communicating with other ships

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supernewtable
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communicating with other ships

Post by supernewtable » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:03 pm

I think it would be great if there was some sort of short range communication system you could buy in the equipment section to communicate with npc's.
You could ask them questions, or they could ask you questions, something like this:
"I dont have time to deliver this cargo to <insert destination name here>, could you finish the deliver for me? Il pay you <amount of credits here>"
"I dont have enough fuel to make it to <insert destination name here>, could you transfer some to me? Il pay you <amount of credits here>"
"Could you escort me to a <insert destination name here>? Il give you <amount of credits here>"
and you would have the choice to say "yes, no, I want more credits, how much fuel do you need, wheres the destination" etc
Or if your being chased by pirates, you could tell them:
"Mercy! Il pay you <amount of credits here> to leave me alone!"
and the pirates could either leave you alone or keep on attacking you even though you paid them.
Or you could emit some long rage SOS if your in danger (Im pretty sure theres a oxp for that already)

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by cim » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:00 pm

supernewtable wrote:Or if your being chased by pirates, you could tell them:
"Mercy! Il pay you <amount of credits here> to leave me alone!"
and the pirates could either leave you alone or keep on attacking you even though you paid them.
Pirates are more into cargo than cash - harder to trace, much harder to freeze accounts on. But they will leave you alone if you give them enough.

It's a good idea in general, I think. The tricky bit with this is getting the NPC AI to react appropriately to the variety of requests. This will be easier in the next version, so maybe someone will try it as an OXP.

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by Cody » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:06 pm

Kaks put a little demo OXP together, with limited NPC 'chat' to the player and vice versa (bargaining, basically), ages ago - but nothing came of it.

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by Commander McLane » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:31 pm

cim wrote:It's a good idea in general, I think. The tricky bit with this is getting the NPC AI to react appropriately to the variety of requests. This will be easier in the next version, so maybe someone will try it as an OXP.
Cody wrote:Kaks put a little demo OXP together, with limited NPC 'chat' to the player and vice versa (bargaining, basically), ages ago - but nothing came of it.
While I also like the idea (I was involved in the discussion from which Kaks began to write the OXP), it has one serious issue which cannot be resolved easily: concentrating on a communications screen whilst flying (blindly!) in close proximity to other objects—for instance the ship you're communicating with—is hazardous, and potentially lethal.

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by cim » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:40 pm

Cody wrote:Kaks put a little demo OXP together, with limited NPC 'chat' to the player and vice versa (bargaining, basically), ages ago - but nothing came of it.
Indeed. There's also a few bits in Eric's UPS OXP which involve that sort of "deal", though much more of the communication is implicit there.
Commander McLane wrote:While I also like the idea (I was involved in the discussion from which Kaks began to write the OXP), it has one serious issue which cannot be resolved easily: concentrating on a communications screen whilst flying (blindly!) in close proximity to other objects—for instance the ship you're communicating with—is hazardous, and potentially lethal.
Agreed. Comms sending is one of the applications I was thinking of when designing the multi-function displays, so that will also be more usable in the next version.

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by another_commander » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:12 am

For the record, I dislike popup communication menus like:
Select message to send:
1. Hi how are you?
2. Your cargo or your life
3. Need a wormhole for exiting this system, can you help?
4. Requesting assistance
etc.

I find that such menus break immersion quite heavily. To be perfectly honest, I'd rather either have a very sophisticated voice recognition system of some sort and speak commands that the game understands and acts upon, or nothing.

The Docking Clearance Protocol was designed deliberately with keypresses for transmitting requests rather than popups for this reason.

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by JazHaz » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:17 am

another_commander wrote:For the record, I dislike popup communication menus
How about implementing support for voice recognition then?

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by another_commander » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:21 am

JazHaz wrote:
another_commander wrote:For the record, I dislike popup communication menus
How about implementing support for voice recognition then?
Yup, will do it during the weekend. Maybe.

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by JazHaz » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:16 am

I was being silly, well probably. It might be cool to use your own voice to request docking clearance, surrender or die etc!

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by cim » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:05 pm

another_commander wrote:For the record, I dislike popup communication menus like:
I think for me it depends on the context. FreeSpace(2) has a menu of that sort for directing other fighters allied with you, and I think it works well there. Similarly I think one in Oolite for managing hired escorts could work well. For general comms, yes, it's less convincing. Perhaps typed text and parsing might be less tricky than speech recognition, though.

