Spectator Camera Suggestions as a Caster (and Feedback as a Viewer)
Hopefully this won’t overlap much with Xylvion’s recent spectator post but having spectated a few larger scale games a couple days ago I thought I’d put down all of my thoughts and suggestions. All of this is from the perspective of someone who has casted competitively for Chivalry and has watched esports for many other games, so that experience will color many of my opinions and priorities.
First, a few suggestions specifically for the spectator camera:
- An equivalent to Chivalry’s observer mode 2 (smooth spectator cam) is absolutely necessary for smooth spectating, as the current camera can get quite jittery while moving around.
- Having nametags above players while roaming around the map would be extremely useful, both for myself as a caster and I’m sure for those who just want to spectate the game. The Chivalry system of showing only the name of the person the spectator was spectating or pointing the center of their screen at was a very subpar solution to the problem of identifying players in a match, and Mirage can definitely do better.
- Some manner of objective markers is a must. As it is, the way objectives are shown through the large purple or orange energy spires is cool, but not very intuitive for a spectator, as it can’t be seen through structures or obstacles.
- In the same vein as the above suggestion, having some kind of progress bar for objectives that could be shown either on the objective itself or somewhere in the spectator UI is another absolute must. I saw a colored bar at the top of the UI several times with a +1 or some other number, but wasn’t sure what it meant.
- Make the objective lockdown/completion more obvious to the spectator. Some kind of alert or noise cue to tell the viewer that an objective has been taken or is locked off for the moment would be nice.
- Better timer visibility. The addition of a timer in the spectator UI is fantastic, but at the moment it can’t be read while looking at some surfaces in the game. A simple black background or border around the timer should fix this.
- Change RMB to what it should be while in 1st person spectating mode. I found it odd that RMB had a different effect while in 1st person spectating mode as opposed to 3rd person spectating, where it switched between players, as I had expected it to do. As there is already a button to change one’s spectating perspective, RMB shouldn’t put the camera back to its default view while in 1st person mode when it’s been mapped to another control.
- 1st Person Spectator UI. When I’m spectating a player in first person, I’d like to see exactly what they’re seeing. Their health, spell cooldowns, etc, should all be visible to the spectator while spectating them in first person. Perhaps as a convenience thing, this might also be extended to spectating a player in third person, as having their health and other info onscreen would be quite convenient.
*Health, cooldowns, quick info shown in spectator UI. I understand this might be something of a pipe dream for me as a competitive caster, but having all this information for every player in a match, at a glance, in the spectator UI would be absolutely incredible. I imagine it would be a serious undertaking to have all this shown in real time, but it would be exceedingly beneficial to the game’s competitive scene as a whole.
And now, just a few bits of feedback about how the game currently looks to me as a viewer:
The spells look fantastic. They look like they carry real weight and the sounds and effects they create are very high quality. I legitimately got excited whenever a taurant let loose one of his spiky fireballs. A battle between two alchemancers was incredibly cool to watch, with firebolts and teleportations happening constantly (though they were banned in the full games that I watched). Spell blocking is probably the most exciting element of the game at the moment, as a character’s game changing spell can be sent back at them with a well timed spell block.
Weapon attacks and movements seem like they’re happening in slow motion. Sadly, the weight and quality of the spells cannot be seen in the non-spell attacks done by characters, as the animations look alright for the current state of the game, but seem much too slow to be at all realistic. In a game about magic, realism is probably not the highest priority, but even more important than the realism is viewer enjoyment. When I saw a vypress duel a taurant in melee combat, I felt like they were being weighed down by something heavy or simply moving through jello throughout the whole fight. Until, ofcourse, one of them casted a spell and got me back into the action. Simply put, the weapon attacks and character movements in the game are too slow to keep viewers engaged, and while the spells are fun to watch, they can’t hold the game up on their own as a viewer spectacle, though they are a good start.
I’m glad to see the 1st person spectator cam back. This was something that, though somewhat broken in Chivalry, I did sorely miss when it was taken out, and I’m happy to find such an integral part of the spectating experience back in Mirage. However, as I mentioned above in my suggestions, it could certainly have some things added to it.
Thanks for taking the time to read all my suggestions and feedback, as I’m sure you guys already have some of this stuff in the works, but I thought I’d just dump all my thoughts in a post so they were out there for all to see. I’d appreciate any comments regarding my suggestions, and want to express my thanks to Torn Banner for allowing so many veterans of their last title the opportunity to test their next one. Keep up the good work!
Awesome feedback, we’ll be taking a lot of this into account when we roll out updates to the spectator camera a little later on. This is definitely a priority to improve for us.
@Tibberius That’s great to hear. A good spectating system is the first step to a professional competitive scene, and I’m glad you guys are realizing that so early in development.