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Little Did I Know...
January 15th 2003, 22:49 CET by Charles

Last night as I was attempting to fall asleep, as I usually do, I was attempting to think up ideas for new and cool games.  What I came up with, was an idea of a classical adventure game, from a first person perspective, where you play a detective.  Sounds pretty basic right?  Well, the catch was that you'd communicate in game with the NPCs using voice.  You'd ask the questions, they'd give the answers.  Some wilder imaginings would include the NPC AI picking up on your tone of voice, urgency, or attitude.  I knew that the voice recognition part shouldn't be much of a problem, since games are already moving that direction.

Little did I know, Sony has already made this game (or a very close facsimile).  Check this out.  Not only have they made it, it's due out in Japan next month.

Unfortunately, I can find pretty much no information about this game, short of what's part way down this page, which is where the movie link came from.  Since there is no (english) information about the game, I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that it most likely won't get released in North America.  

But that shouldn't prove much of an obstacle:  now that the tech will be used in this fashion, it shouldn't be long before the floodgates open and some really creative game developers put it to good use.  So which kind of games do you think would benefit from voice interaction?  How much do you think it could add (or detract) from your favorite games?  I know I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out, it could be the next big step in immersion.
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#1 by Charles
2003-01-15 22:50:39
www.bluh.org
I want this game so bad I dreamt about it last night.

"People who give John Edwards money are stupid, and you're stupid for defending them, stupid."  -- Your Friend
#2 by Ashiran
2003-01-15 22:52:15
Let's face it. You think you have an original idea?

It's been done!

Anyway, unless the AI is good you can scratch immersion.

#3 by TheTrunkDr.
2003-01-15 22:53:17
I just want it for the dog! any game with a dog you can control (either directly or indirectly) is instantly cooler.

She has a 286, Windows Millenium Edition, 2 gig.  I think that is all I really need to go on, right?
#4 by m0nty
2003-01-15 22:53:22
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
I DLed the file, but got audio and no video. I felt it was better this way, because I could imagine the game was a hentai.
#5 by chris
2003-01-15 22:56:11
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
Generally speaking, I think the adventure genre could be revisited in a LOT of ways with modern technology. I've harped on this before, talking about the old-school Sierra games, and how easy it would be to revisit that style of game.

If I had time, I'd put together a team and do a demo of what I'm talking about in the Unreal engine. It'd probably take a couple of weeks to put together a few rooms, adjust the camera code, and do a little bit of simple scripting.

-chris
#6 by Bailey
2003-01-15 22:58:32
You're the ultimate idea man, chris. "I could do it, but I'm far, far too busy."

Cheap, but not as cheap as your girlfriend.
#7 by Shadarr
2003-01-15 23:01:58
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
The game either needs to have an amazingly sophisticated natural language parser, or an assload of different ways of saying "unrecognized command".  Otherwise, it would get annoying really fast.
#8 by Charles
2003-01-15 23:02:11
www.bluh.org
Ash:  I'm totally happy if my cool ideas are already done.  Or if someone does them.  Or if someone even vocally rips off my ideas and does the job themselves.  That way I can play it without having to do the work.  And if they fuck it up, then I'll just do it my own way later.  It's a win/win situation.

It doesn't have to be super AI for the most part, just a traditional adventure game.  I just like the idea of asking the NPC questions in my own voice.

"People who give John Edwards money are stupid, and you're stupid for defending them, stupid."  -- Your Friend
#9 by Charles
2003-01-15 23:03:08
www.bluh.org
Shadarr:  Voice recognition is amazingly advanced nowadays.  It's just that most people don't even notice, because it's not out in the limelight.  I'm not sure about other banks, but my band switched to voice recognition for a bunch of stuff a while back, and it's flawless.

