Next Monty converted my voice to the "female" style, which was another
heady experience. Talking, I really could barely tell my voice from a
woman that was speaking just next to me. Through pitch manipulation,
Monty had changed my voice from a man's tenor to a female soprano in a
few mouse clicks. I was stunned. I asked Monty how they had created
such an amazing effect and what sort of purpose this would have in a
gaming experience. I mean, changing voices is great, but wouldn't that
be more appropriate for a game that was more based around roleplaying
than any of the current MMOGs?
"We're actually creating the physiological modeling where we're
mimicking the resonance of a larger chest cavity to create the deeper
voice," Monty said. "We're tipping the pitch to turn men into women or
little children. I can make my 10 year old son sound like his 16 year
old cousin. There are couple companies that are ready to start using
this technology, specifically Wizards of the Coast with their newest
edition of Dungeons and
Dragons. The dungeon master can speak in
different fonts for different characters, and all the players can adopt
voices that are more applicable for their characters. I got my start
with Dungeons and
Dragons, so this is fairly important to me."
style="font-style: italic;">Cody checks out his
headset. "Do I really sound like a woman?"
"It's that sort of feeling that you got when you first started playing
D&D," Monty continued. "Instead of sounding like a bunch of
weak-voiced thirteen year olds, now we can make gamers really sound
like their character counterparts."
After the demo was completed, I inquired with Monty concerning what was
next on their docket concerning the online games they were currently
working with. With their recently released patch in EVE, it seemed
appropriate for Monty to first hit upon their work in the
space-simulation, and he proceeded that direction without hesitiation.
"In EVE, our latest efforts have been directed towards what we call the
multi-channel," Monty said. "It's really the ability to be on multiple
channels and speak on any of them at any given time. You can pop open a
little window and just flip between the channels that you're speaking
on. On top of that, it takes less bandwidth and it actually sounds
better than the last version did. This allows fleet commanders to pop
into multiple discussions and allows them to give directions with a
higher degree of ease than what they were previously experiencing.
We're also doing things in EVE like live dev chats and long-distance
round table discussions."
Finished up with EVE, Monty also wanted to make a quick note on what
sort of adjustments they were making to the style="font-style: italic;">Second Life VoIP
With so many minutes logged, it seemed appropriate for Vivox to focus a
lot of their attention on the game.
"While this isn't in the client yet - and we're working on it - in
Second Life we
want everyone to be able to adjust the volume of the
people around them," Monty stated. "If you've got someone who's
annoying you, you can simply mute them. If you have a hard time hearing
your friend, turn up their volume."
style="font-style: italic;">In the biggest
space battles, EVE
Online fleet commanders need total control over
Finally, there were a few other games that Vivox had recently announced
having a working relationship with, and although he couldn't go into
intricate details, he did want to mention them.
"As far as other MMOGs go, we've got a fantasy-based MMOG out of Europe
called Ragnesis Online that we're working with," Monty said. "But we've
also been working with War Rock. It's pretty interesting, because in
the gaming lobby for that game you can talk with anybody, but once you
get in the game you can only talk to your teammates. However, after you
die you can only talk with other dead people, so it's a pretty
At the end of our conversation, I expressed how impressed I was with
the changes and updates Vivox had made to their client and the
interesting situations it would create in our current MMOGs. However, I
also wanted Monty to give us a hint concerning what sort of projects
Vivox would be undertaking and what direction the company would be
going as a whole. With such great strides already made in the arena of
VoIP technology, what could be next for Vivox?
"In the end, we've got such a good control over the scalability, the
volume, and the voice modifications that it's really up to the
developers and fans to determine how they want to use the technology,"
"The big thing that people are going to see over the next couple months
is this stand-alone client where people can talk to each other," said
Monty. "But we're also working on the functionality to allow people to
see where all of your friends are in various games, whether you're
playing EVE, Second
Life, Dungeons and Dragons, or whatever game we
partner with next."
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