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Titan Virtual Reality MMORPG (with voice recognition and lipsyncing of in-game characters)


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#1
AndyGee

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Could titan be a Virtual Reality MMORPG?.. the first of its kind.

 

Hello guys! first time posting for me. Been reading through basically all post on this forum and I have yet to see this topic lifted so I decided to finally create an account.

 

The technology with virtual reality is about to explode on the market, in this I have great faith. See for example Oculus rift (http://www.kickstart...p-into-the-game). And it is really about who does it first and who does it best.

 

Now. consider this combined with another existing technolgy, voice recognition (existing technology, for example SIRI on iPhones).

 

My vision is that Titan will be virtual reality with voice recognition integrated. This will also include lipsyncing of in-game characters, a technology also existing but not yet utilized in popular games as far as I know (for example see: http://www.thegamecr...product&id=2107).

 

Im an engineer and what I have learned is that pretty much all new innovations are combinations of existing technology which has led me to believe this in combination with statements such as "heavy social aspect" and "broad appeal" floating around.

 

edit:

arguments for my case:

  • Jonathan Brown: "We have nothing to advertise for the new MMO because it’s a shell of a game thus far." - Integration of technology could explain why the game has been a shell of a game for so long
  • Bobby Kotick: "Titan has a little more broad appeal." - very social compared to regular pc games
  • as stated by Anonymous in thread 'some first hand info about titan': "the game will have a MUCH MUCH heavier social aspect than any of their previous games" - lipsync etc.

Edited by AndyGee, 11 February 2013 - 10:32 PM.


#2
Eremite

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Great first post! 

 

You make some good points, and while I can see some of those things being integrated, I have a hard time seeing how Blizzard would be so adventurous as to go for a fully-fledged VR MMO.  They've got a lot riding on this new title, and it seems too risky of a gamble. However, if we had already seen a few decent efforts with some proven traction I would say Blizzard would be on board. 

 

Blizzard isn't really about doing it first, but they are about doing it best.  I like to refer to this post by Bashiok (copied below) whenever there is speculation on what innovative route Blizzard could go with Titan - http://us.battle.net...c/3595372038#11

 

No disrespect to my comrades, but what was the last Blizzard game or feature you'd call innovative?

Personally I'm not sure I can think of any except the currency based auction house and runestone system, and those are both in the game you're criticizing.

In my opinion we make awesome, polished, accessible games that are fun for a huge spectrum of people, but when I think of the word innovative our games don't jump to mind. We make iterations and polish on what are fairly well understood systems and ideas, and that process has created our games and our company.


#3
AndyGee

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Blizzard isn't really about doing it first, but they are about doing it best.  I like to refer to this post by Bashiok (copied below) whenever there is speculation on what innovative route Blizzard could go with Titan - http://us.battle.net...c/3595372038#11

 

Yes Eremite, Blizzard may be known for taking the safe road. However, look at these statements:

 

Blizzard COO Sams: "I believe it's the most ambitious thing we've ever attempted"

Blizzard COO Sams:  "we think that [titan] is going to be very impactful in our industry and, we hope, very impactful to the world"

 

maybe they decided to take a leap forward with the abundance of resources made available through all gazillions of dollars WoW made them (and still does). How can a product be impactful to a whole industry and even "to the world"? Maybe by inventing new technology?

 

quotes from: http://www.gamasutra...hp#.URltHLvpb_E



#4
spinout

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I have to agree with Eremite, even as cool as that sounds.  It would be asking a lot to have all 5-20 million people that would like to play this game purchase a VR headset.



#5
needsmorecoffee

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While I would totally be down for a VR game with a piece as awesome as the Oculus (or something similar), requiring more peripherals would alienate a considerable amount of their playerbase that does not have that kind of disposable income. If you are just implying that it may be compatible with such a device, I guess it's possible, but unless Blizz has ties to a company developing/distributing the piece so they get a cut of the profit from it, I don't think they would spend considerable man hours and resources building it. Also, as a person who wears glasses I can't really get too excited about a gaming headpiece. Reading the FAQ for the Oculus in particular it pretty much says glasses are a no go and I get considerable headaches from having something else close to my face with glasses on, for example, 3D glasses over my glasses.