"People who give John Edwards money are stupid, and you're stupid for defending them, stupid."  -- Your Friend
#10 by Neo-Reaper
2003-01-15 23:07:10
neoreaper@excite.com http://octobermoon.homeip.net
Man, my WMP (V9) always craps when trying to play an .asf file.  It says file is either corrupt or codec is not supported.  Anyone else run into this?

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#11 by chris
2003-01-15 23:07:35
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
Bailey -

The difference is that I'm actually busy working on things, and not just thinking up new things.

My Examples Directory is pretty much a "chris's current projects" list.

-chris
#12 by Shadarr
2003-01-15 23:11:10
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
What do you mean by voice recognition?  Can you tell it "Take $500 out of my savings account, pay off my Visa and put the rest in my checking account"?
#13 by Charles
2003-01-15 23:17:39
www.bluh.org
Well, I'm sure it could recognize all of that, however, voice recognition has nothing to do with how the system understands it.

However, it's quite likely that 95% of people could tell modern voice recognition systems that, and it would easily convert it in to the exact text.

"People who give John Edwards money are stupid, and you're stupid for defending them, stupid."  -- Your Friend
#14 by Creole Ned
2003-01-15 23:23:05
We must know the story behind this pic. Some of that UT2003 stuff looks pretty spiffy, chris. Will any of it eventually make it onto the net or is it just stuff you're messing around with?

Also, I will give a cookie to anyone who can update me on the status of the Gmax exporter for UT2003. I had heard mid-January but that was a rumor of a rumor, I believe.

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#15 by Shadarr
2003-01-15 23:24:56
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
What I'm saying is even if it perfectly translates the speach to text, the computer needs to be able to understand English enough to respond to non-structured commands.  I don't want to have to learn a bunch of key words, because that ruins the whole emersive experience.  I want to be able to effectively have a conversation with the AI, I want it to get aggrevated if I swear at it, and not just say "What do you mean by that?"  Otherwise it's just a menu interface dressed up for the prom.
#16 by Your Friend
2003-01-15 23:25:31
Yeah, voice recognition, natural language processing and AI to act on the natural language processed information are all different things.  Voice recognition is quite advanced.  Natural language processing is less advanced but has made big strides in the past few years and true AI to act on what has been said is still in a pitiful state.

My guess is this game doesn't try to be all that advanced in the AI department and the voice recognition is just the modern version of the old infocom text prompt:

>

And the text brought in will more or less be keyword searched with some fancy word cross-referencing.   And in reality you'll ask the NPC:

You: "Do you think Bob is an asshole?"

NPC: "Oh, looking for Bob, are ye?  Yeah I saw Bob just the other day..Muttering something about...treasure!"

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#17 by UncleJeet
2003-01-15 23:28:37
Three-Dee-B-Damned.

Bunch of techno-happy savages.  2D, Point and Click, SCUMM - the only way to fly.

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#18 by yotsuya
2003-01-15 23:30:44
Chris-

You have 3 monitors? Bitch.

So Mr. Nutty says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that!
#19 by Charles
2003-01-15 23:30:58
www.bluh.org
Whoa, cool!

"People who give John Edwards money are stupid, and you're stupid for defending them, stupid."  -- Your Friend
#20 by UncleJeet
2003-01-15 23:31:22
Of course, that isn't SCUMM....but it IS 2D, even if all the animations look "too smooth" - and it IS point and click, only with a goofy Full Throttle type coin thing whatsamajig, and yeah so the English translation leaves a bit to be desired, but I can tolerate a ladder being called a staircase if the game is good.  I can even tolerate a main character's voice causing my ears to bleed from the irritating noises it makes.  I need adventure games.  I really do.  I'm going to go have a cry now....

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#21 by Your Friend
2003-01-15 23:32:48
I think Grim Fandago proved that adding a bit of 3D into the mix can be fun.  I'd like to see what happens when someone goes all the way with that.

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#22 by yotsuya
2003-01-15 23:32:50
BTW, how does SimCity 4 run? Is is a resource hog?

