is that it won't be received well by the players. As to the immersion, I was thinking of 3rd Person limited omniscient viewpoint. For example, any times the thoughts and feelings of the character arises, the player would be privy to them, albeit from the 3rd person perspective.

Quote:
Kaylus begins to feel sick... "Perhaps i've been poisoned", he thinks.


Basically I wanted a separation of the player and the character, but with the player not losing his power over the character.

Quote:
Kaylus' stomach growls as he daydreams of something to eat.


Regardless of what the messages are going to be, or how they are shaped. The flow should be the same. As to dealing with OOC communications, I think I would leave them as they are. Because those are actually going straight to the player.

In terms of laziness it could help a bit in trying to grammatically structure those heavily tokenized messages that I send out, and I might be able to get by with some things that I had difficult times with.

Of course, before I jump the gun I need to find someplace to query whether it would be well received. I would really despise going through the motions and have it not be worthwhile, especially with players counting on one certain thing. I hold hope that it could be received fine, it works for many game concepts, then again --- people may like to develop that overly close connection to their character.

For the past tense: I think initially it would be harder to get used to, but that it would provide some severely fun reading of logs. The problem is that if people were using alot of customized emotes they would have to purposefully turn into past tense.

Quote:
> emote looked around the bar, choosing the best vantage from which to locate his next victim.
> premote After a few moments, and upon spotting his victim, $n stood up smoothly and dissapeared into the crowd of patrons.
> hide


That would be a very nice read, though it applies some limitation on the player behind the character, I think you would need a mature base of players to use something like this.

Kaylus
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Author Message
ide



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 105
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only think of a few third-person games that I've played (mostly old PBM's like Duelmaster's and Adventurer's Guild), but from what I remember I don't think third person would be any less immersive than second person once you get into the game. Perhaps second person is more immediately immersive, but the obvious point is to think of all the novels written in third person and how they can suck you into the story.

It seems to me that using 'you' is just a convention endlessly inherited from older games. Good luck with your project.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Author Message
KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ide wrote:
Perhaps second person is more immediately immersive, but the obvious point is to think of all the novels written in third person and how they can suck you into the story.


You might be immersed in the story, but you won't be immersed into the role of a character.

From a favourite link of mine: http://www.theinspiracy.com/ArPOV.htm

"In literature, there are two main points of view used. First person POV puts the reader into the head of the protagonist: "I walked down an empty street late at night, listening for muggers". Third person, the most common, puts the reader into an omniscient detached view: "He walked down an empty street late at night. His thoughts were filled with images of muggings." Much more rarely used is second person: "You walk down an empty street late at night. Your head fills with images of muggings". There are many theories offered to explain the relative frequency of these points of view in literature. What I hear most is that third person is easiest because it gives the writer the most freedom, moving from one scene to another with impunity, letting the reader see first with the eyes of one character, then another, giving a detached, impartial view or subjective experience with equal impunity. First person, by the same reasoning, is more restrictive. It has the advantage of being more personal, but the writer is limited to what the main character can perceive of the world. Second person is very rare because it violates the reader's sense of self. To take the example above, it's easy enough to read about someone else walking down a street, either in their own point of view or from an impartial one, but when a reader is told "YOU walk down a street" it requires a larger stretch of the imagination. The reader is likely to balk and think, "No, I am not walking down a street, I'm reading a book", or "I wouldn't think of muggers, I would think of dinner, I'm hungry!""

ide wrote:
It seems to me that using 'you' is just a convention endlessly inherited from older games.


Or perhaps, to quote the link I posted above, it's simply because "...it's the nature of interactivity itself to draw the audience in, allow them to interact with an imaginary environment. Furthermore, interactive media transform the audience of passive media into a player, making choices that affect the experience. For this reason, the natural choice of POV in interactive is psychological second person."

Here's another good link: http://www.ruthnestvold.com/2ndper.htm

"The use of the second person in any form is an invitation to projection, be it onto a character or a fictionalized reader in the text, drawing the reader into the text in ways other forms do not. The added level of interactivity in electronic text, however, the element of choice which goes beyond closing the book or skipping a chapter, tends to draw the reader even further into the text"

Note that I am certainly not against the idea of a mud written entirely in third person, but I do feel that second person provides a more immersive feel.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Author Message
ide



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 105
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are good articles. However when I read this,

Quote:
it's the nature of interactivity itself to draw the audience in, allow them to interact with an imaginary environment.


