The question of having online player chat for your multiplayer game

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by Lord KJWilliams, Jul 10, 2019.

Tags:
  1. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2018
    Posts:
    108
    Ive been considering the idea of having online player chat for a multiplayer game that Ive been designing in GMS 2. There are MANY issues with online player chat that I could I bring up. But the one issue that see, is what happens if my online game becomes like a social media site for people to blab ( talk about anything that is allowed ) , instead of playing the actual game. For instance, at one time when I was member of Runescape by Jagex, long ago - it almost felt like IMVU ( if you can call IMVU a social media site ).

    This is the point of my problem, if you allow online player chat via text or mic, how do you keep your game from evolving into another version of IMVU, where people talk, instead of playing the game as you hoped they would?

    Is online player chat an expectation that many players have, when they play a online multiplayer game OR can I simply leave it out, if its always the case that most popular online multiplayer games with player chat, are prone to becoming like a social media site ( e.g. IMVU ) for people to blab ?

    What would happen if I provided a online chat feature, but discovered it was being abused for the wrong use, and decided to take it out , would I loose players just for doing that?

    What do you think ?

    Thanks
     
  2. Pfap

    Pfap Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2017
    Posts:
    551
    Are you worried about the added cost of running servers for messaging and chat when they aren't even playing the game?

    I think the only way to keep this from happening would be to make your game more exciting then the social interaction... which might be near impossible. People play multiplayer games yes because they like the game and other good reasons, but they also play to be competitive and maybe even some players like to troll it takes all types and the social part of it is half the draw. Like, if I do X how will the other person react?
    I occasionally go on games that I know siblings or friends will be on just to say hi or leave a message; although, I'll play an actual game once in a while too. I think if people are logging on or playing just to say hi and be social that is a good problem and not one you would want to actively stifle.

    Another solution would be to get moderators, but you would need to incentivize them somehow. Often times just a badge will suffice if your game is popular enough, but this comes with other issues too, like the potential for power abuse.
     
  3. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2018
    Posts:
    108
    The added cost of running servers for messaging and chat is a given. That's not the problem.

    I just dont want to design a really good player chat interface, that ends up turning my game around into another form of IMVU. What if I add smiley faces and emoticons that animate in text chat, or other features in the mic where you can keep your conversation private with whom ( any number of people ), which is where the door is opened for blab? Yes, I totally agree chat is great for players to use, in the context of where your in team playing the same game. If my game does not use that concept of teams ( where everyone is a loner ) then it makes the chat more appealing for one on one conversations than the attention to game.
     
  4. Pfap

    Pfap Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2017
    Posts:
    551
    I guess it would kind of be cool, if there was a game that forced people to work together through communicating. Most of the time with shooters and other games I find all the players know what they need to do, so when someone tries to be the team leader it feels kind of pointless. Like, I know what to do so why are we even talking?

    I can't think of one game where it is absolutely necessary to have a chat or mic system. Most of the time it just feels like the developer just threw it in there, so people could engage in pointless chat. Sure, I've had fun with some cool players on certain games and the mic definitely helped, but I would have still played the game without chat.
     
  5. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2018
    Posts:
    108
    What if I turned it the other way around. Instead of providing a chat feature, you have to use a third party service (e.g. discord or a instant messaging service ) , would that prevent the problem of the game being slowly turned into a social media site? or not?
     
    Pfap likes this.
  6. Pfap

    Pfap Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2017
    Posts:
    551
    Hmmm, that might actually be a good idea. Now that I think about it if I'm going to use a mic on the PlayStation I use Sony's service even if a game has their own... although, maybe Sony forces the games to use their service now that I think about it, but even if some game had it's own voice over internet I would still just use Sony's.
     
  7. Catan

    Catan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    738
    I don't get why you are so worried about your players not playing the game and using it as a chat instead, if the issue is not related to server infrastructure. If the game is not designed as a social I don't see the appeal for gamers to use it as such having tons of better alternatives that are actually supposed to be used for this.

    By forcing users to use a third party service like discord you are removing some complexity from your game and infrastructure, which is good, but does not solve this specific problem at all since people could still hang out and just chat using those services without actually playing.

    You probably have a good reason for wanting to avoid this scenario, meaning that not playing the game has some implications for other players as well. At this point, can't you program the game mechanics in a way that penalises the players for consistently not playing?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  8. Friv

    Friv Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Posts:
    3
    I like chat in multiplayer games. Many interaction... you can see that in PokerStars.
     
  9. The-any-Key

    The-any-Key Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Posts:
    1,521
    I often advice to not add a in-game chat as it cranks up the ESRB rating. And most want to keep it low to allow more players.
     
    Lord KJWilliams likes this.
  10. Khao

    Khao Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Posts:
    151
    What kind of game are you making? On a MMO, social features are a must. If people are using your game to socialize, I'd say you did something right. People enjoy games in different ways, sometimes more ways than one. And in any case, if someone is using your game only to talk, they most likely already spent time playing before, or they will keep actually playing later. I doubt anyone will join a game specifically just to talk to others, but if they were attracted to your game naturally, what's the harm in letting them speak to other players and have some fun in that way? I mean... You hear about people meeting in World of Warcraft and then getting freaking married. What makes you think those were people that didn't play the game?

    On the other hand, if you're making something like, say, a fighting game, or a card game, where you just meet stranger after stranger and you don't really have a reason to communicate, then I'd say chat features are mostly optional. In any kind of team-based game though, you should probably aim to include full-blown social features. Chats, friend lists and everything.
     
    Lord KJWilliams likes this.
  11. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2018
    Posts:
    108
    No you cant penalizes the players for not playing, but its a tough call to say when a chat feature is advantageous. Now long ago, I used to play a game called Runescape by Jagex, and dreadfully lagged when ever any world exceeded 1000 players. And in certain times, you could go to a busy place in the game and everyone is chatting to the point where you player's avatar is moving in slow motion. In fact in order to play the game at a good speed you had to log on when one of the worlds was less than 1000 players. So why is it that an online game like Runescape is used like a social media site like IMVU, thats the question that I want to know.
     
  12. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2018
    Posts:
    108
    Well adding a chat feature for players to chat to each other, may be a great idea. My game is not designed to be team oriented. I dont know to describe it exactly. The online version ( I am developing the off-line version first ), would be more like you play the game but you never meet another player in the game, only characters that are NPCs. Its you versus the computer , along with many other single players alone versus the computer. Thats so far, how I designed it. I have no idea what that relationship would be called.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice