notes: in-game voice chat

20 February 2018

been thinking about multiplayer voice chat in any shape or form

Proximity voice chat:

  • Compulsory for something like VRchat but not useful in a MOBA
  • If you did so for left 4 dead players can use their own chatroom because it's disadvantageous
  • Games where you might need to whisper to players can be fun, trying to find an area where the whispering can occur (It's too much effort to set up individual communications with each other player)

Dealing with people playing music: cooldown on voice communication

  • Players can already mute other players
  • This stops conversations
  • Cooldown timer on a 5 second burst of transmission? or perhaps 1 minute of talk time that recharges slowly while not talking?
  • Could be good to actually let everyone be able to talk if its a discussion, people who talk the most are no longer able to, or need to think how to condense their ideas
  • Some kind of co-op game with a tense situation could be good, but games like "keep talking and nobody explodes" requires always-on voice chat

Games that MUST require player voice:

  • Shouldn't be volume based because you can just cheat on microphone sensitivity
  • Pitched based (like any singing game) is useful
  • Taking pitch out of context: maybe a game where you just walk around shattering glass with resonant frequencies
  • How fair is pitch based games for players that are tone deaf
  • Can tone deaf players still modulate pitch well if there is a visual indicator of their pitch? (sliding bar, number of Hz, etc)
  • Stuff like nintendogs etc, are people willing to talk up on a train? Not in japan I presume.
  • How good are phones at picking up humming?
  • direction-sensitive microphones could provide another interesting way to transplant your real-world locations into a game
  • Direction sensitive microphones also let you blow air in multiple directions
  • How expensive is it to set up direction sensitivity? How many people can do this? Can I do this if 4 people just gather their smartphones and communicate and deal with volume differences (have to adjust for each microphone and calibrate)
  • There's the potential for teaching the uses of pitch, for singing, for language etc. I'm not the one to make this though.

what about voice chat that requires the player to opt-in

This means voice chat was never a core part of the game. I can’t recall any game that has voice chat features but requires it to opt-in. The closest example is League’s all-chat (ability to talk and listen to enemy team) being off by default, but it’s not for voice.

Since it’s not a core part of the game its not good to dwell here.