 

There are many examples I can think of that have precedence in the respect of a company forming a relationship with a peripheral company: the Steel Series WoW mouse, I know they made a Creative Labs WoW headset as well etc.... Although, I don't even know if these are great examples, because these games did not have to be designed specifically to accomodate these devices. I think much like the Kinect or Sony's Icecream looking monstrosity of a controller, I believe VR will at first try to be forced upon us, then generally either fade away or be cornered into a niche market. Either way there is potential to the idea and your post has definitely got me thinking.

 

As far as Lipsync goes... I feel that this is a more likely route. The technology is there and most gamers have a mic. I think it will be very interesting to see how this is integrated with gameplay.



#6
needsmorecoffee

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As an addendum, I started writing my previous post earlier today and had not seen the comments that had been posted while I was writing it since it took me like 4 hours lol (posting from work sucks when I keep getting interrupted) I agree 100% with Eremite. Blizzard always provides very polished content that can play on anything from a microwave to a super PC. That last statement may have been a bit exaggerated but I think, while we will possibly get better/a different style of graphics than the cartoony WoW, I think that we will more likely see better versions of currently implemented MMO features in Titan than VR.

 

 

Edit: Corrected a spelling mistake.



#7
Eremite

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Blizzard COO Sams: "I believe it's the most ambitious thing we've ever attempted"

Blizzard COO Sams:  "we think that [titan] is going to be very impactful in our industry and, we hope, very impactful to the world"

 

maybe they decided to take a leap forward with the abundance of resources made available through all gazillions of dollars WoW made them (and still does). How can a product be impactful to a whole industry and even "to the world"? Maybe by inventing new technology?

 

Those quotes are certainly big, bold statements.  New tech for an MMO would certainly do the trick, but I think Titan can be as impactful to the world as WoW was (if not more so) by capitalizing on these social aspects everyone talks about.  Lip-synching, total social media integration, voice recog, and whatever else fits into the social arena, all layered on top of an already proven and polished Blizzard MMO platform...

 

That seems like it could be HUGE to me, and you've got two proven avenues upon which to release a game to the world.



#8
mynsc

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Hi AndyGee, welcome to TF! Really nice post too, even if I'll have to agree with some of the previous posters.

 

Consider that, as Rob Pardo said, the main hook and ideas for the game have been established right from the start. That would mean somewhere around 2007. I don't remember what exactly was the status of VR back then, but I'm pretty sure it was a very sketchy subject. The Oculus Rift is like one year old. When it gained ground, Titan was in an already very advanced state.

 

It's hard to imagine Blizzard risking so much, making a game for hardware that does not exist yet. Unless they're making the hardware too, which I don't think it's plausible. I'm not sure of all the technical details, but they might adapt it for VR after launch, if indeed this tech catches on.

 

I can really see the lip-syncing idea though being implemented right from the start. They have always said they want to do more with the in-game voice chat in WoW, so maybe this is what they meant.


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#9
Sig

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After reading everyones posts the first thought that popped into my head was somthing mynsc has mentioned, the wow voice chat. Even blizzard admits this was a complete flop, and it was bound to cost them time and money in man hours to get it implemented into wow. The problem with it was simple, Skype/vent were simply better and free. Now a voice chat feature is tiny compared to the grand idea of VR tech, and i cannot see blizzard taking a massive risk on it when it hasn't really been proved to suck in millions of players.

 

Then you consider the technical side, Surely it would mean youd have to purchase some form of headset to be able to use it, And unfortunately not alot of people want to fork out there cash after they have already paid for a game/subscription i just dont see how it would be economic for them to "make" you purchase a headset and expect every player to buy one.

 

While i think its a fantastic idea and one id love to see, i would rather see it in another game, blizzard are the best at what they do, taking an idea and turning into somthing everyone loves, they dont gamble on far-fetched ideas as the millions they are spending on titan need to be gotten back from us, the players, and if 10% of players didn't like the idea that's millions of $ they will not make.

