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Thread: Is Smell-blaster fake?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Ukraine

    Is Smell-blaster fake?

    Is Smell-blaster fake?

    We've got photorealistic graphics and realistic sound. But human have 5 sense! Lets talk about sense of SMELL...

    Some times (one or two) I saw notes about smell-blasters. But some articles was just jokes. But I really want "smell" universes of Thief, System Shock2, Arx, DeusEx. Is that immersion-sims without smell? I even take some custom steps towards "highlight" game into smells for my mind.

    I really dont understand why today developers of imers-sims already not put special API calls for future devices (smell-blaster, and maybe termo-blaster) into their code. Imagine, Will come BRIGHT TOMORROW and fans make wrapers for this API to device drivers. Old game will refreshed with new feelings.

    Want you play TODAY in Thief 1 or System Shock 2 with Pixel Shader water? Yes! But impossible! Want play in Thief3 and DeusEx2 five years latter with smells? This will possible if developers make little job today toward future.

    Look here, is that difficult?
    * Make smell directory/dictionary. (meadow, wine_cellar, kitchen, fireplace_smoke, blood...)
    * Designers put in every area "smell marker" or "smell room" (like "sound rooms" in DROMED).
    * Game engine invoke void interfaces in DLL. Something like that: procedure StartSmell(Smell_Name; Smell_Intensivity)
    * In future this DLL will replaced with real one.

    It is only for instance. Solutions from real developers will more elegant, compatible and simple.

    Of course, if architecture of engine VERY opened, all this job maybe done in future without developers. But I doubt about such opened engines in case of ION Strom.

    Ok, ok... calm down... this is only my fantasy. Developers have no time for support non-existent device.

    What you know/heard/think about smell-blasters? But please, take it question seriously. I am not kidding now. I want just dive more deep into immersive games.


    BTW, here one smell-blaster link: http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s278744.htm

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Frankly, after I clean out a room of Covenant Elites with my plasma rifle, I think the lingering smell of their hot, rapidly congealing blood would just send me to the toilet.


    Theme Hospital would be fun though. And by fun I mean fucking disgusting

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Ukraine
    I foreknow how FUN this theme...
    I also can produce tons of jokes on this SMELL theme! No doubt -- you can too! But can you take it little serious?

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Backwoods of Maine

    Re: Is Smell-blaster fake?

    Originally posted by Vitali Kram
    Is Smell-blaster fake?

    Look here, is that difficult?
    * Make smell directory/dictionary. (meadow, wine_cellar, kitchen, fireplace_smoke, blood...)
    * Designers put in every area "smell marker" or "smell room" (like "sound rooms" in DROMED).
    * Game engine invoke void interfaces in DLL. Something like that: procedure StartSmell(Smell_Name; Smell_Intensivity)
    * In future this DLL will replaced with real one.

    It is only for instance. Solutions from real developers will more elegant, compatible and simple.

    Of course, if architecture of engine VERY opened, all this job maybe done in future without developers. But I doubt about such opened engines in case of ION Strom.

    It isn't that easy to put smells into games. Programming isn't an issue, unless it involves pulling device information out of the air. The big problem is sythesizing the smells and finding a delivery system that works. You'd also need to keep adding cartridges of new packs of chemicals to mix smells from, which increases the cost. You also run into the issues mentioned in the article you linked, namely that you would have a hard time getting rid of the smells in the air, and you could very quickly stink up a dorm, bedroom, or house.

    Of course, I can't see why you'd want to have smells in a game, as the smell of things that are burning, or obligatory trips through sewers would be rather unpleasant.

    The reason developers don't put API calls for future devices into their games, or any other software, is that they have absolutely no information on which to base these calls, no way to test them, or any way to tell if that code is causing problems elsewhere. Devs don't support non-existant hardware that is completely different from anything they've ever used because it is non-existant hardware that is completely different from anything they've ever used. The idea that they are neglecting the gamer or that they just don't feel like spending time on it isn't real logical.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ottawa
    Just think of the possibilities for pr0n.

    No, really. Think about it.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Ukraine
    To SomeGuyNamedAl: Thank you for serious answer.

    1. Technical
    Point not in technical mile-stones. Do you believe smell-technology never will invented? When I first heard about jet printers I didnt believe too. Conrolled jet? Such high speed? Ink? It will leak! It will splash all my room! But soon jet printers become common thing.

    2. Moral
    VERY BAD (disgusting) smells in games -- responsibility of bad designers. Smell blaster system not such stupid-machine which with one wrong command will poison user. Not accept things so critical ! If you see sun in game long-time... will you blind after that? Of course, there are many problems -- allergy, migraine, etc. Many people hate many odours. But many peoples hate sick-loud sounds of shots -- so they just not play in shooters.

