HyperKat Support and Tester Forum

Mars Challenger V1.0 => MCO Early Discussions => Topic started by: Marco2001 on October 19, 2010, 11:25:47 PM

Title: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: Marco2001 on October 19, 2010, 11:25:47 PM

Avatar personalization
(how to make the person you play more individual)

I realize that MCO will make in the future some new features about avatar personalization like: custom faces, selectin gender and MCO account history, but I had some other ideas about that when testing.

All of them will make EVA suit change a little:

First of all: selecting a native country. It's quite understandable reely. Mars missions will be international in reality, and MCO players will come from all around the world. Basicly what I propose is that when player creates his avatar, he would sellect his country. That countrys flag will appear on EVA-suit. There could be a flag of USA, Romania, UK, Australia, etc....I'am from Poland so my custom avatar's EVA would look more like this: http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/5417/newsuit.jpg (http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/5417/newsuit.jpg)
What good besides personalization would that do? Just by entering the game and looking around you would see from what countries are the peeple you play with. :-)
More flags icons: http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/flags/flags_preview_large.png (http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/flags/flags_preview_large.png)

2) Selecting a colour. In EVA-suit everyone looks the same. Thats why they should be coloured. By using a combination of 3 colours there is more permutations than possible players. The colour stripes should be located at shoulder high, and legs (they can be seen at any time from various directions and angles). The 2-nd colour (the middle one) should be distinct from the first one.

3) Gender logo. In EVA-suit everyone looks the same - like a big robot :-) . Why not make a distinction by placing a gender logo on the chest?

4) Space program badges: some countries have a space program. Player could chose to which space agency he/she would work for. There could be even some imaginary-futuristic agencies (like Moon Society Space Exploration Agency - MSSEA). [list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_space_agencies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_space_agencies)]
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/be/CNSA.svg/150px-CNSA.svg.png) (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/6d/Csa-asc_logo.svg/227px-Csa-asc_logo.svg.png) (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/da/Roscosmos_logo_ru.svg/150px-Roscosmos_logo_ru.svg.png) (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6a/UNOOSA.svg/150px-UNOOSA.svg.png) (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e5/NASA_logo.svg/140px-NASA_logo.svg.png)

5) Archievements badges. For instance - when you complete a training mission you gain a badge that you have on your suit: (http://www.hyperkat.com/Images/MarsICO.png)
If you succesfouly played continously 500 of simulated days without a death you gain another badge: (http://img808.imageshack.us/img808/3401/physfitbadge.gif)
If you are in some sorf os society in MCO the leader could also create a formal group, select a badge and grand them to members that they would carry-on with them to another servers.
For instance: good friends created a colony that they named "Aicor base" - the leader created a badge and gived it to them. Now when they join other server they will still have that logo. Other players would be able to gaze upon that logo, and check out they'r base.
Other possible badges: MCO tester, MCO admin, MCO society member, etc..

6) Name on EVA-Suit. Shoulden't there be an astronaut name on the front and the back of the suit? I know that the name's hovering above. It would just be a graphical-candy detail.

7) And of course, mentioned earlier: custom faces, custom avatar height, various EVA-suit types, acount and avatar history.
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: Mecanico on October 20, 2010, 05:38:40 AM
Marco, there is small problem with space agencies' badges. If You are NOT a real NASA, ESA, Ruskosmos, CSA, JAXA, etc employ You are NOT allowed to use this badges/insignias/logos, because they are protected by law as registered trademarks and licensed. To use it we need to ask (via e-mail) for permission.
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: Marco2001 on October 20, 2010, 05:50:09 AM
Where you see a problem, I see an oportunity :-P
Space agencies would love to send a Man on Mars - even when it's in simulaton only.
One of the Jobs of space agencies is to propagate space-flight aswell as tell peeple what they reely do. Players would also like to know what they do :-)
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: thedubman on October 21, 2010, 05:47:57 PM
I think its a great idea!
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: profit004 on October 22, 2010, 01:20:08 PM
I expected this to be implemented after the core is built. 

