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reid@rbkdesign.com http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com Closed Captioning in Games Reid Kimball Games[CC] Personal Introduction Currently a Designer at LucasArts Playing videogames since 1990 Hearing impaired due to Spinal Meningitis at 16months old Began wearing hearing aids at age of 3

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closed captioning in games
reid@rbkdesign.com

http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com

Closed Captioning in Games
  • Reid Kimball
  • Games[CC]
personal introduction
Personal Introduction
  • Currently a Designer at LucasArts
  • Playing videogames since 1990
  • Hearing impaired due to Spinal Meningitis at 16months old
  • Began wearing hearing aids at age of 3
  • Because of my unique position I have become an expert in closed captioning for games
  • Started Games[CC] group to research and develop CC for games
today s topics
Today's Topics
  • What is Closed Captioning?
  • History of Closed Captioning in Games
  • Examples of CC in games
  • Doom3 and Doom3[CC] comparison
  • How Dynamic Closed Captioning system works
  • Future of Closed Captioning in games
what is closed captioning
What is Closed Captioning?
  • Closed Captions were transmitted by (PBS), (NBC) and (ABC) in 1980 for emergency broadcasts
  • Line 21 of the TV signal
    • Contains text data
  • Open vs. Closed Captioning
    • Open: The text data is baked into the video signal and cannot be turned off
    • Closed: The user has the option of turning on or off the captions
  • Covers both dialog and sound effects
early days of gaming
Early Days of Gaming
  • Text based
  • Limited graphics
  • No or limited sound
  • After the CD-Rom, use of text was reduced
  • CD-Rom introduced in early 1990's
    • More graphics, no need to textually describe when players can see what is happening
    • More sounds, no need for text of dialog if it is audio
      • King's Quest V: Released in 1990 (CD-ROM)
      • Myst: Released in Sept. 24, 1993
zork grand inquisitor
Zork: Grand Inquisitor
  • Released October, 1997
  • First game to feature Closed Captioning
half life 2
Half-Life 2
  • Released November 16, 2004
  • Second game to feature closed captioning (7yrs after Zork Grand Inquisitor!)
doom3 cc
Doom3[CC]
  • Released December 12th, 2004
  • Third game (via modification) to feature closed captioning
examples of cc in games or lack thereof
SiN

Psychonauts

Star Wars: Episode 3

Half-Life &Half-Life 2

Doom3 &Doom3[CC]

Examples of CC in games(or lack thereof)
  • Burnout3
  • Unreal 2
  • POP: SoT
  • Star Trek: Elite Force 2
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial burnout3 nocc setup avi size 2 10 mb time 19 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/burnout3_nocc_setup.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/burnout3_nocc_setup.avi

Size: 2.10 MB

Time: 19 seconds

Burnout 3 – No CC Options
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial burnout3 nocc game avi size 5 76 mb time 29 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/burnout3_nocc_game.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/burnout3_nocc_game.avi

Size: 5.76 MB

Time: 29 seconds

Burnout 3 – No CC in game
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial u2 cc options avi size 2 49 mb time 11 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/U2_cc_options.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/U2_cc_options.avi

Size: 2.49 MB

Time: 11 seconds

Unreal 2 – CC Options
slide14
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/U2_cc_cinematic_640x480.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/U2_cc_cinematic_640x480.avi

Size: 4.92 MB

Time: 19 seconds

Unreal 2 – CC in cinematic(640x480)
slide15
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/U2_cc_cinematic_800x600.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/U2_cc_cinematic_800x600.avi

Size: 4.61 MB

Time: 18 seconds

Unreal 2 – CC in cinematic(800x600)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial ppsot nocc options avi size 4 03 mb time 38 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/ppsot_nocc_options.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/ppsot_nocc_options.avi

Size: 4.03 MB

Time: 38 seconds

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time – No CC Options
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial ppsot nocc game avi size 2 48 mb time 22 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/ppsot_nocc_game.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/ppsot_nocc_game.avi

Size: 2.48 MB

Time: 22 seconds

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time – No CC in game
star trek elite force 2

Not clear where captioning options are (Audio or game?)

Not clear what the options mean (off, normal, always?)

http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/EF2_cc_options.avi

Size: 5.34 MB

Time: 20 seconds

Star Trek: Elite Force 2
slide19
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/EF2_cc_normal_cinematic.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/EF2_cc_normal_cinematic.avi

Size: 3.52 MB

Time: 13 seconds

Star Trek: Elite Force 2 (CC in cinematic as normal)
slide20
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/EF2_cc_always_cinematic.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/EF2_cc_always_cinematic.avi

Size: 4.31 MB

Time: 16 seconds

Star Trek: Elite Force 2 (CC in cinematic as always)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial gtavc cc options avi size 1 70 mb time 16 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/gtavc_cc_options.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/gtavc_cc_options.avi

Size: 1.70 MB

Time: 16 seconds

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City(CC options)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial gtavc cc cinematic avi size 1 23 mb time 11 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/gtavc_cc_cinematic.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/gtavc_cc_cinematic.avi

Size: 1.23 MB

Time: 11 seconds

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City(CC in cinematic)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial sin cc options avi size 6 20 mb time 25 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/sin_cc_options.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/sin_cc_options.avi