    3. API
    It is possible. Calls is predictable -- its not so compicated. Other story -- developers, time and money...

    So, actually I believe in future of such devices. It's one part of virtual reality. But when?...

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: Coca Cola, Sometimes a war!
    Originally posted by Vitali Kram
    So, actually I believe in future of such devices. It's one part of virtual reality. But when?...
    I don't know how or when, but you can take it to the bank that the Japanese will be responsible for it.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Eastern Europeans are weird.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Mar 1999
    Location: I can't find myself
    the only way such a device could work practically would be if it had a thing that you stuffed up your nose that directly interfaced with the nerves with which a person detects scents, in effect creating olfactory hallucinations, instead of genuine scents. Which of course brings the question of, who the hell would want to buy something that had to be shoved up their nose everytime they were playing a game? It'd be remarkably uncomfortable, and you'd run the risk of shoving it in too far and causing damage.
    Of couse, when you enter Parliament, you will all also be ripped to the teats on fine cocaine...

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: Coca Cola, Sometimes a war!
    Originally posted by Fafhrd
    the only way such a device could work practically would be if it had a thing that you stuffed up your nose that directly interfaced with the nerves with which a person detects scents
    Come on, your no fun. Why not a physical based perceptive media? I can't be the only one who yearns for a guilt-free home reeking of spent gunpowder and entrails.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: 1123.6536.5321
    Look here, is that difficult?
    * Make smell directory/dictionary. (meadow, wine_cellar, kitchen, fireplace_smoke, blood...)
    * Designers put in every area "smell marker" or "smell room" (like "sound rooms" in DROMED).
    * Game engine invoke void interfaces in DLL. Something like that: procedure StartSmell(Smell_Name; Smell_Intensivity)
    * In future this DLL will replaced with real one.
    Yes, but you need the machine, as someone said. And THIS would be a lot more complicated. Chemicals, different intesities, not to mention the fact, that as you move from area to area, the smell will change, but since you will be staying in the same room playing the game, the smells of the other places will still linger.

    fafhrd has the right idea in which things are plugged into your brain or nose or something and dont actually make the smell, but rather just make you think you can smell it.

    I really think smelly games will be last on the list of improvements for games for the following reasons...

    1. Expensive to research - Needs to be totally bug free to avoid poisening AND create a way to make NEW smells for each area instead of smells linger etc
    2. Probably expensive to make - Each unit will have to be tested carefully, plus the componants will most likely be expensive in the foreseeable futre
    3. Not many people will really WANT to be able to smell their games - Sewers? Burnt Flesh? Rotting corpses?
    4. Fewer sold beacuse of lack of intrest, price goes up
    5. because of price increace even fewer are sold, developer support down to a minimum
    6. Company go out of business because they cant sell enough because gamers dont buy them because developers wont support, and developers wont support because gamers arnt buying them... reoccouring cycle!

    Ever heard of teledildonics?
    It was in PCZone magazine in an article about why there is so little sex in games, about a "revolutionary" (at the time) thing that you put on your... ahem... member and it strokes it and stuff as you watch pr0n videos... well no one bought it and that was "innovative" (sp?). Why would anyone buy smell-o-gaming when you dont even get a quick shoot out of it

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: Coca Cola, Sometimes a war!

    I was being sarcastic..surely your interpretation doesn't imply that you do enjoy "spent gunpower and entrails?" You sick bastard you....yeah, OK me too. In all honesty I would be interested in such technology, but it would be a flash in the pan at best. Your points are well taken, and on any account I simply could not see many individuals who might support this idea spending money on upgrading their 'Stinkyfier Smell-o-Ramma 6000' like they might a vid-card or processor.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Tallinn, Estonia
    I see another problem with it.

    In games, video and audio is constantly there. But providing smells constantly could be difficult or very expensive. And if they would only use smells in some places it wouldn't be right. Just like in cinemas (at least the local ones here) there is usually sound coming from the screen and then in a few scenes the sound rolls across the room, that doesn't feel right.

    I also think very few people would be interested in that and it will be so until true virtual reality can be achieved.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Backwoods of Maine
    I remember reading an argument on some driving sim forums a while back about whether there were force-feedback pedals. There aren't, and it quickly turned into a debate about how there was or wasn't any sort of tactile feeling given through the pedals of a car. It ended, or should have ended, I don't remember which, with the realization that while there might be some sort of feeling in the pedals of a car, it really doesn't add anything to the experience. I'm not so inclined to belive that smells would really add anything to the game.

    For me, any smells tend to make me gag, so the bad ones would be worce. And how would the designers make smells that would add to the scene without becoming annoying? You say good designers could do it, but I for one, cannot think what this would be. How is it that you do a back alley, sewer, or dump without making things smell bad? Should there only be smells that are 'good?' What are these?