 

Dont get me wrong, im sure titan will include alot of tech never before seen on a grand scale mmo, one of my first predictions for titan is it will include a fully supported 3D landscape if you have the appropriate software, all tho it wont be mandatory to use it. Great first post tho!


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#10
AndyGee

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Thanks for all of your replies!

 

I probably just have a bad case of "finding what im looking for cuz im looking for it"

 

Rob Pardo at blizzcon 2011:

  • "We are desperately trying to get through the pre-production research and development phase of the game..."
  • "its all brand new technology, it takes a while before getting all the tools... its all pretty brand new for this one"
  • "we are trying to get all those tools into place so that artist and designers can do their job"

This was in 2011... 4 years of development? and concept art is not even at the table of discussion yet. I think this gives some indication to how advanced and new the technolgy for titan really will be. Maybe not VR but I think we can expect something a little more unexpected than WoW with better graphics.



#11
Templar

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Although it would be amazing! I highly doubt that Titan will be a fully vr mmo. Perhaps support for the oculus rift will be implemented later down the line? I just don't think that today's tech could support a fully vr mmo.

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#12
PinkPony

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... as Rob Pardo said, the main hook and ideas for the game have been established right from the start. That would mean somewhere around 2007. I don't remember what exactly was the status of VR back then, but I'm pretty sure it was a very sketchy subject. The Oculus Rift is like one year old. When it gained ground, Titan was in an already very advanced state.

 

It's hard to imagine Blizzard risking so much, making a game for hardware that does not exist yet. Unless they're making the hardware too, which I don't think it's plausible. I'm not sure of all the technical details, but they might adapt it for VR after launch, if indeed this tech catches on.

 

This "Oculus Rift VR Headset" is awesome! Though I'm with your opinion that Blizzard doesn't exclude the integration of such technologies later on in project Titan. Right now, it's just a bit too early for such things I guess.

 

Hard to tell how they would do that when it's about time. Blizzard would have to sell millions of VR Headsets specifically designed for Titan to the mass and of course they have to start a massive marketing campaign. I don't think they would ask us to buy from a third-party manufacturer only to get full access to all features in Titan (like that you are able to use such VR Headsets that recognizes your head movements with a sensor to enhance your gaming experience). Highly likely Blizzard won't produce these VR Headsets themselves, they would rather buy some from another manufacturer and then pay them to put the Blizzard logo on it. After that, you could buy it in Blizzard's online store. That'd be a huge cashcow again after Titans launch. So nothing's against this tech.

 

COO Sams already stated that he thinks Titan will have a very long life (10-20yrs+) and that it could be very impactful to the whole world  :nuke:

He's talking about the whole world, not only the gaming industry. That mean's something. I wouldn't speak so big-mouthed if there's nothing behind that. VR Headsets will come one day in great style, that's for sure. Have patience  :ice:

Bright times ahead. 

 

I can really see the lip-syncing idea though being implemented right from the start. They have always said they want to do more with the in-game voice chat in WoW, so maybe this is what they meant.

 

I also think that lip-syncing is far more advanced & ready to be used massively in next-gen games like Titan. WoW's engine is a bit too old. The next-gen MMO has all that brand new tech, so it's likely that we see this feature implemented in Titan right from the beginning, other than these VR Headsets that might come in later.



#13
Lirvan

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         Blizzard may be building in VR headset capability, but I doubt that it will be purely VR. Having a game be purely VR would be a stupid marketing decision, as the tech isn't proven yet, and many people have expressed headaches and other problems when using VR goggles. As many people have already stated in this thread, if there is any new hardware development other than server developments, it will likely be facial recognition software, displaying the player's face or mouth onto the virtual character.

