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Star Citizen Adding ASL Emotes for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Players

Star Citizen will include ASL emotes for those who are deaf or hard of hearing with plans to add facial animations.

As Star Citizen gets further into development, a new video from the official YouTube channel introduced a large amount of information regarding the games current state. One piece of information that stood out was the introduction of ASL (American Sign Language) being implemented into the game.

On February 7, Star Citizen pushed a new video live, it detailed specifics such as new thruster audio systems, flight systems, removing glitches, and more. The segment in which Steven Bender, Animation Director at Cloud Imperium Games, discusses the ASL emotes takes place at 13:33.

Bender discusses how the community behind the game consists of a lot of deaf or hard of hearing members, acknowledging that they don’t interact with the game in the same way that hearing users would do so. As such, the began working with some community members to build a series of emotes to use in-game.

These emotes were recorded using motion-capture technology and we get to see the characters in action performing certain signs. Bender details how when the character videos were sent to a hard of hearing developer on the team, they were excited and knew exactly what the characters were signing.

In the video, we see examples such as, “Bored”, “Bullshit”, “Have a seat”, “Hello”, “I’m sad”, “Sit down and stay put”, “Thank you”, and “Goodbye”.

Now, as someone who uses sign language, I noticed something missing from the example videos. Facial animations (Yes I know, they’re examples). Sign language is always better understood with matching facial expressions. The video does address this with one of the presenters of the video announcing that the team behind Star Citizen want to add facial animations to these emotes.

Star Citizen

Honestly, I’m really excited to see this taking place as it will not only emotionally and physically include players who will appreciate ASL signs, but it can also work as teaching those who don’t sign, how to sign. Even if it is only simple signs.

Recently we’ve learned that Star Citizen has generated $200 million raised from crowdfunding with 2.1 million backers behind the project. There were also a bunch of videos showing off gameplay and trailers last October. Details were first shared about the game in 2012.

Star Citizen is due to launch on PC, however, it has no release date set, but from how things are looking in the above video, it’s looking good!

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