Frontier recently released update 2.3 Beta, which brings 2 big features; Multi-crew and commander creator. As always it has a whole host of numerous tweaks and additions, I’ve had a play around with the two big features creating a Holo-Me and having some fun multi-crewing on a Federation Corvette. The Corvette is one stylish ship something to put on the wish list, maybe for sometime next year… So let’s have a chat about Holo-Me.
Making a connection with a character in a video game is important in some games like Serious Sam you don’t need that connection , but other games like Mass Effect where your decisions have long-term consequence it elevates the media to a whole new level. If a narrative is done well even other characters in the game can invoke feelings. As my outlook on games as art/entertainment the ability to get an emotional link to a character brings the Video Game industry on par with the ability of an author to make you care about one of their creations. For example George R.R. Martin, every time a character dies on the series there is a whole area of the audience wailing and gnashing their teeth. To be honest if Tyrion Lannister dies I might wail and gnash my teeth as well, as he is my favourite character.
Elite:Dangerous (ED) untill now the closest we had to an avatar was our ship. But like a pair of clothes these get swapped. But our ship was the only thing we could customise to make our own. For example if I’m in my Python and mining it has to have a red colour scheme, as a nod to Jupiter Mining Corp.
But when im running my Python as a multi-role ship, it gets a green paint job. Decals can be added to your ships as well, 3 in total. My choice is my Exploration rank, a PAX decal and a Planet decal this makes the ship mine. But although the ship has been customised to my specification, it really does not have a presence unless I’m in the shipyard or taking selfies like the one above and below. Another additional feature of 2.3 is the improved camera control which will help content creators, but I think I might cover that in another post.
I present the Heavy Fighter : Steadfast.
With 2.3 we will get to name our ships as well, which allows another way to connect emotionally with our digital collection of space ships. I do role-play and fill in the gaps in a game, maybe because when I started gaming the graphics on a game where so basic compared to today. The hours I spent hunched over the keyboard of the Spectrum 48k, playing Elite in 3 main colours, black, white, red with the odd spot of yellow and green on one portion of the display. Even with the limited palette Elite had me enthralled and I still remember my first ‘Right on, Commander!” which was earned after 255 kills. I do roleplay in E:D:- as me, what would I be willing to do to earn my way in the 3300, although my morals are based in 2000’s. I’m aware the morals of someone from 700AD are a lot different to now. But that’s how I wish to play the game. Since release of the game people have consistently asked for walking, Holo-me is the first stage of getting this into the game. Creating a full avatar of your self. Well not full you can’t customise your body type, but your face can be tweaked. Some people like me try to re-create our own faces in the game and some people make
the ugliest a unique and beautiful portrait.
This is @MahdDogg used with permission
By pouring time into avatar creation it will allow people to connect with their character in-game. The amount of customisation within the Holo-me creator allows you to make a truly unique character. The ability to tinker with the face easily eclipse’s Skyrim/Mass Effect character creator.
So my Holo-me is based on a ‘slightly’ younger version of myself…
It’s fairly close, there are a few tweaks I need to look at, for example the hollow’s below my cheek bone and the flair of the lower jaw. But it is close enough that it is recognizably me… not bad.
So once you have created your avatar you can see yourself when your sat in your command chair on the bridge of your ship as can be seen by MahdDogg in the picture. But also the Holo me also is used via something akin to a passport photo.
As you can see on the top right my Holo-me is turned into a photo in the direct style of the mission board and engineer profiles. Which just shows how long this feature has been in development. When contacting other commanders this photo is used to give you a real presence with the galaxy. Actually the Holo Me photo is far better than my passport photo…
The Holo-Me does not add any actual playable content but is a big building block for both player interaction, multi-crew and walking. The creator has allowed the mission board to be a more personal experience, you connect to the mission givers because you see their faces the same with the engineers, they are not just a name, we are designed to pick up a great portion of our communication visually so a static photo gives us extra information about someone. I just wish I could give my character a little bit of a smile, to make him seem happy, because I’m happy to be flying around in an imaginary starship. The Holo-Me increases connection to your character if you can connect to something it can improve emotional attachment. So for people like myself where ED is not just a game to ‘win’ which you could equate to earning the biggest ship in the game, but an ongoing story where I travel around the galaxy, sometime exploring other times mining the rings of vast gas giants. Or sometimes fleeing from people who don’t like me working for certain factions within a system and show me the error of my ways with plasma and multi-cannons. The Holo-me add’s depth and connection to a vast canvas, well that’s my personal opinion anyway.
The pictures of the Python are taken from the XBox version the holo-me taken from the PC beta 2.3.1 at 1080p.
See you on the other side…