Hi Gary,
Those are some interesting ideas, but it would require some
fundimental reworking of the Raceway engine and source code to even
introduce half that stuff into the game. So if this is even remotely
something we want to do we have to basically revamp the engine while
I'm in the process on converting it from C# .Net to C++.
For example, if you want features like a track editor, season editor,
driver editor, etc that pretty much rules out using prerecorded wav
files for speech which is what Raceway uses now. Instead of human
prerecorded speech output, which is something I had planned on using,
we have to rework the engine to use Sapi support instead. Obviously
the quality of speech output then will be dependant on how good a
speech engine you can afford. Speech quality will range from anything
like Microsoft Sam to AT&T Natural Voices or something.
In other words what I am aiming at is fully customizable games, like
you are suggesting, does require some sacrofices in terms  of speech
quality and lots of extra work in upgrading the engine to support
future developments like that. It may require a complete rethinking of
the engine design. There are pros and cons of using Sapi.
For example, if I use Sapi the speech will be more flexable and would
be the best solution if we are coming up with custom driver names,
sponcers, tracks, etc. However, if I use english as the default
language for Sapi then there would be no hope of a French, German,
Spanish, etc language pack for foreign speaking users unless I
modified the engine myself with the translation.
If I use prerecorded speech not only could you customize the language
of the basic voice package if you have the right TTS engine whatever
you could customize driver names, sponcer names, whatever. However, if
we are aiming for custom content then it would be better to use some
TTS voice that a lot of people have so we could make all of the end
user add ons compatible. The last thing I think we want is for one
user to use Eloquence for his add on pack, another to use Scansoft
Tom, and someone else use Scansoft Daniel.  Having mixed and matched
voices like that wouldn't be too cool in my opinion. So I think we all
need to discuss this and think on these problems and issues before i
complete converting it to C++, because after I do that I'm not going
to be very happy rewriting a bunch of the core from scratch because
some end user wants feature x months after i wrote it.


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