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Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
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Location: Watsonville, CA
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How would y'all feel about adding video to the TC player applet?

The upside would be that we could display streaming video in the applet. YouTube videos, or amazon.com pay-per-view videos, or Netflix videos on-demand. We'd use this capability to model movie theaters, video booths, and so on. The video screen would probably be behind the game and chat windows: you'd minimize them to see the video. Also we could stream audio using the same infrastructure.

The downside is that the client applet would grow from c.350k to maybe 1.5mb. Quadruple the size. Is the client size an issue for anybody nowadays?

Thanks in advance for letting us know what you think!

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 590
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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Size doesn't matter.

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Nina Tantarimaki
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Video would be nice somehwere, like in movies, or having a TV in your house. How about sounds? I would love to have them, because I enjoy the way TC works without pictures, which allows me to make my own pictures in my head. But, having sounds like the brook babble would make it quite complete. The forests could have different sounds according to the alignment, birds singing, or something else? Maybe there could be radios or CD- players available for houses?
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Zach Schuetz


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Joined: 2006.03.05 00:00:00
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I like the idea of having videos in specific places - maybe we could take advantage of Poobah's giant HDTV, etc.
On the other hand, I'm more ambivalent about sound. For my taste, it would have to be either *very* occasional - laughing children, a babbling brook, but mostly silence - or complete enough to convince me to turn off my music while I'm playing. True, it's a bit jarring to have "The Twist" come on when you're fighting spiders *cough*notthatIwouldknowkata*cough* but it would be even more jarring to have sounds in half the rooms and not in the others.
I guess my feelings about sound about match up with the description of why TC isn't graphical. It would be cool to hit a radio and have it actually play something, just as it's great that there are occasional pictures - but mostly it should be left to the imagination, because any attempt at implementation would fall short.

Characters: Salus, Luralp. Optasne fricta cum illo?
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Kata Sällman



Joined: 2005.06.30 00:00:00
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I think the video is a great idea..

Hmm...Zach, I have a feeling Ria is going to change her opinion about the spiders, so don't worry

Sounds?? I'm not sure how I would feel about them. In a way, a very nice idea, but I kinda go with zach here, though not listening to The Twist, but it could be a bit disturbing to have kids laughing in my Opeth song

Triad City characters Alienore, Ria, Aly, Aineh, Viana
Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
Messages: 2199
Location: Watsonville, CA
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To clarify my thinking about video and audio. I would personally want to use them only in locations where they're modeling, say, a movie theater or a concert performance, or something similar.

For example, the neighborhood around the meat factory includes video booths which are showing silly horror movies centering on cannibalism, necrophilia, or other meat-themed and basically yucky bits of sarcasm. Right now the movies are described in words, but, I was thinking it could be fun to actually show them, if people want to see them. The video could stream from Netflix or amazon, and TC players could watch it from "inside" the video booths.

Another example might be the Hungry I, which could play audio of Lenny Bruce performing. Or a jazz club could play audio of musical performances. Stuff like that.

Enabling this would mean greatly increasing the size of the client. Would that be a problem for anyone?

-M

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Catherine Gardiner



Joined: 2004.11.25 00:00:00
Messages: 190
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Whoever told you that is lying!! lol
Catherine Gardiner



Joined: 2004.11.25 00:00:00
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I don't see the size being a problem. Not for me, at least. However I tend to agree with Nina that a lot of the pleasure of playing TC is that it encourages you, in fact *demands* you to use your imagination. And I am certain that we all have very diverse pictures of the TC world in our heads. I feel slighly that having someone else's idea of a scenario thrust upon me might spoil things. It's a little like when you read a great book, then see the movie, and the characters are "all wrong". But perhaps I am in the minority here. But I do concede that if it was used sparingly in the "right" places, it may well enhance the overall enjoyment for some people.
Zach Schuetz


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Joined: 2006.03.05 00:00:00
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Mark, on hearing your specific examples, I'd say what you've got in mind sounds good. I really don't think anyone has issues with the client size nowadays.

However, Catherine's comments made me think of something else: having actual videos, etc., might interfere with the ability to impose subjectivity. I know that not every single thing in the game world evokes different responses in different people, but it strikes me that (for example) one character might find such a horror film gruesome and nauseating, while another might think it was entertaining or even amusing (because of terrifically bad production values, perhaps.) With text, it's easy to describe things in a slanted way - but an actual video will always get an initial reaction from the player, not the character. Of course, good roleplaying can fill in the difference, but it's nice when the way the environment is described makes you think about how your character's experiencing it.