So Mr. Nutty says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that!
#23 by Bailey
2003-01-15 23:33:42
Charles

I just like the idea of asking the NPC questions in my own voice.

And what if they respond by calling you "Ms.Detective"?

chris

I can see from simpsonsposter.jpg that you're working hard on the rocketfish and killer flying squid projects, but little else.

Cheap, but not as cheap as your girlfriend.
#24 by Gunp01nt
2003-01-15 23:35:31
supersimon33@hotmail.com
Jeet:

Full Throttle 2 coming soon.

Though the E3 trailer promised a lot of 3D and not enough game.

Actually, I don't know anything about the ladies either. Wait! I mean, I do! I mean... WGHT! JHGT! Yes I'm Awesome!
#25 by chris
2003-01-15 23:35:33
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
Ned -

Hahahah I'd forgotten I put that in there. The story is that in May 2001, my family decided to go to Disney World (Mom, Dad, my brother, his wife, my other brother, my two sisters). They called me and asked if I wanted to use my vacation to meet them there for a week, rather than going home to New York. So I went, and much fun was had.

Nearing the end of the trip, I decided that I had no choice but to purchase the $75 rubber skeleton we'd seen in the Pirates of the Carribean gift shop, as a birthday gift for my brother (with his wife's approval). So after 45 minutes of standing in line, I was in possession of a giant, gross-looking skeleton... that the Disney people could NOT complain about me having, because they sold it to me.

So the only natural thing to do was parade around the entire park with my brother wearing it (the ribcage fit right over his head), dancing with it, and various other things. We even managed to end up walking down Main Street three minutes before a parade... so the street was completely empty, but lined with hundred and hundreds of people. =)

That particular shot was out in the parking lot, as we were getting into the car I'd rented.

re: UT2K3 -

Experimentation, for the most part. I may finish it up and release it as a small one-on-one map, but really it was mainly getting me ready for Unreal 2 mapping, or perhaps doing a map for a team-play mod at some future date. Deathmatch has never been my forte... I'm not great at weapons placement.

-chris
#26 by Charles
2003-01-15 23:36:10
www.bluh.org
Simcity is a total resource whore.  It chugs, especially if you like doing things like 'scrolling' or 'zooming'.  

re: Grim Fandango:  I liked the 3d stuff, but could have done without the tank controls.

"People who give John Edwards money are stupid, and you're stupid for defending them, stupid."  -- Your Friend
#27 by Ergo
2003-01-15 23:37:26
'Scrolling' and 'zooming' are for pussies.

There are no bigger liars than quacks — except for their patients. -Benjamin Franklin

DVDs
#28 by yotsuya
2003-01-15 23:37:34
But how does it do while "loading"?

So Mr. Nutty says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that!
#29 by Bailey
2003-01-15 23:37:51
There's nothing wrong with point n' click in adventure game navigating. I just pine for the days when you had to type commands in instead of mashing various cursor icons on everything in sight.

Cheap, but not as cheap as your girlfriend.
#30 by chris
2003-01-15 23:39:07
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
Yotsuya -

Yeh. Two 19" trinitrons (that I got for $50 apiece, w00t!) on the main home machine, and a little 15" on the secondary home machine. I used to have a 17" trinitron also, but I sold that when I got the second 19.

Bailey -

That is ROCKET TROUT, and his arch-nemesis, CYBER-SQUID!

-chris
#31 by yotsuya
2003-01-15 23:42:16
Ah, text adventuring:

Go to bathroom

Command not recognized

Go to the restroom

Command not recognized

Go to the john

Command not recognized

I'm off to the jacks

Be back in a minute

So Mr. Nutty says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that!
#32 by Gunp01nt
2003-01-15 23:42:50
supersimon33@hotmail.com
Simcity is a total resource whore.  It chugs, especially if you like doing things like 'scrolling' or 'zooming'.


no kidding. a so-called friend of mine called me up to say he had a VERY BIG PROBLEM. Since he only calls me when he needs me to be his computer de-fuck monkey, I figured he screwed up his OS again.
Turns out he was busting his balls about Sim City 4 running too slow, and he felt he didn't deserve that because he bought a kickass rig about 2 years ago, whine whine yadda yadda.

developers should give more thought to the consequences of raising specs. I mean psychological consequenses.