  16. #16
    BANNED
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Polishing G.W.Bush's braincell
    Yup, 90% of smells in games would be fucking rank.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: North of the equator.
    Throughout gaming... there have been a lot of innovative things. I remember small things like Nintendo's power glove or that huge scope (forgot the name) for example. Just because it might be innovative... doesn't necessarily mean it will be popular or even marketable.

    Personally, I don't really see what kind of addition a smell-blaster could add to gaming. Sure, you could smell the gun powder & such... but is it really that important? If I really wanted to smell most of these things... I have, what is called, real life. Being able to smell the scents in gaming is not really that interesting. Sure, plenty of people will probably say: "Ooo, that's neat... I didn't know they could do that." But would I actually fork out money for this type of thing? No, not really. IMO, it just wouldn't add enough to the game to be at all worth while... money & gameplay wise.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Ukraine

    Different game-types

    Seems to me we talk about differen games. I talk about IMMERSION-SIMULATORS. Like Thief games, DeusEx, System Shock 2. Many of you talk only about gun smoke, blood pools, "real" sewers (I mean in game point of sewer is not dive into shit), rooting bodies, etc. If you not VERY familiar (and fan of) with immersive games, then this thread really have no big point.

    BTW, when I play one hand in game, second hand in pizza... I really dont want any smell except aroma of my REAL pizza. In such way I play in strategies, quick-shooters, drivings and any game, except immersive-simmulators. I realy cant imagine what (and why) I may smell when I play in DIABLO. In such games I dont need smell-device.

    We still have no quality virtual reality technology. But immersion-simulators games it phase before it.

    I think this thread most appropriate for other forum sections (about Thief, DX, SS2), not for "General Gaming". But many your replys interesting and serious... Thanks.

    And seems to me: SMELL-feeling have different importantce for different people.

  19. #19
    BANNED
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: Bach lobster! BWV B-52S

    1. And many people detect smells entirely differently from others. One mushroom that smells just like almonds to me and others smells just like anise to another big group of people--totally different smell. And another set of people would smell a third unrelated aroma.
    2. Printer ink is expensive enough without having to buy Yuppie lab scents.
    3.Getting rid of the old smells: all the scents from a long game would build up in your computer room and smell like garbage.
    4. Allergies.

    We DO have imaginations.
    Just because some entrepreneurs want to get rich selling this stuff, that doesn't mean it's a good idea. We should be getting AWAY from all the artificial stink pollution already around us.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: 1123.6536.5321
    im just thinking... we have all the obvious arguments against it but have you even played a game and thought to yourself "i wish i could smell this". If you have then you are strange. I was playing The Thing just now (from loan-gamer.co.uk... 5 days for me to finish it) and it really is graphic, and there was one room that was pretty much ALL blood and scary tenticles and bodies and it reminded me of this post on how RANK it would be... Just disgusting!
    And as far as im concerned to be immersed I just need my 5.1 surround sound speakers, 22 inch TFT monitor to viddy it and soundproof padding around my PC...

    System shock 2 can still do it and that doesnt even have really good graphics....

    What would be better if they forget the idea of wasting their time doing shite like that (which thank bog i dont think they are doing) and create an immersive environment like system shock 2 was able to do with bog standard graphics and for me at the time when i first played it, a slow frame rate.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Ukraine
    Still, no one positive reply.
    So... Closed... forget...

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: 1123.6536.5321
    what do you mean "still no one postive reply"

    Its called a discussion, you place an idea and we discuss it...? I was enjoying thinking up why it would be a bad idea, and because i couldnt think of anything good then whatever... Were you expecting good things? Thats your job in a debate or discussion, to sway us to your thinking.

    You started the discussion saying it would be easy for developers to do it, we told you it wasnt... you tried to say it was and we gave intelligent arguments for why it was a bad idea...

    And i can tell enghlish isnt your first language so i can see how it may be difficult to put your view across...

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: North of the equator.
    Originally posted by: Vitali Kram
    Seems to me we talk about differen games. I talk about IMMERSION-SIMULATORS. Like Thief games, DeusEx, System Shock 2. Many of you talk only about gun smoke, blood pools, "real" sewers (I mean in game point of sewer is not dive into shit), rooting bodies, etc. If you not VERY familiar (and fan of) with immersive games, then this thread really have no big point.
    I'll admit that the immersion factor is really important in games like that... but I hardly see how a smell blaster would add to that immersion. Let's take a closer look at them...

    With these games, there are hardly any truly significant smells around. Most of the smells are normal everyday stuff that you have in your own home. Now that probably says that we're taking our sence-of-smell for granted... but that's all a part of life is it not? People take a lot of the sences for granted & the nose is no exception. Most people could go through life without their sence of smell & not miss out on most of the things that they truly love. Personally all I would need would be my sences of sight, hearing, & touch. But seriously... just how many truly significant things are there to be smelled in these games beside the norm?