I never expected this to not be in the final build.
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: Mecanico on October 24, 2010, 03:33:42 AM
Marco, You are right, but we have to respect laws. It's very high probability that they will give us proper permissions, but Hyper have to write e-mails to agencies first:)
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: Kraniel on October 25, 2010, 12:28:36 PM
Hi guys,

Speaking as a marketing professional... it is highly unlikely that we will get across the board permission to use official space agency logos. The costs involved will be extremely high, even just the outreach... and there are a few that will NOT want to be cross associated with other agencies.

The real opportunity is to get one or more as sponsors of the development. This has been very slow going in a world of shrinking investment in space exploration. Keep your fingers crossed - would be great to get someone to step up and sign on. It will take significant costs in art and engineering to take the game to the next levels.

I should add that personalization has been on the features list since inception. How rich it maybe is still to be determined. Good post Marco.
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: Mecanico on October 25, 2010, 01:29:43 PM
Kraniel, be cool, NASA and ESA will give you permissions for free (I am in non-profit organization, we asked, and they allowed us to use official logos). CSA, JAXA, probably even Ruskosmos should give it for free.
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: profit004 on October 25, 2010, 04:52:13 PM
I know of one other sim which already has permission to use all these logo's

It was called Space Station Sim by vision video games.

IMO they dropped the ball on it's potential, but still is fairly fun and they do use these things, although the person who founded the company also makes simulations for NASA already.  Bill Mueler if I recall his name correctly from a few years ago.
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: Kraniel on October 26, 2010, 05:12:23 PM
Be cool? I try - but I am a nerd... always tripping over my tape wrapped glasses. I am speaking from experience, not being cynical. Hyperkat has to decide if actual endorsement by any of the real space agencies is a key requirement to build out a compelling "sim."

While Nasa and others support many non-profit enterprises, anything that generates revenue (and we hope this will soon) for a private company on the brand of another organization (Nasa, etc.) requires specific contracts and permissions. A few folks from Nasa has seen the early versions of the game, and we hope that we get more eyeballs on it from Nasa and others...

I worked with another company that did a game with the US Army. The contracts to secure approval for just the "proper" logos and uniforms were insane, since they were tied to federal funding. And God help you if you used any of it in promotional material... I know the Army is not Nasa...

If you know any folks at these organizations that can give permission, let me know.
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: Marco2001 on October 26, 2010, 06:37:40 PM
Players walk in EVA-gear all the time. I figured-out that in the future, players would get that gear off them, and walk in regular space-clothes. Like those:
http://www.instablogsimages.com/images/2009/03/18/wakata-on-iss_XPtBt_5965.jpg (http://www.instablogsimages.com/images/2009/03/18/wakata-on-iss_XPtBt_5965.jpg)
http://iss.jaxa.jp/kids/en/life/images/2_2.jpg (http://iss.jaxa.jp/kids/en/life/images/2_2.jpg)
http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:E7D5F9jaloOl_M:http://s88.photobucket.com/albums/k166/suzymchale/eneide/eneide07101.jpg&t=1 (http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:E7D5F9jaloOl_M:http://s88.photobucket.com/albums/k166/suzymchale/eneide/eneide07101.jpg&t=1)
http://www.spacekids.co.uk/spacesuits/images/crew.jpg (http://www.spacekids.co.uk/spacesuits/images/crew.jpg)
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/118034main_hassman_iss_briefing5_med.jpg (http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/118034main_hassman_iss_briefing5_med.jpg)

Am I right?

BTW: Astronaut doesn't just start-off their career on Mars base. They start in other missions like: oppurtunity orbital flights, lunar mission, shoutle mission, space-station mission, etc..
Badges: http://www.spacekids.co.uk/spacesuits/images/patches_big.jpg (http://www.spacekids.co.uk/spacesuits/images/patches_big.jpg)
Maybe it would be nice to allow players to determine what they'r avatar previously have done. 

Even better idea: career builder.
It's a generator program that create's your character's basic statistic's, specialization and abilities that he has.
You select what he has done in the last 10-20 years (depending on player, and his specialization), and basing on that the program creates various avatars.
You could start from high school, go threw your graduation, end-up in beying an expert in some speciality, and then join space-program. Do some missions, and finally...join Mars Colony.

