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 Positional Voice

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Tristan
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PostSubject: Positional Voice   Fri 19 Aug - 1:46


I've had an idea (dangerous, I know!)

I was thinking about user voices in the client - with most games, you join some kind of group channel, and you can always hear what they're saying, regardless of where you are. It comes out the speakers, nice and clear.

What I was thinking, is that it would be useful (if not rather clever) to sort out some sort of locational voice system, so when a player is talking whilst standing next to you, you'll hear him clearly, and if he's standing on your left, the sound will come from your left speaker, and so on. If the player is behind you, you'll hear it a little less through both speakers. I think it's called 3D sound or something?
So, the further a player gets from you, the quieter he will sound, and the cut-off point will be fairly distant (perhaps 10 metres).

The reason I thought of this is because with the game I'm working on, there'll be points where lots of players are attacking in a small area (for example, a skirmish or a siege), and it would be more realistic to have locational sound, than having all voice within 10 metres be exactly the same volume, coming out of both sides of the speakers.
Another feature that would useful to add would be some kind of shouting button. Say, for example, the microphone toggle button is Z. If you hold that down, it will be the normal mode, with the volume set according to distance from the player. If you press Shift + Z, the output volume is increased, and the cut-off radius is increased. This would be useful if for example a Centurion needs to shout orders to a player who is too far to hear normally, without the need to run over to them in order to be heard better at the normal volume.
When a player speaks, their name could also come up on the screen somewhere which lets the player know they're speaking, and different ranks could have different coloured text. The same cut-off system would apply, with the name only showing up if they're in the radius, and perhaps it could have a fade scale where the further away the speaker is, the fainter the text is...

Am I making sense so far? Laughing

Is this something that can coded in? If so, I think it would be a useful feature to include in the Open Source version.

Thoughts?
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Delurin
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PostSubject: Re: Positional Voice   Fri 19 Aug - 3:18

I know that Axiom (the underlying client engine) has 3D sound (currently if you attach a sound to an object it will quiet as you walk away) the harder part will be to incorporate it into the voip programming that they have. Personally we found the voip sound to be not that great...lots of static and delay. From what I have seen most games do not incorporate voip because outside programs are generally a lot better than what they can make themselves.

I think realistically it is not worth the amount of effort that would be required.
Off the top of my head some of the main problems are voice quality followed by calculating in realtime the position of the player and all of the other players (doable but would probably be annoying)

One easier solution would be to have some set phrases record them and have them attached to the player so they become 3d sounds. the disadvantage is you have to prescript them and record them and make some kind of intuitive interface to trigger them.

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PostSubject: Re: Positional Voice   Fri 19 Aug - 4:53

Ok, I see your point with the amount of time it would take to create such a module.

I know I don't know much about programming (something I wish to change!), but is it not easy to assign a sound marker to the player, which is linked directly to the output of the VOIP? Or is that the difficult part overall?

Perhaps it could be something that could be programmed by the Open Source team (us Laughing ), and offered as an addon module that developers can buy, which in turn will help to fund the running of the website?... (This is a topic that I'll be coming back to, once we get the Open Source ball rolling.)

I think that when I get to the stage where I start customising the user experience and more detailed command structure, I'll just have a set of pre-recorded commands that will be accessed by pressing one of the F1-F12 buttons. I know this is used by the game Mount&Blade, which uses the 1-9 keys rather effectivley. 1-3 is assigned to Infantry, Archers and Cavalry, then once you select the unit type using 1-3, you use 4-9 to give the NPC's orders like 'Hold this position', 'Move forward/back 10 paces', 'Charge', 'Close/Open formation' and so on. Rather clever really!

So, that's probably what I'll do for the moment, and just assign the vocal commands to the Number Pad keys. (Can the client differentiate/tell the difference between the normal 1-9 and the NumPad keys?)
I do voice-acting anyway, so shouldn't be too hard!
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Delurin
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PostSubject: Re: Positional Voice   Fri 19 Aug - 6:28

I dont know about distinguishing between numberpad and regular numbers. I dont know much about voip so I cant really answer your question about what it would take
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