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RizzenGPC
March 21st, 2005, 22:34
Simlish: the language the Sims speak. A garbled dialect to simulate english.

This will be considered a somwhat strange suggestion,however, I've seen it work in other online roleplaying resources and it greatly adds to the immersion of the game.

Imagine that when you create a character you can choose the gender and tone of voice you want respresenting your character. Its a simple drop-down box that allows you to "sample" the voice before applying it to your character. This basically chooses a directory on the local machine that is tied to that voice.

When you type in the chat window, depending on the line, a specific simlish sentence is spoken/mumbled. If you add an "emoticon" to the end of the line, it changes the simlish to be a different emphasis.

Examples:
Greetings, and well met!
- This would play a simlish sentence that is more of a exclimation.

Shall we move down the tunnel to our right?
- This would play a simlish sentence that is posed as a question.

I'd be more than happy to search that cleric of lolth :)
- By adding an emoticon on the end, it plays a simlish sentence that sounds somewhat happy.

It is hard to beleive that we have lost one of our own :(
- By adding a :( emoticon, the simlish is said in a sad tone.

You can see the applications for something like this. It would also be fairly easy to incorporate and would have many added benefits.
1) You would hear messages arrive.
2) You would recognize the speaker without looking at your screen.
3) It would be much more immersive to hear the "Dwarf" grumbling about something.
4) When a bard sings a song, you might actually hear humming or even a "la la la" song.

If nothing else, perhaps the developers of this excellent product would consider adding code to do this, however the community supplies sound sets. I would be more happy to donate my voice for many different sound sets.

I imagine each sound set consisting of 10 to 20 simlish sentences that would be built using *.wav or *.ogg (depending on the developers of course). Each sentence is its own file. I also imagine that you would not need to "stream" the audio between clients... just make sure the clients have distributed the files either manually or automatically.

I know, many of you are thinking that this may not add much to the game, however... I've seen it and it does indeed add to the atmosphere. Its also very simple to code. Its also very simple to test for the existence of the sound sets so as to bypass the use of them if they were not in existence.

Rizzen

Deusin
March 21st, 2005, 23:51
I wholeheartedly agree with this suggestion.

Something close to 50% of movie, game, and like experiences is sound. The Sims is the best selling game of all time and they didn't neglect sound in their character interactions, even if it is obfuscated. Making smart use of sound would be a great way to expand on the experience. I think this suggestion could very easily be taken up and run away with into scary directions, but it is also fairly easily extensible from a community standpoint that could draw on a solid foundation as well.

Imagine going a few steps further:

-Vote casting with similar sound feedback: A gruff dwarf voice, "Aye!".
-Certain lines of text could be set aside readable by the sound parser and have simple sounds created for each voice "Yes" "No" "Charge", etc...
-The DM using creature or personality voices with simlish sound. I'm sure there are people out there with synthesizer skills that could do amazing things with sound. Deep dragons voices with echos, Lyrical Fey creatures, Chorus-like Devas and Angels, etc...

Smart use of XML and file naming could streamline the text parsing process and allow for a variable number of sounds of different moods and randomness. But a simple standard could be created by the community or developers for how the files would be named or xml setup so the presence (more importantly, the lack) of a file could be used or randomed.

My head spins with the entertaining possibilities! By way of examples and perhaps how it could be accomplished:
/mood (whisper) Perhaps we should go back the other way, those trolls appear to be watching for us...
-This would play a simlish sentence in a whisper, helping keep the mood established and the tone of voice would come across clearly.

/mood (wounded) I don't think I'm going to survive this, go on without me...
-This would play a simlish sentence from someone who sounds heavily wounded, perhaps sounding hurt or groaning.

/mood (flirt) I really think we could work this out without alerting the guards.
-This would play a simlish sentence with a flirting voice.

exclamation/questioning - This could be handled with the presence of a "!" or "?" at the end or with an appropriate mood tag, perhaps even both if you really got deep with sound sets:


World of Warcraft made use of audio emotes triggered with "/charge", "/incoming", "/silly", "/flirt", "/yes", "/no", etc. This could fairly easily be supported as well or incorporated into a sound/mood parser.

An intelligent or simple parser could be created to look through the xml or file system for the appropriate mood tag and play the simlish or sound file. It could be created to ignore moods that do not have sound files or fall back to the base voice set. Numbering the files or more records in the xml could allow some randomness to the simlish and even the standard replies or audio emotes: "Aye", "Yes", "Of course", or "Nay", "No way", "Never!", etc...


Obviously this could be taken a few other steps in different directions with sound. Allowing specific audio files to be triggered by the DM, pre-loading them or handling them manually. Music could be set up and looped for various sequences of the adventure, etc. But, in it's simplicity, Simlish for character voices and perhaps the ability to extend it to personalities and creatures would be incredible.

richvalle
March 22nd, 2005, 01:43
Heh... and I was just thinking the other day that the 'sound' thing had not come up in a while.

I'll summerize the past threads.

1. The devs had started to add sound (to the dice rolling) but it was hard to synch the sound to the visual effects and removed it.

2. FG is trying to replicate a game played around the table top and most the sound stuff is just not present at these games.