Size: 6.20 MB

Time: 25 seconds

SiN(CC options)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial sin cc cinematic avi size 3 46 mb time 15 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/sin_cc_cinematic.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/sin_cc_cinematic.avi

Size: 3.46 MB

Time: 15 seconds

SiN(CC in cinematic)
slide25
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/psychonauts_nocc_cinematic.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/psychonauts_nocc_cinematic.avi

Size: 2.38 MB

Time: 22 seconds

Psychonauts(No CC in opening cinematic)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial psychonauts cc setup avi size 2 77 mb time 26 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/psychonauts_cc_setup.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/psychonauts_cc_setup.avi

Size: 2.77 MB

Time: 26 seconds

Psychonauts(CC options)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial psychonauts cc game avi size 2 57 mb time 24 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/psychonauts_cc_game.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/psychonauts_cc_game.avi

Size: 2.57 MB

Time: 24 seconds

Psychonauts(CC in game)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial sw ep3 cc options avi size 1 57 mb time 13 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/sw_ep3_cc_options.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/sw_ep3_cc_options.avi

Size: 1.57 MB

Time: 13 seconds

Star Wars: Episode III(CC options)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial sw ep3 cc cinematic avi size 1 25 mb time 10 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/sw_ep3_cc_cinematic.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/sw_ep3_cc_cinematic.avi

Size: 1.25 MB

Time: 10 seconds

Star Wars: Episode III(CC in cinematic)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial sw ep3 cc game avi size 1 69 mb time 12 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/sw_ep3_cc_game.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/sw_ep3_cc_game.avi

Size: 1.69 MB

Time: 12 seconds

Star Wars: Episode III(CC in game)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial hl nocc game avi size 2 29 mb time 8 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/HL_nocc_game.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/HL_nocc_game.avi

Size: 2.29 MB

Time: 8 seconds

Half-Life(No CC in game)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial hl2 cc options avi size 2 27 mb time 10 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/HL2_cc_options.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/HL2_cc_options.avi

Size: 2.27 MB

Time: 10 seconds

Half-Life 2(CC options)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial hl2 cc game avi size 6 91 mb time 26 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/HL2_cc_game.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/HL2_cc_game.avi

Size: 6.91 MB

Time: 26 seconds

Half-Life 2(CC in game)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial d3 nocc options avi size 8 34 mb time 31 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/D3_nocc_options.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/D3_nocc_options.avi

Size: 8.34 MB

Time: 31 seconds

Doom3(No CC options)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial d3 nocc cinematic avi size 3 70 mb time 14 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/D3_nocc_cinematic.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/D3_nocc_cinematic.avi

Size: 3.70 MB

Time: 14 seconds

Doom3(No CC in cinematic)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial d3cc options avi size 4 13 mb time 17 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/D3CC_options.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/D3CC_options.avi

Size: 4.13 MB

Time: 17 seconds

Doom3[CC](CC options)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial d3cc cinematics avi size 3 72 mb time 15 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/D3CC_cinematics.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/D3CC_cinematics.avi

Size: 3.72 MB

Time: 15 seconds

Doom3[CC](CC in cinematic)
http gamescc rbkdesign com gdc2006 tutorial d3cc game v2 0 avi size 6 7 mb time 26 seconds
http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/D3CC_game_v2.0.avihttp://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/D3CC_game_v2.0.avi

Size: 6.7 MB

Time: 26 seconds

Doom3[CC](CC in game)
dynamic closed captioning system
Dynamic Closed Captioning System
  • Many components help it tick
    • File System
    • Sound Interpreter
    • Priority System
    • Print to Screen
    • Visual Radar
    • CCEdit
dcc file system
DCC – File System
  • Level loads -> find the .DCC file with the same name
sound interpreter
Sound Interpreter
  • When a sound is played we find it in our list of captions
priority of sounds and captions
Priority of Sounds and Captions
  • Dialog always gets priority, and so does a caption that's already scrolling. 
  • If the new sound has higher priority, it gets put in that slot. 
  • Otherwise we do a complex calculation involving priority AND distance from player.
printing to screen
Printing to Screen
  • We send all the relevant data to the GUI and it gets rendered to the screen.
    • Font type, text size, scrolling or not, which caption bar to use
visual radar
Visual Radar
  • Designed to give vague info on distance and direction of a sound so not to give players and advantage
  • Hopefully also emulates natural hearing
ccedit
CCEdit
  • Developed to help speed up the CC process
  • Reduce errors in creating the .dcc files
    • Missing/misplace brackets, missing priority assignments, etc
future of cc in games
Future of CC in games?
  • More games featuring CC I hope!
  • Additional customizations for users (font, size, opacity, placement, visual radar)
  • Built into console hardware as a system setting
    • All games will use the consoles' system settings
      • Play the game and CC is already on, won't spoil the auto-play cinematics
what s next for games cc
What's Next for Games[CC]?
  • Games[CC] continues its effort to CC games and educate developers about the benefits of CC
  • Current projects
    • Doom3: Resurrection of Evil
    • Quake4
    • CCEdit
    • Open source software
  • Doom3[CC] nominated Best Doom3 Mod of the Year for IGDA Choice Awards 2006
thank you
Thank You
  • Thank you for your interest in CC for games
  • Please contact me for any questions, ideas, comments, etc regarding CC for games or Games[CC] group
  • E-Mail: reid@rbkdesign.com
  • Games[CC] website: http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com