Blog: We need a better GOTV!

February 6th, 2013 22:17

What we have now

Not to go into the discussion of how it is the year 2013, and we are (or like to think we are) quite advanced in terms of technology... I think a lot of you will agree that GOTV is not as advanced as it should be, being a feature of a game released in 2012 and being subject to "regular" updates this year as well.

Most of you will know this, but if we compare GOTV to it's "predecessor" (Source TV), we'll find little to no significant improvements. The list of new features which have a notable effect on the spectating experience is limited to:
1. X-Ray mode
2. A revamped map overview with drawing support
3. New (some people say improved) auto director

As much as I like these features, I'm sure everybody has been annoyed by them at some point.

X-Ray mode:
Yes, this gives the casual/novice/inexperienced spectator more insight into what is happening at the moment, and if he/she should expect some action soon. It also gives the possibility to a caster to easily be able to choose which player to follow next. However, the X-Ray mode creates two major problems:
- the spectator is not seeing what the player is seeing and cannot correctly appreciate the actions of the player
- it creates a confusion for the casual/novice/inexperienced spectator of the type: "he is right there, why doesn't he shoot him"

While both problems can be avoided to some extent by the caster, the X-Ray mode often ruins the experience of the spectator.

Map overview with drawing support:
I have mostly positive experience with this new feature. The problems come up only with inexperienced casters who don't know how and when to use it.

Auto director:
The new auto director uses the fact that the broadcast is delayed to switch to players/areas where the next action will occur. This sounds really cool and causes less action to be missed, which is why most casters started using it a lot. The problem happens when this feature is used in tight end-of-round situations such as possible clutches (especially 1 on 1). In these cases it kills all the suspense because if you know how auto director works (and you'll quickly find out) you know who wins the round (or match, or championship) before the round ends.

In no way I'm saying that the new features are bad. I think that all of them bring something to the table, but have to be used carefully to avoid degrading the spectating experience.

What we should have

Let's move on to what this text is all about. We need improvements for GOTV which will provide real benefits to the spectator regardless of the experience of the caster. One of the people I respect (but most of you don't), Richard Lewis, often says: FPS games should be easier to spectate than MOBA games. Players are running around and shooting at other players. Plain and simple. The problem here is that when spectating FPS games we only see a fraction of the action and with no replay function we are left to the mercy of the video editors to see what really happened. This unfortunately often happens days (or weeks) after the action itself took place.
Yes, with the auto director you might see all the frags, but you'll never see the perfect flash/smoke being thrown, the perfect fake being executed, the insane boost, etc.

I'll finish this text with a few ideas that I believe will help going in this direction. All of them are probably already mentioned in a forum post, twitter reply, or in another way, and unfortunately all of them seem to be forgotten.

1. Advanced replay system
Although being able to re-watch the round which just ended would be a huge improvement, we should not settle for this alone. We should be able to see a timeline of events, filter by a team, player, event type... We should be able to watch it in slow motion, have an option to watch it without the smokes being rendered, without flashes blinding us... We should be able to save it as a video, publish it on Youtube, Facebook, share it via Twitter...

2. Clutch mode
As much as we like the auto director, we should have the option to turn a "Clutch" camera mode on and see the last member of a team try to win the round. Yes, in most cases he won't, but when he does the excitement will be really big. Combine this with a highlight feature (via the replay system) and you can make the excitement last even longer.

3. "1 on 1" mode
Why not have a split screen feature available for 1 on 1 situations, where you can have the views of both players onscreen at once, and possibly a larger map overview and stats for the two players above their views?

4. In-Game casting
How many times did I try to watch a game via GOTV and have a stream turned on in the background? Only once, since I realized that the stream comes with a delay and you can't really synchronize the two data sources. Why not have the possibility to select an audio stream in-game?

