Hi Bryan,

Well, yes and no. Its true that a handful of people had problems with
Sapi support, because for some strange reason Sapi is easy to screw
up. Yet, it was under ten people who had problems. From a technical
standpoint that's probably worth the risk of supporting the technology
as Jeremy, Jim Kitchen, GMA, and other audio game developers use Sapi
support without too much trouble with it.  It is, in fact, becoming a
standard among audio game developers as a common API we use to speak
information in our games.

The longer I've been  with this community  and have been developing
games I've found that Sapi actually resolves a lot more problems than
it causes. That's why I am strongly considering making Sapi support a
standard option in my future games for the reasons below.

First, there is the matter of end user preference. I'm talking about
that big thread back in June about which voice someone likes or
doesn't like, the rate is too fast or too slow, the pitch is too high
or too low, etc can be solved by switching to Sapi. If someone doesn't
like the default Sapi voice on their computer weather it is Microsoft
Sam or Microsoft Anna they can head over to Nextup.com or Cepstral.com
and buy a different one. Given the number of audio games that rely on
Sapi support I figure most people probably own at least one Sapi voice
they like by now.

Second, using Sapi, from a programming standpoint, is quicker and
easier.  To use *.wav files as I've been doing slows production down
alot because I have to record the speech files, edit the speech files,
and then write a bunch of code to load the proper *.wav file when it
is needed. With Sapi all I have to do is pass a string of text to the
Sapi->Speak() function and I'm done. No recording, editing, or extra
coding required.

Third, it saves money. If I have to higher someone to do the voice
overs that can cost quite a bit to have someone speak the menus,
status messages, and so on all be it the end result will sound more
professional. Even if I continue recording and using Sapi voices
that's not exactly free either. I have to license the voice, and pay
for the rights to use those voice clips in my game. That costs money
and will come out of any game I produce.

Finally, it makes the installation smaller. Last time I checked I
think MOTA's speech directory was close to 50 MB or something like
that.  While its not a problem for a modern PC its the idea that there
is an easier and simpler way to self-voice a game that doesn't wack
off 50 MB of your hard drive space right off the bat. That 50 MB could
be used for something else like audio books, mp3s, more games, etc. No
sense waisting space if you don't have to is basically what I mean.

I know the counter arguments as well. Not everyone has a good Sapi
voice. The default sapi voice sucks. Sapi support can break. Those are
all good points, but the reasons I mentioned above actually proves
Sapi is still probably the best option to self-voice a game on Windows
right now. That's why I'm strongly thinking about using it in Raceway
and any other games I might produce in the future.


On 8/7/11, Bryan Peterson <bpeterson2...@cableone.net> wrote:
> I remember when he tried that. People kept having Sapi issues.
> We are the Knights who saaaaay...Ni!

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