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  1. reid@rbkdesign.com http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com Closed Captioning in Games • Reid Kimball • Games[CC]

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. http://gamescc.rbkdesign.com/gdc2006/tutorial/tv_cc.avi Size: 1.38 MB Time: 9 seconds TV Closed Captioning

  6. 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

  7. Zork: Grand Inquisitor • Released October, 1997 • First game to feature Closed Captioning

  8. Half-Life 2 • Released November 16, 2004 • Second game to feature closed captioning (7yrs after Zork Grand Inquisitor!)

  9. Doom3[CC] • Released December 12th, 2004 • Third game (via modification) to feature closed captioning

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. 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)

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. 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)

  21. 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)

  22. 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)

  23. 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)

  24. 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)

  25. 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)

  26. 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)

  27. 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)

  28. 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)

  29. 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)

  30. 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)

  31. 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)

  32. 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)

  33. 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)

  34. 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)

  35. 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)

  36. 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)

  37. 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)

  38. 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)

  39. Dynamic Closed Captioning System • Many components help it tick • File System • Sound Interpreter • Priority System • Print to Screen • Visual Radar • CCEdit

  40. DCC – File System • Level loads -> find the .DCC file with the same name

  41. Sound Interpreter • When a sound is played we find it in our list of captions

  42. 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.

  43. 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

  44. 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

  45. CCEdit • Developed to help speed up the CC process • Reduce errors in creating the .dcc files • Missing/misplace brackets, missing priority assignments, etc

  46. CCEdit Mockup

  47. 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

  48. 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

  49. 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