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Overview of programs for team voice communication

image The problem of voice communication in online games, whether it is a grand MMORPG or a simple online shooter, is very serious. During active actions, there is often not enough time to use the in-game chat, and in most cases using chat will greatly aggravate your situation with other players in front of other players due to spending time in empty space, unless of course your enemies use voice communication.

In team games, where interaction between the participants is crucial, fast and high-quality communication is simply necessary - you need to take this as an axiom. Yes, and exchange mothers with friends is much nicer voice than in the chat.

Many game developers include in their products some means for voice communication, but often these tools are extremely inconvenient or have low sound quality and scarce features. The products of third-party companies usually exceed the built-in games for voice communication in terms of both the quality of communication and the abundance of settings and usability.
In this article I will review the four most popular programs for voice communication. Meet the candidates - Ventrilo , TeamSpeak 2 , TeamSpeak 3 , Mumble . Some of them are paid, some are absolutely free, as well as open source , so let's try to identify the best candidate. Such “experimental” qualities can be studied: supported codecs, supported operating systems, the number and availability of servers, scaling, the ability to put the server part on a dedicated server, sound improvement algorithms and much more.



Official site - http://www.ventrilo.com/

The first candidate in our review is a fairly well-known product that has been on the market for a very long time - Ventrilo . To be precise, Ventrilo has been developing since 2002. At the moment, the latest version is 3.0.5 . Ventrilo is available for all Microsoft Windows operating systems from Windows 95 to Windows 7 , including 64 bit versions, as well as Mac OSX 10.4 and higher, the Linux version has been under development for more than 3 years and when the company rolls it out to the public it is not known , but under Linux you can run the client under Wine . There is an open source client for Linux that can connect to Ventrilo servers - Mangler .

Ventrilo is a commercial product, it is free for the end user, but you have to pay for the server rental, there are no free servers. Prices do not bite much, high-quality server can be rented from $ 4.95 for 10 beds, up to $ 99.95 for 400 beds. Rent is possible in almost all major cities of Europe and the USA , including Moscow .

What do we offer for this money: support for codecs - Speex, GSM 6.10, Lernout & Hauspie, DSP Group TrueSpeech; voice notification of players entering / leaving the channel with the pronunciation of his name; the ability to give privileges for team broadcasting on all or selected channels; noise reduction; individual volume setting for each user; overlay - display of the speaker's nickname over the game; support for keyboard screens Logitech G15, G13, G19; “Phantoms” can be attributed to unique opportunities, this is your twin, which you can put on any channel and listen to what is being said, although you yourself are currently on a completely different channel.

Many gaming communities choose Ventrilo for good sound quality and excellent scalability, if you need more places for people, you can just rent more places on the server. Server rental provides voice communication 99.9% of the time and excludes all sorts of lags, which is very important for large gaming communities.

It was decided to display all the possibilities in a table for later comparison; the table can be found at the end of the article.

TeamSpeak 2


Official site - http://www.teamspeak.com/

TeamSpeak 2 has been developed since 2002, the latest version is dated 2007. TeamSpeak 2 is completely free, available for Microsoft Windows and Linux , the free server part is also available for these operating systems, which gives you the opportunity to raise your free server for your gaming community.

If there is no machine for the server at hand, or you have problems with the Internet channel, you can use a lot of free servers or rent your own, the price starts from $ 0.14 for one place.

The possibilities of the program are scant: there is no overlay, keyboard screens are not supported, there is no possibility of broadcasting to all channels, there is no noise cancellation. The advantage is the prevalence of the program and servers, most of the gaming communities use TeamSpeak 2 .

TeamSpeak 3


Official site - http://www.teamspeak.com/

TeamSpeak 3 is an evolutionary development of TeamSpeak 2 . Currently 26 BETA version is available, the release date is not known, the program has already been developed for a long time. In fact, TeamSpeak 3 is a bug fix, almost all the flaws of the previous version are eliminated.

There are clients for almost all operating systems - Microsoft Windows , Linux and MacOS , while the server part, in addition to these OS, also has a version under FreeBSD .

TeamSpeak 3 is just beginning to gain popularity, but judging by its capabilities, coupled with free of charge, it is already clear that it will become the most popular program for voice communication among gaming communities. Already there are many free servers for communication.



Official site - http://mumble.sourceforge.net/

Mumble is a free open source program that has all the features of its paid rival - Ventrilo and even a bit more. Of the unique features, sound positioning is worth mentioning (if, for example, the player is on your right and says, the sound will also be heard on the right. If the player is far away from you, the sound will be muffled), but it requires a game plug-in and therefore not available for all games It is also possible to encrypt all traffic over SSL and effectively suppress echo.

Mumble client and server is available for Microsoft Windows , MacOS and Linux .

Recently, Mumble has gained a lot of users and has become popular, there are many free servers around the world.

Summary table of the programs reviewed


The best voice codec is CELT , it produces better quality and lower latency with slightly higher traffic consumption than Speex . The choice should be made based on user needs and community capabilities, if you have your own dedicated server, then the best choice is TeamSpeak 3 or Mumble . If you are going to rent space on the server, pay attention to Ventrilo .

There are several features - Ventrilo is critical for packet loss, if you lose a package, the phrase downloaded by the interlocutor will not break, but will come with a rather large delay (sometimes up to 10-15 seconds). TeamSpeak also uses UDP , there will be just a brief loss of communication. Mumble can use both protocols to transmit both UDP and TCP .

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/103645/

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