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I have a multiplayer game with a built-in chat panel and when a player formally exits the game (such that it is permanent), a message in the chat says X has left the game.

I'd like to also show a message in case the player loses their connection, which is impermanent - they can still reconnect and rejoin the game. But I can't think of a message that communicates this correctly. X has temporarily disconnected feels confusing - like the user won't know what that implies, while X has lost their connection again sounds like it might be permanent.

How can I emphasize in a simple way that the user is disconnected but may return?

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  • Might a user who is involuntarily disconnected decide not to rejoin, thus exiting the game for that session?
    – Izquierdo
    Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 3:07
  • It will automatically disconnect them permanently after ten minutes. (It's a turn-based game.) Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 5:44

3 Answers 3

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Instead of using verbiage to indicate status, you could show active players in a regular font, and temporarily disconnected players in an italics font.

Permanently disconnected players could either not be shown at all, shown as disabled, or shown in another section (with a header that says Offline).

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To communicate that a player has disconnected but may return, you can use a message that implies the possibility of their return. Here are a few suggestions:

  • "X has disconnected (may return)."
  • "X has disconnected (reconnect possible)."
  • "X's connection was lost (can rejoin)."
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If you don't need to inform about exact reason of game termination - disconnection, you may use another verb which implies temporary action break:

  • X is offline / X is not online
  • X's game is paused
  • X's game is suspended

I suppose there are another more suitable words as English is not my native language.

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