Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just saying hello

Unfortunately I haven't had any cool things to report lately like Autenil.

However, in response to his blog post about fixing a memory leak, I decided I'd tell everyone what I did today.

I made some blinky lights on the user interface blink on and off today! Ooooh, they are pretty too! :)

Ok, so it doesn't sound as glamorous as reference-counting smart-pointers and unions. I've been splitting my time between Guild Hall functionality and implementing the user-interface for the built-in voice chat. I made a lot of headway in the voice chat system today and I think everyone is really going to like it. Autenil is implementing the server-side code and communications layer to the voice-chat servers. I'm just putting a nice face on it with the goal of it being easy to understand and intuitive to use.

For you UI modders out there, I'm running as much data as I can through the dynamic data system. Since G15 support is a must-have for most Teamspeak and Ventrilo users I plan on shipping a new G15 page that mimics the functionality you'd get from these other voice chat systems.

If you're concerned about added lag, don't be. The voice communication is going through a completely different set of servers and the bandwidth usage should be about the same as using Teamspeak or Ventrilo. The only extra game overhead is determining what channels you should have available when you log in, join a group, etc. We plan on rolling the voice chat system out to the Test Server as far in advance as possible so we can get some good testing on it. When this happens, I'm going to try to recruit as many people as possible to hop on the test server and help us test it out. I really want to get some good feedback from everyone before this goes live.

I'm also really excited about all the cool features you'll get with Guild Halls, so hopefully we'll be able to release more information about them in the near future.


Joshua Kriegshauser said...

They really are some hot-looking blinky lights. You're doing great work on the voice UI; keep it up :)

Barx Atthemoon, Warden of Tunare said...

Oo, I like blinky lights (sometimes ;)).

And glad to hear guild halls are such a major focus... I can't wait to see them, I just know they're gonna be awesome.

The built-in voice chat is something I'm still iffy about... I'm going to have to see it in action before I can really pass judgment and compare it to say Ventrilo (my current voice of choice... teehee that rhymes!). But if it has nice built in "Who's Talking" functionality that'd be great, and the only other thing I'd really want is the ability to assign a "Main Talker" meaning that any time that person is speaking, all others are automatically muted.

With that said, keep up the good work =)

Thundy said...

I just hope the voice quality is equal to a full ventrilo server.

Mikul said...

With regards to channels and guilds etc. Is it possible to fix the password system and channels? Basically if you have a channel with a password setup in your tabs then the servers go down etc. If another person with that channel as an option without a password set logs in, and creates the channel without a password. You have to go about creating new protected channels, as it lets you join the channel but ignores the fact you wanted to password protect it. It should at least state that you have failed to create a new channel as it already exists as an open channel. This would also be true for any custom channels you may allow players to set up with the voice system.

Thundy said...

Also I *am* concerned with added lag, as the lag is still terrible (not just in raid zones either!!), and I don't really have confidence that adding more stuff just won't make it worse. Cause right now it just sucks :(

Greg Spence said...

I agree that the server lag is something we need to look into. Unfortunately profiling a server in the live environment is not a trivial thing to do and its very difficult to see the lag in our test environment.

However, I really don't think the Voice Chat will add any lag at all to the server. The server just doesn't have to do much at all. The client is sending and receiving the voice data to a completely different set of servers on another network, the same way Ventrilo and Teamspeak work. The EQ2 servers never see your voice data.

KC said...

Thanks for the heads up Greg!

It's always nice to hear even some hints about the inner workings :)

This new integrated voice chat, is it going to be 'free for a limited time', then require people to pay the extra money to use the service?
(im only asking because companies rarely give anything for free, and usually try to find a way to tie things into some kind of 'extra service fee'.

I wouldn't be surprised if this voice chat service became only available for the Eq2players.com Subscribers who have the 'Premium' membership. But then, I'm very paranoid :)

Please tell me im way off here? o.O

Greg Spence said...

Integrated voice chat should be free for all players. I've not heard anything to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

Forget built-in voice chat, just focus on Guild Halls.. ;-)

[I know you probably have no choice, but I just wanted to emphasize the importance of Guild Halls! Remember, there is an alternative for voice chat, but there isn't any for Guild Halls]

Greg Spence said...

No worries, I'm able to work on both and they are both coming along great.

Just today I finalized another really cool feature for guild halls.

KC said...

What a tease! Telling us about the existence of cool new features without telling us the features themselves ^_^