I'm struck by the idea (not original to me of course) that many people talk about interactivity and immersion as if they were virtually the same thing, that the more fully their actions affect the game environment the more immersed they will be. However you'll notice that the interactivity of a game has nothing to do with the perspective with which that game is presented, and in fact it may be more immersive to use a perspective that is the least ambiguous in terms of the identity of the character versus that of the player. In this sense I think a 3rd person perspective is less ambiguous than 2nd person.

However I acknowledge the fact that if you put two sentences side by side, one in 2nd person and the other in 3rd person, the 2nd person perspective woud be more immersive. But repeat this many times throughout a game and other factors come into play.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Author Message
kaylus



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Tallahassee, Florida

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ide wrote:

I'm struck by the idea (not original to me of course) that many people talk about interactivity and immersion as if they were virtually the same thing, that the more fully their actions affect the game environment the more immersed they will be. However you'll notice that the interactivity of a game has nothing to do with the perspective with which that game is presented, and in fact it may be more immersive to use a perspective that is the least ambiguous in terms of the identity of the character versus that of the player. In this sense I think a 3rd person perspective is less ambiguous than 2nd person.

However I acknowledge the fact that if you put two sentences side by side, one in 2nd person and the other in 3rd person, the 2nd person perspective woud be more immersive. But repeat this many times throughout a game and other factors come into play.


This is exactly the discussion I was having with my Co-Administrator. I agreed that perhaps it may not be what the MUD community is used to, and may also not be well received due to strangeness. I agreed that it might be less immersive.

I dissented with her on the fact that it would be less immersive. The discussion of immersion is entirely subjective, I admit, but I am of the mind that, with the proper tools, the separation of self from character could be just as large an immersion. Since the player now feels as if they are the direct steward of their character, the keeper, the guardian. A slightly expanded Tamagotchi, PixelChik, Sim.

The style of immersion is what would be different. It would most likely not be a self-immersion, which (while, perhaps, ideal) is not the only style. Control of the development of a character which I commanded almost completely would probably grab -my- attention more than pretending to be the character.

Also, since this style of immersion allows separation of self from the character, it might ease the character into being able to more readily create a role for their character without overly influencing it with too many of their own traits, which I believe 2P does have a hand in.

For example it would [seem that it should] be that much easier to allow your character to act as your character should act in particular situations and say "Oh dear me, you are such a silly Kaylus", out of character.

Those are just my opinions, and I may be completely wrong. Such a minor disassociation from the character might cause the game to be completely unplayable to someone else. And the perception of such a disassociation may be an initial detractor from a game with an unsturdy initial player base. As "ide" said earlier, if you placed the two sentence next to each other, the 2P would obviously appear more immersive.

In the end, the general consensus of the MUD community will win out over my ideal playing environment. Only because that is who I have chosen to develop for.

Kaylus
p.s. Very good articles posted previously, by KaVir, worth a read to anyone regardless of interest in these couple posts Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Author Message
Gromble



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
ide wrote:
Perhaps second person is more immediately immersive, but the obvious point is to think of all the novels written in third person and how they can suck you into the story.

You might be immersed in the story, but you won't be immersed into the role of a character.

Interesting discussion.

It'd certainly make implementations simpler, having to craft text only in the third-person and no longer in the second-person for the actor (and subject) as well.

It puts you in a god-like position, instructing the character what to do rather than acting in the role of the character yourself. Anyone whose been an admin with "force" privileges has experienced this.

Are there any MUDs written this way? I wouldn't mind trying it out to see how it feels.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Author Message
Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kaylus wrote:
In the end, the general consensus of the MUD community will win out over my ideal playing environment. Only because that is who I have chosen to develop for.

Well, that's certainly a breath of fresh air. Kudos to you, and good luck!

Recently, in commenting on the meaning of the term "roleplaying" as used by "RPI" proponents as opposed to its accepted definition, I pointed out that confusing one's self with one's character was generally held to be 'bad form' by experienced roleplayers. I think your approach would be understood by most table top gamers, and appreciated by many with a MUSH/MUX/MOO background.

You know, the people that hate "you" in descriptions. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    mudlab.org Forum Index -> Design All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group
BBTech Template by © 2003-04 MDesign