That is all I have to say at the moment. If you have any other ideas feel free to discuss them in the comments, and let's hope that Valve does the right thing and makes our spectating experience better. We know they can, the question is if they want to do that.
fancy1 | 
Korea dafNaY 
ye but first comeback with the old dgl and add silencers -.-
2013-02-06 22:19
as much as I agree, this won't really help the game and the FPS genre in general to grow...
2013-02-06 23:59
Azerbaijan Talley 
Yea, read some nice ideas. Especially clutch and 1on1 modes would be good!
2013-02-06 23:37
Romania Lord. 
no, we need cs 1.6
2013-02-06 23:38
2013-02-07 22:11
noone took it from u
2013-02-19 08:27
you can still play 1.6 so whats the problem?
2013-02-19 08:30
yep i agreed :)
2013-02-06 23:39
Norway akcl 
Good points, copy-paste it to someone with contacts.
2013-02-06 23:44
we need it so there is no more shitlag
2013-02-06 23:45
Finland viles 
Autodirector doesn't always spectate the winning player in 1on1 situations..
2013-02-06 23:49
yes, I guess it doesn't Last time I watched a stream it looked like I always knew what is going to happen next. In today's stream with VG and VP I noticed that it wasn't always the case.
2013-02-06 23:56
Valve made that AD is sometimes random because if not you will always know who is going to frag.
2013-02-07 13:10
Yes I know and I mean't to say just that.
2013-02-07 13:15
I think AD is great, I just don't like casters completely relying on it. e.g. I liked what rizc did a few days ago, something like "f#$% AD, I'll spec this guy till the end of the round"
2013-02-07 15:59
AD = Astana Dragons
2013-10-16 03:31
2013-10-16 04:55
great blog, but sorry for oftopic i have a question, today i wanted to practice smokes, and flashes on go, and my grenades on offline mode are restricted to 0, how do i change this ? :D
2013-02-07 00:26
sv_cheats 1 -> noclip -> bind h "give_weapon smokegrenade" spam h for SMOKEZ ;D
2013-02-07 09:48
i know, i did that every time, and now i get into game and sv_cheats 1 , give_weapon smokegrenade, and it says grenades are restricted to 0 :(
2013-02-07 10:01
mp_buy_allow_grenades 1
2013-10-16 07:43
Nice read. Not wholly agreeing on the xray though. I think its a great feature, especially when you're not using the autodirector.
2013-02-07 09:50
Post this @steam forum ;D
2013-02-07 11:06
In Dota 2 there is a Highlight system on each demo with the best moves from that match. I hope they can do it in CS:GO too somehow
2013-02-07 12:14
Norway akcl 
This should be possible. The game already logs frags (think "Player 1 killed Player 2 with ak-47") so it could just be programmed to show IE every 3k/4k/ace or every 1on2/1on3 etc. Other things would be harder to highlight I guess..
2013-02-07 12:18
I only want in-game casting. Hate to watch 720+ video with dumb clicker. I only want to listen to him.
2013-02-07 12:20
"1 on 1" mode... good idea
2013-02-07 12:27
and in-game casting. Like dota2?
2013-02-07 12:28
Portugal picc 
the x-ray is really annoying imo. some of the features you mentioned were interesting
2013-02-07 12:37
you can put x-ray off tard
2013-02-07 14:51
Portugal picc 
I just said that I don't like one of the features of GOTV. And I can't put x-ray off in a stream. "Tard".
2013-02-07 15:00
Perhaps all of this would be left out and put esl ,easy anti cheat .....
2013-02-07 13:15
2) I just don't get it, what would be so special about this. Isn't following the last remaining player alive already a "clutch mode". 3) Even though the Source Engine 2011 is capable of doing this, the fov's of both pov's would be reduced and you'd probably have a framerate drop. 4) The current structure of how tournaments work would need to change. Most tournament would start to charge over gotv access, just like in Dota 2, and I don't think this would be well accepted by the CS community.
2013-02-07 13:26
2) Yes, but you can always add a visual hint that there is one player alive in one of the teams, with more visible display of the remaining players health, larger countdown timer... It would make the experience more dramatic. 3) With Full HD resolutions being the standard at the moment, you can fit two smaller 4:3 or 16:9 views in there and fill the blank space with useful information. FPS might be a problem, but it might as well not be as the total rendered area will be smaller. The benefit will be huge, imagine two players outsmarting each other in the final seconds of the round. You'll know exactly what both of them did, and how one of them came up on top. 4) Didn't know that GOTV is charged for Dota 2. Too bad if this is the case.
2013-02-07 15:39
