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Portalus Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Historical | Status:Final  (rel 01/22/08)  | Pub:Portalus Games
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New Dev Log: Emotes

Posted by Jon Wood on Jan 20, 2006  | Comments

New Dev Log: Emotes -

The good people over at Pirates of the Burning Sea have released a new Dev Log for public consumption. This one is from Val Miller, a mission designer and content creator for the game. In this Log, she talks about emotes, and asks for player help in coming up with emotes for the game. For more information on Pirates of the Burning Sea, click here.

Emoting Furiously

For those who don't know me, my name is Val Miller (aka "Val"), one of the mission designers and content creators at Flying Lab Software. I've been working in the game industry for approximately six or seven years now, at local-ish companies like Nintendo (Pokemon Silver, Perfect Dark, others), Enix America (Dragon Warrior III for the Gameboy Color), and Microsoft Game Studios (Zoo Tycoon series, many other PC/Xbox titles). I've enjoyed games and gaming since I was small, and still have many of my favorite SNES RPGs like Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, Final Fantasy V (Japanese version) still complete and in near-mint condition. This is in addition to the growing pile of games that I've gotten for my other consoles and my PC. For convenience's sake, I've been playing my Nintendo DS more lately since portability and the Suspend saving options make it easy to pick up and put down a game to multi-task with other real-life things. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has some excellent writing and clever twists, if you want a flashback to the adventure-style games of yesteryear.

Working on a game like Pirates of the Burning Sea is fascinating, since it has such a rich setting and backdrop to work from -- scurvy pirates, the high seas and colonial times -- and this really is a breath of fresh air in a crowded MMO market. Our job as content creators is to enhance the game's atmosphere by adding in townsfolk and other characters provided by our art team and make it feel like a living, breathing environment. One example of this is placing the NPCs (non-player characters) in a tavern, have them strike up conversations and chuckle politely at one another. Knowing that players expect to do the same in their virtual world -- to roleplay their character with gestures and special text -- I've been hooking up the animations that we've gotten into emotes.

Bruce and his team could probably go into greater detail with the nitty gritty of making these animations, but I've been taking several that they've created and hooking them up with chat text so players can finally emote furiously at one another. I provided a semi-complete list of emotes to our beta testers to try out, though a few need fixes and touching up - forgetting an underscore (_) or equal sign (=) makes all the difference. There have been tweaks and improvements here and there over time as well, so that the emote text sounds more appropriate to the gesture.

The emotes should work via using /e emotename or /emote emotename, and many have targeted text and other text that appear on everyone's screens when someone in the vicinity is gesturing at someone else. An example of a targeted emote would be, "You squint at Joseph Smith." when targeting a player or NPC with that name.

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