3. If voice talking is wanted there are other, better and free programs that people can use in the back ground while playing FG. Some groups are using this with good effect.

4. Some users have said one thing they like about FG is that its simple and stream lined.

5. I think the devs have said they may revisit the ability to play sounds but they have other priorities right now.

Welcome to the boards!

:)

rv

RizzenGPC
March 22nd, 2005, 02:40
Interesting.... Here is a response to what you've said:


1. The devs had started to add sound (to the dice rolling) but it was hard to synch the sound to the visual effects and removed it.

Doesn't apply to what we are suggesting.


2. FG is trying to replicate a game played around the table top and most the sound stuff is just not present at these games.

Simlish represents what really happens around a pen & paper table. Talking.


3. If voice talking is wanted there are other, better and free programs that people can use in the back ground while playing FG. Some groups are using this with good effect.

This is true, however... actual VOIP represents its own set of problems... and this solution of simlish provides more immersion than actual talking in many cases.


4. Some users have said one thing they like about FG is that its simple and stream lined.

I don't think this changes that.


5. I think the devs have said they may revisit the ability to play sounds but they have other priorities right now.

This I can understand.

richvalle
March 22nd, 2005, 03:07
Interesting.... Here is a response to what you've said:


1. The devs had started to add sound (to the dice rolling) but it was hard to synch the sound to the visual effects and removed it.

Doesn't apply to what we are suggesting.

Sorry... when I said 'removed it' I meant all sound support, not just sound for the dice.

rv

RizzenGPC
March 22nd, 2005, 05:36
Perhaps the Devs should consider adding mod'ability of sounds etc. They could easily implement "events" that fire that we, as the community, can make use of.

I full understand them not having time to implement fully robust sound... but I sure wish they could give the community something to hook in to.

Visigodo
March 22nd, 2005, 11:57
Another sound topic. :D :twisted:

Deusin
March 22nd, 2005, 19:25
I wouldn't mind having a second application that runs in the background to facilitate this sound idea if audio simply will not be incorporated into this product for whatever reason. I wouldn't mind a few suggestions, or even improvements to the system, for how I can get at the information we'd require to get this going. Examples:

-A log file that is appended after every message that comes across would be fantastic. An application could have a file watch on it and check for audio cues.

-I've not done concurrent port watching (two applications listening to the same port), but perhaps that is possible as well: Listening for incoming traffic on the ports used by Fantasy Grounds and running the text through the sound parser.

-Another possibility is traversing the memory of the application, though I shudder to think of how much fun that will be.

I fully understand not being able to code a request such as this with the sheer volume of things that should be done and the complications arising from it, but pointing out or giving us easy to use hooks shouldn't be too much of a stretch.

richvalle
March 22nd, 2005, 19:44
I wouldn't mind having a second application that runs in the background to facilitate this sound idea if audio simply will not be incorporated into this product for whatever reason. I wouldn't mind a few suggestions, or even improvements to the system, for how I can get at the information we'd require to get this going. Examples:

-A log file that is appended after every message that comes across would be fantastic. An application could have a file watch on it and check for audio cues.

-I've not done concurrent port watching (two applications listening to the same port), but perhaps that is possible as well: Listening for incoming traffic on the ports used by Fantasy Grounds and running the text through the sound parser.

-Another possibility is traversing the memory of the application, though I shudder to think of how much fun that will be.

I fully understand not being able to code a request such as this with the sheer volume of things that should be done and the complications arising from it, but pointing out or giving us easy to use hooks shouldn't be too much of a stretch.

I think I see what you are saying with this. I saw something like this done with Dark Ages of Camelot. There was a log parser that would play sounds when things were written to the log (like a train sound playing with you started to run). It was quite nice. You could also kick off sound bytes by entering certain things into the chat window and the log parser would kick off the sound file for that command. We had great fun finding movie sound bytes and putting them in.

There is a chat file that is written to by default so this should be doable. You would have to point the log parser to the right file at the time you start it up I think as it may be campaign specific.

rv

Sigurd
March 22nd, 2005, 20:00
I think Smiteworks would do well to adopt a free open source sound communication program as standard. I use Teamspeak.

They can avoid one whole set of connection and sound support and concentrate of the game graphics and data sharing. Sound can come but it should be done for kicks. Players put a token on a map a pit opens up and an MP3 plays. "Suuuuckeeer!" that sort of thing.

S

Bitr_Haag
March 22nd, 2005, 21:06
Seeing as how I haven't seen any information about the next patch, I'd rather SW focus on some of the more immediate requests that are actually hampering play (see token box reference above).

Still, sound is a natural evolution and I would hope that SW is making plans to add it; even if it's in 2006!! What they've done here is a great start but it only takes another competitor to come in and do the same with additional "bells and whistles" to sink an effort.

The sign that they are partnering with Code Monkey is a step in the right direction towards creating a complete d20 virtual system (assuming they can work together effectively).

My vote is to put "sound" as a 2006 effort and focus on getting some of these other issues solved.

Deusin
March 24th, 2005, 00:10
In the meantime, I'd like to see if I can accomplish this task outside the application. Can any Devs respond with some suggestions as to how this could be accomplished easiest and most reliably or perhaps put me down another path of gathering the information?

If I come up with anything stellar, I'll be happy to share.