Voice Comm for Mac OS X [Updated]
9:57 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
There's no question that voice communication is slowly but surely becoming a staple in multiplayer online gaming. Carrying voices over the net, voice comm allows gamers to communicate with each other more rapidly and naturally than through typing chat messages, making for a better overall experience.
Unfortunately, the Mac gaming scene's options for voice communication are limited. A recent forum post at alt.games.warbirds voiced concerns regarding the lack of options, to which a flurry of responses were posted. Prominently mentioned in most of these posts was a working beta version of Roger Wilco, arguably one of the more popular voice comm programs out there.
In response to the flurry, Wade Williams, developer of the Mac version of RW, posted this response regarding future development:
Here's the scoop guys:Wade also notes that he will have a progress log set up sometime in the near future, although he adds that updates will be sparse.
Roger Wilco for the Mac has not been touched since shortly after the acquisition by HearMe (and it was then subsequently acquired by GameSpy).
My contract was cancelled by HearMe before all the bugs were worked out. There are definitely known bugs. (In fact, a complete rewrite was underway when the contract was cancelled).
I *definitely* have plans to do a cross-platform application/library in the future. In fact, I've already started the project, but currently it's still in the design phase.
I would hope to get that project completed within the next 12 months or so, but at this point, it's too early to make any promises. On the other hand, should I suddenly have the opportunity for a lot of uninterrupted time, there's a chance I might make significant progress, if no other projects are pressing.
(For those of you wondering why I have difficulty finding the time, I have a demanding day job, a current off-hours project, and 9-month old twins.)
The caveat is that this new application/library will be OS X only on the Mac. Such applications are extremely difficult to write on OS 9. It was a major pain with RW and it's simply not worth the effort these days as users are quickly transitioning to OS X and many games will soon start becoming OS X-only.
Williams's hopes to develop his own voice comm solution are longstanding; the developer first indicated them in the Roger Wilco forum posting announcing the end of his work on Roger Wilco in December of 2000.
The news that Williams is moving forward with his desire to bring voice communication to Mac OS X is sure to be welcome to Mac gamers. Those interested in his development log and forum postings can find them linked below.
alt.games.warbirds: Impending Doom for Mac Users?
Roger Wilco for Mac: End of my involvement
Mac Voice Development Log
Roger Wilco: Mac Support
MGF: Roger Wilco 1.0b4 (1.4 MB)
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