    Even though a smell blaster might be innovative... I can't see it being anything more than a cheap gimmick to sell these types of games. Gaming like Thief, Deus Ex, & System Shock hardly show any huge need for a smell blaster that the normal household on its own couldn't provide. The smells that can't be found in normal everyday life are things that most people wouldn't want to smell at all (rotting corpses & blood pools are perfect exaples of this).

    A developer would either have to go out of their way to create an environment (or things in an environment) or a different type of game altogether to be used with a smell blaster. But then that would turn it into just an expensive advertisement for the smell blaster.

    You see... it all boils down to one question: Exactly how important is it to have a smell blaster for these games (like Thief, System Shock, Deus Ex)?

    Well IMHO, a high quality game with great gameplay, fantastic characters, & excellent plot development should not even need or require it to get immersed into the game.

    [Edit]

    Still, no one positive reply.
    So... Closed... forget...
    I have to agree with ANTSHODAN here. There are quite a few good & intelligent responses in this thread. Not everyone is going to agree with you on your way of thinking... at least at first in some cases.

    Also, I see nothing wrong with discussing this in the general gaming forum... TTLG is a web site for LGS fans after all. So naturally the main people inhabiting every forum would be fans of their games looking for other things to discuss. So saying that this isn't the right forum to discuss this is just plain silly IMO.
    Last edited by Nedan; 23rd Jan 2003 at 08:12.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: London, UK
    Wow, I just read those articles the had links posted in this thread. Sounds cool!

    Anyway, going back to the logical arguments that people have been making, I think that it is very short sighted to believe that it won't happen. The aim of immersive sims is to simulate the real world to some extent, eventually to a point where you cannot distinguish the "game" from "real life". As we approach the stage of true virtual reality, of course we will be needing/wanting to simulate smells, as well as taste and touch based stimuli. Whether we do that by chemical means or poking wires into our brains remains to be seen, but the argument "I don't want to stink my room out with rotting flesh and gunpowder" isn't really the main point.

    Having said that, Vitali Kram, your original mail does sort of sound like you do want to plug a smell blaster into your PC right now, and I'd agree with most of the others that I'd rather not!

    I'll tell you what, though, I'd rather smell the musty corridors of Thief than half of you lot's rancid, dingy bedrooms where you sit, at your PC, in your own unwashed body odour for days on end

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Ukraine
    When I said "positive" I mean that someone (at least ONE) say that he/she want try such device and experience in games one more feeling.

    I not mean that all you put only NEGATIVE things on me. No! Of course it is discussion. BTW, ANTSHODAN you was one of most intelligent and argumented.

    And Yes. Its difficult express thought on other language. My english grammar is poor. But is my english understandable?

    ----------

    While I write this Nedan post big argumented replay. Ok. So I try...

    When I played in Thief 2 - was latter spring - summer. I played in it in night with opened windows. Smells of grass, sweet warm air, some excite smells in air, nature, wind. Smells, smells, smells. In Thief game all events occurr in summer environment. And those environments very similar to that smells what I experienced in real-life in same moment. So for me this game still associated with that smells. When I try play Thief in winter (snow, cold) I miss this smells. It was not THIEF universe without summer-night smells. BTW, it was big coincidence: "THIEF and SUMMER" !!!
    Smells made game MORE experience for me! Did you understand this my thought? (it difficult to just write-down in words)
    And this is not important in Quake-style games.

    Of course it is very personaly perception/sense of situation... This is even little bit funny -- but it is true and it is feellings which cannot be discarded. And this is just MY LITTLE SIMPLE example how can bind game-universe and smells. For more deep writings I not capable today.

    Nedan:
    Exactly how important is it to have a smell blaster for these games (like Thief, System Shock, Deus Ex)?

    Oh, important. At least for me. BTW, many of you cant get rid off blood pools, rotting bodies, sewers in your minds! Why?!?! Indeed all games only about this things?!?!?!? No!!! Did you know: you can finish DX or Thief without no one kill and shoot! Or almost without no one -- I personally not try.

    List of importance by priority (for me):

    * visibility
    * sound
    * smell
    * touch (but what we really touch now in games?)
    * taste (ha ha ha! fantastic device!)

    Here one more thought! If you try one time smell of blood, rotting corpse, burn flesh in game... maybe you will hate violence EVEN in video games? You approach in games will more accurate and peacefull. And as result you become more peacefull person, who know as death is horrable smell. Oho!!! It is whole-world morale thing!
    And even maniacs/murders will use games for satisfaction their perversioned needs in games, but not kill people in real world. But it is almost virtual reality... In virtual reality everyone find peace... Almost like MATRIX film.

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