[MUD-Dev] In-Game Languages

Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt hhs at cbs.dtu.dk
Sun Apr 11 15:58:35 CEST 1999

On Fri, 9 Apr 1999, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
> >Ofcause=20
> I'm sorry, I have to ask... do you mean "of course", as in "obviously"?=
> this an ironic comment on the process of speaking in different language=
s? ;)

Nah, let me be honest .. it wasn't intended, and don't be sorry :-)
English is simply not my first language .. and its ok to make fun of it (=
_do_ have a sense of humor, and i seldom care to run my posts through the
spell checker hehe). But it does prove a point. Sure the idea is not as
easily applicable in all types of game worlds, but i posted the idea as a
continuation of the ideas of using the languages as a more integrated par=
of the gaming environment. The other posts has focussed on the phonetical
aspects, or 'undecodability' to 'keep the player in role'.=20

The goal of my idea is to enhance the degree of immersion, in a subtle
way, and let the game creators show ethnic aspects of their game worlds i=
a consistent way. After all, many classic fantasy themes center on such
ethnic diversity, but often fail in the player-player relation aspect of
this. Players are simply not reminded enough of their ethnic roots. This
would be a way to introduce it so that it would remind the players.=20

An <ethnic> could learn a second language, but many times he would use th=
wordings from his first language, directly translated. Such transposition=
and substitutions are not hard to implement. They do however require work=
You would need to express the social and ethnic differences of cultures
within such substitutions and wordings. However, you now have that=20
ability! Sure, you should be careful of what extend you want to implement
this. As many has advocated before, limiting the communication between=20
the players is often a 'bad thing'. Such a language scheme should be done
so that people are able to communicate, but still their ethnic difference=
at least show up in daily communication.=20

Note that it is not a matter of actual _translation_ to any (fictive)
language, since (i assume) all communication is actually done in English.
Simulating someone not being good at English could simply be to put in
'Me' instead  of 'I' and 'a' for 'an/a', remove 'the' and swap 'have' and
'has' (my personal nightmare).

"I have an hour before i have to go to the castle"
"Me has a hour before me have to go to castle"

The idea is simply to extend this to show the differences in culture
between an ethical diverse population (many mud's also has this as a
'more is better' feature. The more 'races' you have the better... i don't
agree :-)=20

I would agree with you that crediting some of the knowledge to the player
rather than the character would be a good thing, since it would tie the
player better into the game world (across characters). However, it is at
the expense of the player having to work very hard for this. Some might
not really want to 'hack' this language, their focus being on something
different in the game. One should take great care not to 'loose' these
individuals behind a language 'barrier', simply because they do not have
the skill. The language skills should be a new 'toy' the players could
play with rather than something keeping them apart. Thus it should be
possible for the player to let the character learn the skill of a

"in advance; sorry for any typos and the like"..


Hans Henrik St=E6rfeldt         | =20
email: bombman at diku.dk        |  voice:      +45 40383492=20
  hhs at cbs.dtu.dk              |  voice work: +45 45252425
phone-mail:                   |  address:
  40383492 at sms.tdm.dk         |       Hans Henrik St=E6rfeldt,
WWW-home                      |       Dybendalsvej 74 2. th,
  http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/hhs/  |       2720 Vanl=F8se, Danmark.
Student of Computer Science   | Scientific programmer at Center for
  and Information Psychology. |   Biological Sequence Analysis,
  at University of Copenhagen |   Technical University of Denmark.

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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