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Deep and gravelly

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One of the things that you'll find old Xbox Live games supporting is 'voice masks.' They're basically filters you can run your voice chat input through, so that people can't tell who/what you are over voice.

Microsoft no longer require games to implement them - I assume because people didn't really find them useful - but the idea is one worth considering if you're implementing a multiplayer RPG. Not for the online safety or disguising your voice aspect, but for the roleplay aspect. If you can speak normally, and have your voice come out sounding appropriate for the huge-ass orc you're playing as... it would be kinda cool.
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Not being an XBox player I've never come across such things [smile]

Sounds like a pretty innovative/cool use for a relatively simple technology though. I like it.

Jack

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Think something like this could simulate accents, e.g. da Jamaican troll accent in World of Warcraft, man? Or would it best to just leave that to the user?

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Maybe... if it comes down to sound insertion (adding 'man') then you're looking at a very difficult problem, because you have to (a) analyse the voice input to recognise words, (b) select suitable places to add extra sounds, and (c) make those extra sounds sound like the rest of the voice. Though that said, we /do/ have both speech recognition and text-to-speech systems - chain one to the other and while the output won't match inflexions and tone it will at least allow people to 'talk' in a simulated voice.

Voice masks/filters that I've seen in the past have basically just been DSP units (e.g. DirectSound DMOs) that have input:output rates of 1:1, so you're not adding or removing anything.

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Yeah I agree that the voice mask thing is awesome in theory. But in actual practice, I can tell you why Microsoft isn't as enthusiastic about it. Most of the voice masks just sound tinny and robotic, and not really that natural at all. It's almost painful to hear someone using one. So if you go onto Xbox Live and switch one on, most people will yell at you until you turn it off.

So the technology needs to progress a little I think.

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