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   Columns by Thorian
Looking from the Outside In
Sun, May 13 21:46 | 0 comments - Post a reply
The end of E3 will mark a transitional period for eSports-America. Sean "Cache" Shelton and myself will be bidding farewell as contributors, but not as supporters. MGON is currently developing a new service for gamers, which will be manifested at this website. Read more to learn what the future holds for myself, Cache, and eSports-America.
 More from Thorian - Showing 3 of 6 in Archive
Multicast Spectator Software (0)
Handling the Unhandled Exception (0)

"It's far from world championship caliber."
"The game simply isn't spectator friendly."
"Too much camping and the players are llamas."

Such are the all-too-common descriptions of Counter-Strike, the most popular FPS game in the world. On any number of gaming forums, disgruntled players expressed concern over the decision to showcase CS as a professional eSport.

Well, this time the CPL is one step ahead.

Valve software has dedicated their time to creating a new application, unlike anything we've seen before. It is the Multicast Spectator software, and it is absolutely breathtaking. For those familiar with QTV or GTV, this is a whole new ballgame.

The application automatically renders a top-down view of the map being played. The detail level includes a 3-dimensional feel, complete with textures and shadows. Argus, eat your heart out.

The Counter-Terrorists, being the good guys they are, dawn a nice shade of blue in the form of a circle. A small line indicates the direction a player faces. The Terrorists are similar, but naturally are colored red. The player movements are tracked along with the direction they face; their names displayed unobtrusively above. One player on the server is special though: he is the star. In front of his circle appears a small arch, indicating his FOV.

This FOV is extended down to a corner, where the full action can be seen. First person, third person follow, or just floating around: it's up to you. Not only that, but this small picture in the corner can easily be transfered to the entire screen.

Built into this application is an AI of its own. Usually, a director dictates the stream. No director? No problem! The AI instantly follows the action as it happens, even switching to the fight just beforehand. Never will the spectator be forced to watch the lone gunman camp out the map until time expires.

Combining the ease of use with the multi-faceted perspectives enhance match spectation to a level never seen before in gaming. If this program enhances the "camper's paradise" to the level of excitement seen here at the Speakeasy CPL, just imagine what we will see in the future!

But, don't just read about it. See the real deal in action right here.*

*Footage provided by Speakeasy, in .asf format for Windows Media Player. The file is approximately 6 MB in size, at a 250kb/sec data rate. Modemers will have to download the whole file before watching.

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