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everything about visibility in minimal roleplay

about visibility in
Minimal Roleplay

@illuday · Nov 01, 2023 · 4 minutes read

Visibility is one of Minimal Roleplay's core mechanics, enabling you to hide your messages from other players. We're going to take a closer look at this mechanic and explain how it works, as well as future developments.

In a real role-playing game

What we call visibility in Minimal Roleplay is in fact the concealment of a dialogue or action from another player around the table.

This mechanic is quite common in role-playing games, and it's something that's not easy to emulate. Let me give you a few examples:

  • Your character wants to talk discreetly to another character
  • Your character is not physically in the same place as another character
  • Your character doesn't speak the same language as another character

A word about Meta-roleplay: This is a character action that uses the player's knowledge. The character has no way of accessing this knowledge.

Around a table, this mechanic can create a lot of meta-roleplay. Indeed, if the game master has two players playing in different locations, one will not leave the room while the other is playing. The player is forced to listen to dialogues and actions that are inaccessible to his character.

With a text-based system like minimal roleplay, there's no problem emulating this mechanic. Let's talk about it.

Visibility in Minimal Roleplay

Configure visibility

In its first version, visibility allows you to hide certain messages from other players. This means you can choose which players will see your message, and this applies to dialogues and actions as much as to dice rolls.

To access it, click on the black button marked Visibility or the eye on Mobile.

A popup window appears, allowing you to select the players you wish to communicate with.

Once this has been done, you'll receive confirmation that your next message will be sent to these players only. To be sure, you can see that the visibility button has changed, now displaying the players concerned.

Understanding visibility display

In the bottom right-hand corner of your message you can see a small eye with ALL written on it. This means that the message is visible to everyone.

When a message has reduced visibility to one or more players, this ALL is replaced by the initials of the players concerned. In addition, the players concerned see their initials in yellow, to indicate that this message is not visible to all.

As for the other players, they simply don't know that the message has been sent, so it's as if nothing had happened.

We invite you to see all this in action with the butler tutorial video available here:

Inspirations and future developments

These developments are not planned, but may be programmed into the post-launch roadmap. These are ideas that we have or that players have given us!

Keep in mind that we want to keep Minimal Roleplay simple and accessible. Adding lots of features dedicated to this or that role-playing game risks making our interfaces heavier and less ergonomic. We're thinking about a lot of features and are ready to hear your suggestions, but we'll integrate these new features sparingly.

Displayed but hidden messages

We're thinking about the possibility of creating a message for players who are not in the visibility configuration.

This could be useful in certain cases, if only as a simple indication. But we think it's funny to create this frustration of not being able to see the message and represent reality, when you see someone whispering in someone else's ear but you can't hear what they're saying.

This configuration could be global to the table and therefore decided by the game master, or configurable in the visibility of a message directly.

Scrambled messages

Another mechanic linked to visibility, scrambling, is that certain messages can be interpreted by one or more people according to their skills. We may or may not speak the same language as our interlocutor, or we may be able to understand more things because we're intelligent in a certain field (and therefore have more information about an object, for example).

Column visibility

Another more complex mechanic that we find very interesting is the ability to completely hide the column of one or more players, depending on their position, for example. The idea is to be able to have groups of players play the same game in different locations. In this way, the game would be split into several rooms, and players would only have access to messages in their own rooms.

Just imagine, you could have a whole bunch of players playing without ever meeting each other, or even knowing they were playing the same game. And then one day, they meet in an incredible battle! Insane.

Any ideas?

Do you have any ideas to add to these features? Don't hesitate to join us on Discord to propose them. Many of the ideas we'll be presenting come from our community, from each other's experiences and from our own games.

Enjoy the read?

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