For instance - character: Name Age: XX
Stage #1: Uniwersity / Engeneering & Polytechnic / Military
Stage #2: Graduation, next step.
Stage #3: Graduation.
Stage #4: Expertize.
Stage #5: Space programe joined.
Stage #6: Mission 1
Stage #7: Mission 2
Stage #8: Mars Colony

(NOTE: In europe all degrees look's like this: 3 years for 1st degree. 2 years for 2nd degree. 3 years for 3rd degree - and you'r a doctor. After that thing's get complicated, depending on the country, person and what he's studying. In most countries (for instance: Germany, Poland, French, Russia), doctor must first make a Habilitation (Doctor Habilitate) and after that, he can become a profesor. I know that in UK there are "higher doctorates" instead of "Doctor Habilitate" but from what I know - they are basicly the same thing)

For instance:
Name: Marco
Age: 35 (I'am 23 btw :-P)
I picked Uniwersity career. I picked "Biology". I selected I started studying in 2030.
I typed the name of my uniwersity (anyone can type what they want, like MIT, Yale, Hogward etc..)
I picked that after 5 years I starded studying "Astronomy" and ended it in 5 years. (typed again the name of the uniwersity).
Next I picked "graduation in: biology". I typed again the name of the uniwersity.
After 4 years I graduated to doctor.
I selected my speciality "Astrobiology". I typed some random information about what I have done in that time. I selected the date at which I ended it (the longer the better for that particular ability). I could have picked-up another close related speciality (like botany, space-medicine, etc.) but insted I selected that this is the year I aplied to space-programm (select which one), that has taken me 2 years of training.
Next I picked-up the remaining years and filled them with: 1-year orbital space mission, and 2-year lunar mission.
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: profit004 on October 27, 2010, 08:58:25 AM
Players are probably only in EVA gear all the time because it saved hyper some time making 2 art sets.  When the game becomes more finished he probably already planned on adding in "inside clothing".
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: pad69 on November 16, 2010, 04:38:52 AM
I think with a small adjustment to the real logos can make them legal to use. Some small changes makes it so you are not coping the original.
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: Marco2001 on November 18, 2010, 08:11:04 AM
Kraniel - Are archievement badges that would be added permanently to players avatar on their EVA-suit are still an option?
You know...if yes, than we could think of some of them. Colaborated minds of peeple from forum would surely come-up with some good ones, that you and Hyper may like :)
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: thedubman on November 18, 2010, 05:41:57 PM
Lol how about the ability to import and wrap your face onto your avatar,..? actually that could be quite strange... :)
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: profit004 on November 18, 2010, 07:32:20 PM

Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: Kraniel on November 18, 2010, 08:03:12 PM
Hi Marco,

In terms of a specific object attachment area on a suit or uniform... there are a lot of possibilities that would allow for personalization and customization. It's something that Hyper and I have talked a lot about - and we definitely need feedback on what you would like. Remember that graphics will be bitmaps, so converting things like someone's name into graphics, etc. will be extremely intensive work, and unlikely to make it into a commercial game. Having a variety of simple options - like rank, flags, perhaps specialization is fairly straight forward. So patches, or helmet textures are workable. I would prefer to limit some of the user options and tie other graphics (like rank) to achievements in game.

We are looking at developing new models and animations for both "un-suited" and EVA, and can add a limited number of model attachments to make this work. It will take some time as we are still focused on mechanical code and systems code.

Hyper can confirm or deny this :) He has to code it at the end of the day.
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: Snowpig on November 19, 2010, 05:37:07 AM
I think some/most of the visible customizations should have some functional relevance. You should be able to identify at least the basic type of specialty and rank of a crew member in a low-visibility&no-radio-communication - situation (e.g. during a sandstorm or blackout during the night): medic, mechanic, team-leader, ...
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: thedubman on November 19, 2010, 04:26:27 PM
HUD on your visior? Dispalys data (Name,distance,rank etc) if you desire of your surroundings and objects/players there.. Different colour suits for different players..
Title: Re: Avatar personalization - Idea
Post by: pad69 on November 24, 2010, 11:28:27 AM
Lol how about the ability to import and wrap your face onto your avatar,..? actually that could be quite strange... :)
Could be funny!