Like I said, I approve of the project as a whole, and this isn't an answer to your specific question. But, just thought I'd toss it out there.

Characters: Salus, Luralp. Optasne fricta cum illo?
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Joshua Finken


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Joined: 2003.10.09 00:00:00
Messages: 289
Location: Washington, DC
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The size of the client would not be an issue. Unless its the same as when we get the random 'Lag' in the game. Do they interface with each other? As in, would the increased client size increase the amount and random-ness of the 'lag?'. Or did we fix this problem while i was away?

Hope this helps a little...
~Finken

Triad City Characters: Andor, Zensekai, Saul, Yourk

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Betsy G.



Joined: 2007.02.24 00:00:00
Messages: 43
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For me, at least, I do not think the size of the applet increasing would be a big problem in and of itself. The applet is download once and is good until a new version is released. So long as the person does not actually get stuck downloading it while on dial-up, a 1-2MB file probably isn't a big deal.

What might become a problem, on the other hand, is the bandwidth usage during game play. Lets say, hypothetically speaking, that a player downloads the latest version of the applet while they are on a cable connection with nothing running. They have no problems getting the file and probably don't even notice it's size. Now, suppose they are playing and their programs begin updating (windows update, anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc.) while they're also logged in to at least one messenger (i.e. MSN, AIM, YIM) and already streaming music from another site. Currently, this might cause some minor lags and annoyances, but nothing major. With an additional video streaming through the game applet, however, the problem would be more drastic - possibly even resulting in the game disconnecting.

My suggestion is that there be some way of disabling the feature if it is added. This way people who do not want the audio/video or who simply can't afford the extra bandwidth usage at the time can turn it off.

Pros:
- ability to add sounds and/or videos in appropriate locations
- added details and theoretically additional depth to the game

Cons:
- Increased client applet size
- Decreased odds of dial-up users joining the game
- Increased bandwidth usage while in rooms with video/audio
- Potentially increased risk of disconnecting from poor wireless connections, dial-up, or any overly taxed internet connection

Suggestions:
- Include a way to disable the feature (perhaps by closing the video screen?)
- If possible, have two versions of the client available - one with the added video/audio and one without
- Set the new videos/sounds to where they only show on command. The pictures only show when you "look" at them, so what if the sounds played when you "listened" and the videos when you "watch"?

Just my two cents on matters!

p.s. I'm sitting on a dial-up connection at the moment...and a lot of the time I'm on a poor wireless signal. I like the idea of adding them, but there really are times when the videos would be enough to keep me from having smooth game play.
Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
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Location: Watsonville, CA
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Thanks Betsy, IMO these are really good points.

The implementation that I have in mind would include full controls for start/stop/pause/rewind, etc. Basically I'm thinking of simply embedding the existing Amazon or Netflix video-on-demand widgets into the applet behind the game windows. These are Flash widgets providing their own controls, so, if you wanted the video you'd have to start it, and you could stop it anytime. So I think this would address your concerns.

Thanks again for raising good issues!

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
Messages: 2199
Location: Watsonville, CA
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Lag is pretty much an Internet issue which we have little control over, so, I don't think the client size would change the lag. But, streaming video would certainly add to your bandwidth use. Betsy has a real good post about this in reply to the OP above. See my reply to her for more specifics.

Thanks for the feedback!

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Betsy G.



Joined: 2007.02.24 00:00:00
Messages: 43
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I'm not sure that it does address them. It eliminates the concern of video/audio interrupting background noises, but the bandwidth/connection issues would depend on how the individual player(s) work. With youtube, the entire video downloads whether you press play or not, therefor a youtube video would still take up bandwidth even if the person never chose to watch it. With the video-on-demand widgets, I do not know. If they truly do streamline content, then it would solve all of my previous concerns (provided, of course, that they aren't set up to auto-play). If they attempt to download the file they would play up front, like most flash video players I've found try to do, it would.

From what I can tell, Amazon's widget appears to streamline files rather than download them. I have not found anything displaying one from Netflix so I have no idea how theirs works.
Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
Messages: 2199
Location: Watsonville, CA
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Both Amazon's and Netflix's widgets appear to me to stream rather than download. We'll have to study their developer docs before embedding their widgets in our UI, so, if we do choose to go forward with video, we'll be able to answer that question definitively then.

Thanks again for the helpful input.

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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