Actually, I don't know anything about the ladies either. Wait! I mean, I do! I mean... WGHT! JHGT! Yes I'm Awesome!
#33 by Shadarr
2003-01-15 23:42:57
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I don't care that much about the interface, but when I'm playing an adventure game I want to be concentrating on solving the puzzles, not figuring out whether I have to "use" the bone or "drop" it to get me past the guard dog.
#34 by yotsuya
2003-01-15 23:43:32
I need a good dual monitor video card. Any suggestions on something that performs in games?

So Mr. Nutty says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that!
#35 by Gunp01nt
2003-01-15 23:45:03
supersimon33@hotmail.com
re: text adventuring:

yay. Codename: Iceman, where you'd miss that critical telephone call because it took too long to figure out what the fuck you had to type to answer the goddamn thing.

Actually, I don't know anything about the ladies either. Wait! I mean, I do! I mean... WGHT! JHGT! Yes I'm Awesome!
#36 by Your Friend
2003-01-15 23:47:30
How much do you want to spend yotsuya?

I've had good experienced with a dual monitor GF4 (Gainward) setup.  These days you can get virtually any card you like in a dual-monitor version.  Spectacularly wonderful for debugging fullscreen applications.

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#37 by Your Friend
2003-01-15 23:47:53
er, experience...

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#38 by chris
2003-01-15 23:48:30
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
yotsuya -

I have a LeadTek GeForce 4 Ti4400, and other than it burning out in four months and them sending me a new one (for free), it's been great. Does dual-monitor natively, looks terrific in 2D even at high resolutions out both ports, and most games run fine. I run UT2K3 at 1024 with everything turned all the way up, and it's smooth. Could probably run at 1600 if I was willing to sacrifice some visual quality.

A couple of games don't grab enough control of the mouse cursor, though, so you have to shut off the second monitor temporarily to play them. Specifically: GTA3 and the Bloodrayne demo (the latter of which I don't recommend anyway).

-chris
#39 by Creole Ned
2003-01-15 23:48:41
chris, I think mapping for Unreal2 will be a bear. You've basically got everything you need to worry about in a game like UT2003 (flow, looks, etc.) plus monster/enemy placement, balance/progression as the player moves through the map and probably a ton of other stuff if you want to avoid a Serious Sam-style "mow down rows of enemies" level. But weapon placement should be easier. :)

I wonder if a hybrid interface for adventure games would work where you could point and click for the basic/obvious stuff but use a text parser (or voice recognition, if you like) for more complex interactions. This would at least eliminate the need to mash every item in your inventory together until something happens or madly click around the screen in a vain attempt to cause some sort of interaction to take place. I think the early Legend games even did this to a degree, but I never played them, so can't say for sure.

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#40 by Your Friend
2003-01-15 23:52:00

A couple of games don't grab enough control of the mouse cursor


Seconded.  Full screen games that use absolute positioning instead of exclusive mode relative positioning make baby dual monitor jesus cry.

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#41 by chris
2003-01-15 23:52:26
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
Ned -

Yeh, you've got all that, no doubt. But I like single-player a lot more than multiplayer, so it's worth it to me to be able to tell a story. =)

It's really no harder than mapping for single-player Half-Life, in terms of scripting and monsters and whatnot... you've just got more architectural detail to play with.

I actually have a half-finished Unreal 1 level that's not too bad, visually speaking... but I stopped work on it when I realized that by the time I finished it, Unreal 2 would be out anyway. :P

-chris
#42 by Bezzy
2003-01-15 23:57:21
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
Ernest Adams mentioned this idea a year or more ago on Gamasutra.

