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I have noticed that it is taking quite some time to get 'clickable' furniture working in the game. Having played many Cryptic Games such as, City of Heroes, Champions, and Star Trek, I am familiar with their emote system. In some ways I like how the emote system allows for people to sit next to each other. I think that this feature may make it difficult for the game developers to make clickable furniture.
Why is this so?
I feel that the general idea that Cryptic wanted to do with 'Emotes' was to have simple system of animations to do gestures or other interactive activities. To make clickable furniture work, the animation in most games has a predesignated arrangement that the character will do to mimic the behavior from the real world.
In several games I have played this will present some problems. People can't sit next to each other.
In the interiors space the developers designed so far, we have nice large sofas and couches to sit on, and people can generally sit next to each other.
My suggestion to the game developers is that instead of developing an elaborate and complex system of clickable furniture. Just make a better interface that allows each player to control their own behavior. This system should be kind of like how a puppet works. I suggest design a UI tool with three boxes a person can pull up. This system should work in conjunction with the current emote system and not replace it.
The first box should control facial expressions. All these fearues shoulds be customizable with a game controller. The second box should be like arms and leg movements. The third box should be torso movement.
I suggest start with simple movements and as the game progresses over time, make it more detail.
For example, if I want to mimc or move my puppet to sit in a chair and cross her legs. Then I sould be able to use a regular 'sit' emote in the game. Then use the puppet controls to cross her legs either right leg over left or left leg over right. I should also be able to shift my position in the seat without having the character leap up like the current system does. This is why I suggest a game controller would be better to use because I can just actiavte the head box with the controller, and then use the analog controls to do the movements. A keyboard would be diffficult to do. However, current puppets allow this to be done, so mimicking it with software should be easy to develop.
This type of system would give players a better control over the character in interior situations where we are roleplaying and not necessarily in combat.
At DS9 currently are tables with two chairs under them. The way the furniture is designed, no person can sit in the chairs, and the camera angles are lousy. One of the problems is, people cannot move the chairs. I can understand that the game developers don't want people moving chairs around. I have thought of a way to over come this.
Ideal 1 - The table should be like they are now, but a group of people should be able to walk up to the table and click on the table, then a window should come up with the group of people similar to how a landing party goes to the planet. Then once the team leader hits the accept button, then a animation on the screen or cut-scene should activate and then the characters should be seated at the table.
This will allow five people to sit at a table. And they will have the ability to move the chairs so they can sit properly at the table. When they leave, the animation puts the chair back to the two chair configuration that is currently at DS9 now.
For the ship interiors with bars and bar stools, or bar chairs like a Drozana Station, a player should be able to click on the bar and the same type of window pops up. and there should be slots for each of the stools at the bar. Then after the player hits accept on the window, a cut-scene or animation should play that sits the people in the stool. When the people get up to leave, the bar should reconfigure back to the bar that is at all these locations.
I think with this ideal, it is easier to make the animation in a cut-scene then trying to make every chair and furniture in the game and every instance clickable. A system with every furniture that is click-able seems overly complicated with two many things that can go wrong. I would hate for a whole instance to crash because some one clicked a furniture to sit in.
Also, one problem I see with clickable furniture in most other games is, no one can sit next to each other in a sofa or couch.
This is why I like my puppet ideal.
The main problem I see with the emote system now is, you take a ton of time getting seated in a simple chair, and then you go to type word to say 'hello' and the cursor in the chat fails to activate quickly and you end up jumping up in the air or running a long ways away or your guns pop out. That is so freaking annoying. It is the type of annoying where you want to kill the game. Because you're just trying to have a heart to heart talk with someone in the game and poof a badly designed control ruins the immersion.
They should have never built the emote system they way it is. It is more annoying then not annoying. In speaking frankly, I do not know why Cryptic uses it in every game. It is really an eye soar. I liked the emote system Star Wars Galaxy had with macros. It allowed for all kinds of movement. I was able to do real world dance with just a dual analog controller.
I wish that Cryptic with at least Star Trek Online will really come to understand what a gold mine opportunity exist here to have an immersion factor in the game. I can understand that people who only play 'arena' pvp will never get into it. But in my current fleet, which is on the Fed side and Klingon side, 80 percent of our membership plays the roleplay immersion side and only about 10 percent even play the arena combat.
The emote system here is not really good for a roleplay game and is very clumsy and annoying. It it seems to be designed from folks who never roleplay. Kind of like how the NGE and CU at SWG and SOE designed a combat system with people who did not actually play the game. The original combat system was better because t allowed the most freedom and realistic combat of any roleplay game. The original combat could have 20 people on a team. Because the game was not built around 'combat levels' it didn't mater if you were new to the game or old, any weapon could kill you. The combat was based on skills.
Then they ruined the game by adding combat levels. Overnight the game went from everyone in the game could combat like in the movies to only level 8 people can combat. The original game you could be a unskilled farmer and pick up a rifle and kill some one. The new game was only a level 80 could pick up a rifle and it can kill people. I am not sure if what I am describing makes sense.
My point here is, I think there should be more thought into making these emote features as useful tools for players and not annoying tools.
Which brings me to another point. Why put a controller in the game and not be able to map the same items you can map to the keyboard to the controller. I do not buy the well it is complicated. Everquest Online Adventures was the only game I saw where anything you could do with a keyboard, you could do with a controller. No other game has been able to do that accept for Final fantasy for some reason. I think it has more to do with lazy programmers. There are many aspects to this game that I feel with a commodore Vic 20 or Commodore 64 and a Tape cassette player and 3K usable memory, I had more functionality with the keyboard on games with vector controlled graphics and a Atari joystick.
I would like to be able to map some starship and ground combat functions to my game controller. I should be able to map the toolbar keys to may dual analog Logitech controller. I should be able to drop powers into the tool bar tray and then map those keys to the game controller however, I want them to be. The only useful thing you can use a controller right now, is just steer the ship in space.