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InGame Chat Systems, libpurple
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Induane
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« on: October 16, 2009, 10:18:16 AM »

One thing that I've noted over the years both as a player and developer is that one thing that people do in MMORPG games is alt tab out in order to access their chat systems, either via IRC to their guilds IRC chatroom to communicate with people who aren't currently ingame, or to friends and the like.  I think this has the effect of limiting the immersion factor because one constantly detaches from the ingame world.  The solution? Awesome ingame chat client engine.

It should be possible to chat in any protocol from ingame.  This has some advantages.  Imagine jumping into your guilds IRC Room from your phone and communicating with people who are ingame.  This will save you also from needing to create group chat and other things. You simply link new groups to new irc rooms either on your own custom irc server that requires authentication or automatically created protected groups on irc servers like freenode. 

I propose this be achieved by utilizing the cross platform library libpurple.  It is a library that implements a wide variety of protocols including Jabber, MSN, IRC, ICQ, Google Chat, AIM, Yahoo, and a whole host of others I'm unfamiliar with.  It was developed for Pidgin, the cross platform messaging client. Thus people could chat with friends not related to the game at all even, all without even alt tabbing out of the game. Information about libpurple can be found here: http://developer.pidgin.im/wiki/WhatIsLibpurple

Now I can hear the arguments! This would also remove the player from the ingame worlds somewhat, however I think that the visual feel of the game is really where the immersion comes in and that this is less disruptive than constant alt tabbing between other programs. Its also wicked cool! One con however is that libpurple is a bit hard to link against in windows. 

It would be nice to make it a modular component.  If libpurple is present, then the features are active, if not, default basic talking is all that works or a fallback.  Then one could use precompiled versions and have it either installed or included in the installer and not need to compile it each time you build your project
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Bamko
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2009, 07:14:52 AM »

Pinned for great Justice!

I am tempted to go off topic and discuss why this is such a good post, and how it fits in so well with the module idea...  :X

I have also noticed that people either end up ignoring ingame chat, distancing them from any ingame community (there may be more than one community, especially if more than 10 people playing).  I am unsure that the system needs to be able to chat from "any" protocol,  though if any protocols are left out, either Libpurple groups can add them, or other mods could be made in the future.

I also like how you discuss implementation.  I could see one glomp recipe would have some "RP hardcore" chat system (you can only chat with those withing 20 yards of your toon, ingame) while another recipe would have a module using this, instead, with default channels (help, trade, local [changes based on what map you are on maybe?] guild [set to your guild channel], party [members of any party you join] as well as having a way to access other channels, so you could, theoretically, access your guild channel while at work, or the Glompzilla dev channel while ingame!  You could also have a small group of friends you talk with, or even your own channel, where people can come in and chat with you.

I would not say that EVERY recipe should be forced to have this, but unless it has issues I do not see yet, it has my tentative vote to be a default feature for the Glompzilla pantry.  (where you go to grab the components needed for the different recipes)
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