Hi.
I'm curious, what would you do if you started using sapi for output when it came to mac and linux? Would you use speech dispatcher or what ever they call the sapi-like system they have on those platforms? Also I had a bit of a brainstorm. I know ESpeak is pretty much considered dreadful, but it's so small and open source. Do you think you could use the library version of ESpeak legally in all of your games as an option?


I never finished it, but I have a bgt script that can play wav files if it can find them, otherwise it will speak using SAPI. I wonder if you would be better off if you wrote something like it to handle use of sapi, speech dispatcher or what ever other options there are on each platform you will work with. It will use the correct speech api, but if there are sounds it will play those. Then almost automatically you could allow for use of voice packs, or you could be able to switch to sapi or similar if the user chooses in the menu to do it or if it is on a platform who's speech api you don't support.

There is one big problem with that. That is you have to send the right chunks of text speech that will work with speech files. You can't just send your whole sentence to the script or what ever it would be called in your case and expect it to load the right individual files. Oh it would work with sapi fine, but not playing files. So if you took the time to send it individual chunks of text, it would load files who's names are the same as each chunk of text or if not found it will speak that chunk. But if you send it a bunch of stuff to speak and there are no files, it will make sapi pause similar to how voiceovers do, that probably isn't desirable. Actually. my script spells anything it doesn't have files for because when I wrote it sapi wasn't supported quite yet. I stopped because Angel script had a limitation I couldn't find a way to get around. I should go ahead and finish it, I think lots of bgt programmers could make good use of it.

Sent with Thunderbird 3.1.10 portable.

On 8/7/2011 4:07 PM, Thomas Ward wrote:
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.

Cheers!


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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