To watch most of the DOTA 2 tournaments you need to buy access tickets. It's not a standard but that's the only way tournaments can monetize trough the TV. As far as I know, half of the money goes to valve and the other half to the organizers.
2013-02-07 15:56
And, unfortunately (or fortunately?), that wouldn't work with CS players because they are cheap bastards (and also because we had it for free for so long, so people would protest about that).
2013-02-19 08:31
Seems kinda nice :)
2013-02-07 13:54
It's not bad, it's just different :)
2013-02-07 15:20
2013-02-07 15:39
You can't complain because it's a new game. It's different.
2013-02-07 15:41
I'm not really complaining. The features they've already added are good, they just need to be used more carefully. I'm actually asking for new features that are not in the game.
2013-02-07 15:54
wtf did u just mature?
2013-02-07 15:56
No, I believe that was sarcasm. He is young though, there is still hope left :)
2013-02-07 16:01
2013-02-11 16:13
Did valve BJ you?
2013-02-19 08:34
some good ideas
2013-02-07 16:05
Croatia VuKA 
2013-02-07 21:22
We need a better GO... a much, much, much better GO
2013-02-07 16:13
4. In-Game casting <- DIS!
2013-02-09 13:47
A really good post and I agree with most of it, which encouraged me to maybe add some ideas of mine to the mix. I. Fixed camera positions When watching a game there are 3 views: 1st person, 3rd person and Free camera. Maybe allowing the spectator to add fixed cameras, something similar to the CGS did (championship gaming series). To explain how I think this would work, the spectator get onto the server and via Free camera takes some specific position, example: and hits a hotkey or a combination of keys to save that view and when the game is live, by hitting that key-combo it takes him to that camera view. My personal opinion is that is fun to watch 1st person kills, a player clutch and all that, but in certain situations I would like to have some type of overview to see how the team has setup, say when defending a retake, or seeing how a team retakes a site. II. In-game voice Im not sure how many teams use in-game voice, i personally don't use it, neither does my team. But say teams do start using it, or leagues and Valve encourage teams to start using it. Let the spectator have an option to activate what the teams are talking via in-game. Say during: buy-time, during a 2v2 situation, retake, defending a bomb etc... and allow the spectator to hear the communication of professional teams during specific situations. III. In-game stats I am a really stats freak, and love numbers especially related to any type of sport. I don't see a reason why not implement more stats to gaming, especially games like Counter-Strike. Examples of what stats I would like to see: III.A. Player stats example: The only stats we have for players right "that matter" now are Kills/Deaths/Points. I personally would like to see how many headshots did someone get, average damage-per-round, KPD, clutch rounds, Killing streak etc. And again, via some hotkeys allow the person spectating to open up some of these stats somewhere on the screen, like in the Shaq example. III.B. Team stats example: Similar to the player stats but just with team. That could maybe show up during the half, after the match, or allow the spectator to open it up whenever he wants: some thing I would include would be (these are all team stats, or the sum of all 5 players of some team): Kills, Deaths, Average-dmg, bomb-plant, defuses, Headshots, first picks etc... I would think the player and team stats could come together meaning, by monitoring single player stats, adding them up shouldnt be that hard. III.C. Match stats Now I was not able to find a picture, but I suppose some of you watched handball, and I love those small stat boxes that appear showing: Top5 players with most goal in game, Penalties taken etc... My idea would be to implement the same thing to counter-strike, for example. During the match again via hot-keys allow the spectator to open up that small stat box that could show: Top3/5 players with most: kills, headshots, kpd... you get the point. I really like statistics and would love to see them implemented in counter-strike a little more. I don't know how and if it's possible, but would be fun for me.
2013-02-11 12:48
I like the ideas, especially regarding stats. There are 3rd party server plugins that collect stats at the moment, but integrating stats within GOTV would be a lot better.
2013-02-11 15:14
i would like to see 1on1 mode :)
2013-02-11 15:19
whatever,gotv are always laggy and the way the shots appear in gotv are weird,
2013-02-19 09:04
i guess so, aleksandar
2013-02-21 17:59
World suoh 
cs go needs a better motion
2013-02-21 18:04
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