A more likely explanation for the quotes:

  • "We are desperately trying to get through the pre-production research and development phase of the game..."
  • "its all brand new technology, it takes a while before getting all the tools... its all pretty brand new for this one"

is that the server hardware is brand new, as they are trying to cram 10million+ users onto a single, massive, server. Which I can assure you, is not an easy task. They still have massive problems in WoW with what they claim is the "best server hardware available in the world" when large numbers of players group into a single area.

All that aside... Having a fully VR MMO would be beyond awesome. I'm a big fan of the Swordart Online books, and would like to get as close to that as possible in real life.

Edit: This just recently posted on kotaku for those interested. Crysis running under the oculus rift.

http://kotaku.com/59...on-a-vr-headset


Edited by Lirvan, 27 February 2013 - 06:49 AM.


#14
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Would it be possible that this new technology has something to do with phones controlling in game functions?

 

I'm thinking along of the lines of stuff like Apps controlling simpler things in game, that way you're somehow "always connected", this would certainly impact a very wide range of players.

 

I guess the question i'm asking is, how "new" would a technology like this be?

 

I can't wait for the day where I'm driving home and my Titan application on my iPhone rings because my "guild" wants to know where I'm at, so I pickup the phone and vocally tell them i'm driving home, "eta 10 minutes".

 

Is something like that considered a brand new technology?



#15
draven

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I can see some of your point, however the idea of people getting upset because they have to buy the headset?
That's ludacris.
That would be like me buying call of duty blackops and getting upset cause I have to buy the ps3, it doesn't make any sence right?
VR gaming is coming, its gonna be here sooner than you think.
Everything that is being talked about also has a flip side.., for instance the person who said blizzard wouldn't make a unsure leap?
VR is like the moon and if blizzard was neil armstrong they would be one of the biggest game producers since nintendo ( nintendo 64 of course lol f**k the wii) they would even advance past the playstation and xbox popularity struggle. They would blow everyone away with this tech and force other gaming systems to wipe away whatever they have and start from scratch improving and working out bugs.
Blizzard I'm sure understands this if a regular person such as myself does ha haa, you think wow was big ( I never got why people liked it ) wait untill they make there first vr mmorpg I guerentee that they will make double whatever they made from wow in a quarter of the time.

#16
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hi draven, you are very optimistic, but i also think if someone has the potential, then it's blizzard.



 can't wait for the day where I'm driving home and my Titan application on my iPhone rings because my "guild" wants to know where I'm at, so I pickup the phone and vocally tell them i'm driving home, "eta 10 minutes".

 

that'd be annoying.



#17
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Would it be possible that this new technology has something to do with phones controlling in game functions?

 

I'm thinking along of the lines of stuff like Apps controlling simpler things in game, that way you're somehow "always connected", this would certainly impact a very wide range of players.

 

I guess the question i'm asking is, how "new" would a technology like this be?

 

I can't wait for the day where I'm driving home and my Titan application on my iPhone rings because my "guild" wants to know where I'm at, so I pickup the phone and vocally tell them i'm driving home, "eta 10 minutes".

 

Is something like that considered a brand new technology?

OMG I can't wait to annoy the Hamsters rock, Squirrels suck! out of people with that. I'd get quarterly hour location and well being updates on ALL my guildies. :D


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#18
jonnyshiz

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hi draven, you are very optimistic, but i also think if someone has the potential, then it's blizzard.



 

that'd be annoying.

 

You can turn it off of course!

 

OMG I can't wait to annoy the Hamsters rock, Squirrels suck! out of people with that. I'd get quarterly hour location and well being updates on ALL my guildies. :D

 

Haha - it's not like people won't be able to turn off "noticifcations" . If templar spam messaged me i'd just be like, "sorry templar... *block*"



#19
Templar

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You can turn it off of course!

 

 

Haha - it's not like people won't be able to turn off "noticifcations" . If templar spam messaged me i'd just be like, "sorry templar... *block*"

AHH HELL NAAH


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#20
Orhai

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some people already do this using mobile devices guilds i have been in people will actually log onto mumble or ventrilo with their mobile devices to give updates if there is a good guild voice server system build into titan apps for mobile devices would be a great idea