Hi all,

As I am now in the process of finalizing things in Mysteries of the
Ancients for 1.0 release candidate 1 I would like to get your input on
a few issues I have set aside until now. One of these issues is the
matter of speech output for the game.

As you all know back around beta 18 I rerecorded all the speech clips
using Scansoft Tom's voice. Some have pointed out that the speech rate
is way too fast for them, and they want me to rerecord the speech
clips at a slower rate. I would certainly do so if I could figure out
what is a comfortable speech rate for the majority of players out
there. Its a bit hard for me to personally judge that is I tend to
listen to speech at a faster rate anyway. However, I'd be willing to
give it a try if people are still interested in me slowing the speech
rate down.

Others are just unhappy of the fact that I switched voices let alone
speech rate. I gather quite a lot of you liked Acapella Heather, and
many of you would rather see her return to the final release rather
than Scansoft Tom. Again this is certainly doable if this is what the
majority of you want. Either way I'm going to have to rerecord and
update some voice clips.

Finally, there is a third group asking for Sapi 5 support in the game.
While I'm not completely against the idea I'd like to point out that
doing so would require quite a bit of time rewriting all of the speech
code to use Sapi 5 rather than prerecorded speech as the game wasn't
developed with Sapi output in mind. Though, it is possible.

My concerns with Sapi are this. First, that not everyone owns a high
quality Sapi TTS voice, and therefore some users wouldn't have the
same quality of experience as some of us with better voices like the
AT&T, Scansoft, or Cepstral voices to use.Second, I'm working with
Blind Games Brazil and others to make Mysteries of the Ancients
available to foreign non-English speaking markets. Its just easier to
do that when someone can record the necessary speech clips, and drop
them in the speech folder.  Finally, last but not least, after we are
done with the Windows release I'm going to pport the game to Mac OS
and Linux and it will be easier if the game isn't tied to anything
platform specific like Sapi 5.

So as I currently see it I can either rerecord Scansoft Tom, restore
the original Acapela Heather clips, or I can record new ones using an
Ivona voice like Jenifer, Bryan, or Ashley, etc. Any thoughts or


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