My only problem with Bezzy is, truly and honestly, about one third of his longer, passionate posts make no sense to me.  I don't necessarily agree or disagree, I just literally can't parse them.  - Hugin
#43 by chris
2003-01-15 23:58:15
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
I have an idea: let's all tell Charles that other people have come up with this idea, so that he can repeatedly go "Cool! More games for me!"

-chris
#44 by Bezzy
2003-01-16 00:00:27
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
I'm just sayin': Ernest Adams is a cool guy.

My only problem with Bezzy is, truly and honestly, about one third of his longer, passionate posts make no sense to me.  I don't necessarily agree or disagree, I just literally can't parse them.  - Hugin
#45 by Bailey
2003-01-16 00:00:46
Gunpoint

Codename: Iceman, where you'd miss that critical telephone call because it took too long to figure out what the fuck you had to type to answer the goddamn thing.

WAH WAH WAH, TYPING IS HARD. You deserve to lose if you're playing Iceman anyway.

Shadarr

I don't care that much about the interface, but when I'm playing an adventure game I want to be concentrating on solving the puzzles, not figuring out whether I have to "use" the bone or "drop" it to get me past the guard dog.

How about we just issue a controller for you with one giant glowing button that says "WIN" on it? You're talking about sloppy coding/design, not interface.

Cheap, but not as cheap as your girlfriend.
#46 by Shadarr
2003-01-16 00:10:30
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
Bailey,

Note that I said I don't care about the interface.  You even quoted me on that.  However, most adventure games are so poorly designed that solving the puzzle is less difficult than implementing the solution.  Did I mention I don't like adventure games?  I don't like trying to guess what a stupid person thinks is clever.
#47 by Bailey
2003-01-16 00:17:12
Hey, don't get mad at me if you can't express yourself clearly.

Cheap, but not as cheap as your girlfriend.
#48 by Your Friend
2003-01-16 00:19:47
I like the idea of adventure games, and I like many adventure games of old, but towards the "end" of the adventure game genre's lifespan (coincidence?...) many of the games just had totally stupid ass ridiculous puzzles that really made absolutely no sense either in the real world or in the game world.  

If the adventure game includes 'clever puzzles' such as:

Find a book of matches and use it to light a cat on fire and make sure there's a basket near the cat with some toliet paper in it so it can catch fire as the cat is running by and set off the fire alarms.  Oh, and be sure you've stuck a potato into the fire alarm first because it is missing its battery and there aren't any batteries in the game, just potatoes, and like, sometimes you can use potatoes as a power source, as Game Designer X saw on Mr Wizard.


Well, I don't want none of that.

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#49 by Dethstryk
2003-01-16 00:21:44
jemartin@tcainternet.com
Chris
Experimentation, for the most part. I may finish it up and release it as a small one-on-one map

Please do, and make sure that you tell me when you do. There are not enough one-on-one maps in UT2K3, and once I get the time to start playing it again, I am going to go around looking for custom ones.

Charles
Simcity is a total resource whore.  It chugs, especially if you like doing things like 'scrolling' or 'zooming'.
  
The game chugs similar to the Sims. I really wish Maxis had kept the goddamn Sims aspect out of SimCity.

My Friend
I've had good experienced with a dual monitor GF4 (Gainward) setup.

I have the same setup. The only time I have used dual-monitors in the past was when I slapped an old PCI video card into my machine to play with it. How does the dual-DVI shit work out for the dual-monitor stuff? All I can do is look at my DVI ports and say “pretty.”

Chris
Does dual-monitor natively, looks terrific in 2D even at high resolutions out both ports, and most games run fine.

Ignorant question, but… what is the advantage of using dual-monitors while playing games? I never did try that out.

#50 by Dethstryk
2003-01-16 00:22:41
jemartin@tcainternet.com
That King's Quest game that was all 3D made me happy. I think I am about the only person that enjoyed it, though.

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