Recently Vivox and Ten Ton Hammer were proud to release the open beta build of Voon - a new voice and events app for gamers.
As you're downloading the app, check out a few questions on Voon and its future we asked Vivox's Matt Bellows to answer.
Would you say Voon is more like a chatroom client like IRC with the added benefit of voice, or a voicechat driven solution like Ventrilo or Teamspeak?
Voon isn’t really like either of them. It’s unique, because Voon is powered by audio events - live interactive broadcasts put on by our media partners like Ten Ton Hammer, the TTH community, game writers, fans and experts. As gamers, we love being somewhere live - hearing the news as it drops and being able to talk back. Since we can't always be at the event in person, we created Voon. Voon is meant to be that place where gamers can take in, take part and create discussion around games we care about.
What kind of performance can players expect? Will players located across the country or overseas from Vivox's servers experience significant lag?
Voon runs on the same backend platform that powers voice services for EVE Online, EQ and EQ II, Star Wars Galaxies, Second Life, and all the other Vivox customers. So the same scalability (thousands of people in a single conversation), reliability (millions of people connecting per month) and volume (billions of minutes of voice traffic per month) that those MMOs get are also available to Voon.
We connect conversations to gamers in over 180 countries worldwide right now, with no noticeable lag for broadband users.
What's the single biggest advantage Voon has over competing voice chat solutions?
Well, you could say that it’s free, it’s remotely managed for greater security and it's incredibly easy to use. But we don’t really think of Voon as competing with other voice chat apps. It’s a different kind of application than what you see out there today. What other voice chat application can host a Ten Ton Hammer event with scores of people participating in real time with such high quality? None that I know of.
The most recent large-scale application of Vivox technology to date was when thousands tuned in in-game to hear the keynote speech at EVE Online FanFest 2008 last month. Will audio events such as developer Q&A sessions be capable of scaling to such large audiences?
Definitely. SOE also did this with their community address at FanFaire in August. Over 6,000 players listened to John Smedley from within EQ II and Star Wars Galaxies. The great reception both those events got encouraged us that the events part of Voon would be well received. We are looking forward to more events like this with developers and communities. We've got theoretical maximums with our platform, and we haven't come close to reaching them yet.
Will Vivox goodies like speech-altering voice fonts and positional audio be available for Voon users in the future?
Voice fonts, voice mail, phone numbers for rooms, SMS out from Voon... we'd love to add all the goodies that we have in our arsenal. However, this release is our first open beta. The point of this release is to get Voon in the hands of many thousands of users, have them use it a lot, then tweak and hone the functionality based on their feedback. Then we’ll bring in the more advanced functionality. We are really looking forward to hearing from the TTH community in particular. Use it, abuse it, and tell us what you think.
You can download the Voon client and participate in open beta right here at Ten Ton Hammer, then offer your feedback in the Ten Ton Hammer Voon forum. Thanks to Matthew Bellows and the Vivox team for sharing their time with us on a very special day for both Ten Ton Hammer and Voon.