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by Disembodied » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:47 am

cim wrote:I think for me it depends on the context. FreeSpace(2) has a menu of that sort for directing other fighters allied with you, and I think it works well there. Similarly I think one in Oolite for managing hired escorts could work well. For general comms, yes, it's less convincing. Perhaps typed text and parsing might be less tricky than speech recognition, though.
There could be a short range of generic signals for common messages, designed to be quickly understood across a broad range of cultures - like "SOS" or "Mayday". Perhaps if this was made less like radio comms, and more like naval flag-signalling, it would help the context and seem less of an immersion-breaker. I'm not suggesting that the ships should fly flags, but perhaps it could be possible to make a virtue out of a necessity, and reveal the parser to the player? Let the player choose from a short list of available words/phrases to assemble a message, which could then be sent as a signal.

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by Diziet Sma » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:27 am

On the speech-recognition front, Palaver is looking promising.. I had a play with it a couple of months ago.. it's kinda fun to be able to say "search Michael Jackson" or "map New York City" and have a webpage open displaying what you asked for.. or say "dictation" and immediately have a text editor pop up for your words to appear in as you continue speaking.

It still has a ways to go, of course, and currently is only available for Linux, but at least it's a good start on a free speech recognition system.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by Zireael » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:56 am

Disembodied wrote:There could be a short range of generic signals for common messages, designed to be quickly understood across a broad range of cultures - like "SOS" or "Mayday". Perhaps if this was made less like radio comms, and more like naval flag-signalling, it would help the context and seem less of an immersion-breaker. I'm not suggesting that the ships should fly flags, but perhaps it could be possible to make a virtue out of a necessity, and reveal the parser to the player? Let the player choose from a short list of available words/phrases to assemble a message, which could then be sent as a signal.
I like this idea at least until voice recognition is perfected.

Also, this one has the advantage of being better for foreign Ooliteers around.

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by Commander Wilmot » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:17 am

Disembodied wrote:There could be a short range of generic signals for common messages, designed to be quickly understood across a broad range of cultures - like "SOS" or "Mayday". Perhaps if this was made less like radio comms, and more like naval flag-signalling, it would help the context and seem less of an immersion-breaker. I'm not suggesting that the ships should fly flags, but perhaps it could be possible to make a virtue out of a necessity, and reveal the parser to the player? Let the player choose from a short list of available words/phrases to assemble a message, which could then be sent as a signal.
A parser in-game for comms might be nice. I actually in Oolite's context wouldn't find a program of text chat macros all that unbelievable, the galaxy has eight separate quadrants with hundreds if not a thousand of worlds each. Verbally using radio to communicate with pilots of an unknown species and homeworld would be a nightmare with all the different languages and cultures, even granting that digital media and globalization have reduced the amount of living languages in the world.

Imagine talking in English as an American or English person to some one with a thick, say Indian (or other non-english speaking country) for example, accent, then imagine it except you all aren't even from the same section of the galaxy, and you as a Lave Academy Graduate are speaking (using proper Lavian Gal Standard or whatever) with some one from a nowhere anarchy in G3, a G5 feudal aristocrat, and a G8 refugee from some corporate state that the current holder of Galcop's military and police witchdrive contract outsources parts from. You wouldn't all necessarily have the ability to pronounce the same vowels and consonants, at least not in the same way, even if you can speak the "same" language. Communicating verbally would drive everyone insane, and might be impossible in combat or an emergency.

Having standardized comm signals with a client side translation into the pilot's native tongue might be a god send, and the closest thing to a universal translator that is reasonably practical (and simple to implement) without requiring handwavium pseudo-science. For example, the TOS Star Trek "reading" brain waves, because of course an alien lifeform with less in common with me than my cats will have a similiar brain structure. What exactly does the brain of a furry blue feliniod-type underperson look like anyways? And how do their vocal cords handle human languages?

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Re: communicating with other ships

Post by Diziet Sma » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:41 am

Lots of excellent points there..

Also.. even when using the same language and words, and assuming accent and pronunciation difficulties have been overcome (no small matter in itself!), the problems don't end there.. different cultures often apply different meanings to the same words, leading to all kinds of confusion and misunderstandings, sometimes serious..

For instance, if you were invited to the home of someone in the Philippines (which has probably the highest percentage of English speakers of any Asian country), and at the end of the evening remarked to the host that his wife was an excellent hostess, and that his daughter seemed to be a bit of a tomboy, congratulations.. you've just managed to insult him twice.. because you just told him his wife was a good prostitute, and that you think his daughter is a lesbian!

Some kind of a menu-driven phrase-builder would make sense, as the only practical way to ensure accurate communications across a widely divergent range of cultures and species..
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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