WHAT'S ALL THIS VOICE ATTACK STUFF?

Discussion in 'Channel News' started by Alysianah, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. Alysianah

    Alysianah Member Content Creator

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    WHAT'S ALL THIS VOICE ATTACK STUFF?

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    With the interest in Voice Packs seemingly on the rise, while Cloud Imperium Games is continuing to refine Star Citizen’s control schemes, I thought it would be a good time to discuss Voice Attack in general and why some players have elected to use it.

    If you’re like me, a HOTAS user, I simply don't have enough buttons on my device to support even the minimum set of commands I want at the ready. My current setup also doesn't support having the keyboard within a reach that's effective to be used during combat. So I was elated to come across the idea of using a program to carry out a few basic commands. This article will help you differentiate between VoiceAttack, Profiles and Voice Packs, and where to find additional information if interested.
    WHAT IS VOICE ATTACK


    As an ability, voice attack is a method of using your voice to initiate keystrokes. The name is a bit of a misnomer. The capabilities are not tied to attacking / damage. It’s any set of keystrokes. You can launch a game. Establish your starting setup in an application. I use it to start and stop Fraps recordings so I can stay in the thick of combat and capture video using my voice.

    VoiceAttack (VA) the program, is a popular software application used to execute by voice, commands that would normally be a series of keystrokes and/or mouse interactions. Therefore, if you’re interested in playing around with using voice initiated commands, your first step is to acquire the software. You can purchase VA from here. The object that VA uses to know what to DO when you SAY certain words or phrases is a Profile.
    WHAT IS A VOICE ATTACK PROFILE


    The Profile is a separate file with a .VAP extension. The profile itself contains a series of commands you want executed, mapped to what you’ll say, when you want those commands to be carried out. Oftentimes, people want the successful execution of command followed to be up by an auditory confirmation. This is achieved by using your computer’s operating system to turn text into speech. This allows your PC to say, “Done.” when a task is completed.

    Using the Text-to-Speech engine is achieved by using the Say command in a profile, followed by the word or phrase to be spoken. Your operating system’s Text-to-Speech engine interprets the text into an auditory response using its default voice. If you don’t like your computer’s default voice, you can purchase additional ones from companies such as Ivona. However, auditory responses are not required for a Profile to work. And you shouldn’t invest in one until you’ve determined you like using voice attack commands in the first place.

    Simply having a profile of commands that match the keybinds in the target game, is all you need, after installing voice attack software. You can download Profiles for free! There are members of the community who have shared their profiles. Of course, mileage will vary on how well they work or suit your tastes. Search the official RSI Forums, Star Citizen section on Reddit and the internet in general.
    WHAT IS A VOICE PACK


    A Voice Pack is a Profile that enhances the execution of commands by adding a significant amount of voice over / audio work. This is often done using professional voice actors or celebrities and may include additional narration that is not directly tied to executing commands, such as role-play conversations. HCS offers multiple Voice Packs for Star Citizen, as well as other games. Many players enjoy having this more elaborate version of a Profile. It’s fun and can be more immersive. However, it’s not a required component. You don’t have to own or purchase a Voice Pack in order to use voice attack commands.
    CREATING AND EDITING A VOICE ATTACK PROFILE IS EASY


    To be perfectly honest, Star Citizen has more keyboard commands and uses modifier keys more than any other game I’ve played. I can barely fly in Star Citizen without using VoiceAttack. My HOTAS doesn’t have nearly enough buttons to accommodate the bare minimum of what’s needed. Trying to reach over to a keyboard in the middle of combat isn’t something I want to juggle. Therefore, it’s essential for me to keep my profile updated with changes CIG makes to control schemes, as they’ve done in patch 2.4. This type of large scale change is another reason why I’ve opted for a small profile during alpha.

    The steps for creating and/or editing a Profile is very straight forward. You must have Voice Attack and you must know your current keybind settings in the game, in order to tie them to a voice command. With those two in hand, you can create a basic profile from scratch or edit one you download for free or may have purchased. I wrote an article last year detailing the steps and they haven’t changed since that time.

    I hope this helps clarify voice attack as an ability vs. VoiceAttack the software vs. Voice Packs. I use VA religiously and own a Voice Pack from HCS. During the SC Alpha however, I’m sticking to a small one I created myself that’s easy to manage and only contains the dozen or so commands I can’t live without during combat.
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    Continue reading the original post...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2016
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  2. eippohcs

    eippohcs Active Member Premium User

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    Thanks Alysianah for this easy to understand post. For users who have never used VoiceAttack, the distinction between the various parts is not always obvious. Your post explains this beautifully.

    As you mentioned VoiceAttack uses the text-to-speech/speech-to-text capabilities of the Windows platform. I would like to point out that the (Windows) speech recognition component has to be 'calibrated' to the user's voice in order for VoiceAttack to better recognize the spoken commands. Especially if you're a non-native English speaker, like I am.

    Personally I have looked at VoiceAttack in combination with the HCS DORIS voice pack (the ED version) last year. After some experimentation, and a number of broken profiles due to Star Citizen updates, I decided that:
    • I definitely will implement VoiceAttack at some point in the future.
      (because: not enough brain cells to remember the key bindings + not having to look away to find keys + not enough buttons).
    • But not until the key bindings of the game are a bit more definite/stable.
    • I will NOT use a voice pack, because I prefer a solution which can 'speak' any text and not 'just' predefined/prerecorded text.
      (phonetics based voice)
    • I WILL replace the default Windows voices (because: they just sound terrible) with an Ivona voice.
      (American English voice Salli, in my case)
    • To save time I will start with the A.N.N.A. VoiceAttack profile from ConfusedMonkeh, and adapt as needed.
      (this profile will get an SC 2.4 update soon, btw).
    This is of course my personal choice, based on the ability to extent/change the profile or use my own. For people who do not want to fiddle around and just want it to work, these HCS voice packs are great. And as far as I can tell HCS have committed themselves to support and update the key bindings when needed (the biggest 'risk' in using the voice packs).
     
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  3. Alysianah

    Alysianah Member Content Creator

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    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I started exactly as you did. I had a fancy profile that was borked by shadow keybind changes. Being so new to it all at the time, I gave up on it. Later I found Voice Attack Anna. It worked but I hated the default voice so went in search of options, which is how I found Ivona. Eventually Anna wasn't working for one reason or another. However, by then, I was dependent on the extra keys since I use a HOTAS. That's was forced me to learn how to create my own profile and keep it bare bones until the game's control scheme stabilizes.
     
  4. Kynsar

    Kynsar New Member

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    IVONA? Is that the same company that makes IVONA Text-to-Speech for Mobile?
     
  5. eippohcs

    eippohcs Active Member Premium User

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    The Ivona I mentioned can be found here: https://www.ivona.com/us/about-us/voice-portfolio/

    As you can see on the site Ivona makes the voices and 3rd parties (like Harpo, ReadSpeaker, or NextUp) add software. The voices support the SAPI5 standard and can therefor be use in (various versions of) Windows as part of the accessibility features.

    There's no mention of mobile support tho..
     
  6. Kynsar

    Kynsar New Member

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    From what i can tell it is one and the same. They have some of the best TTS technology as of right know. I use "Amy" for my maps and even book reading on occasion. I know it's available on android.
     
  7. Alysianah

    Alysianah Member Content Creator

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    Agreed. I tried out several before settling on IVONA. They're also among the most reasonably priced.
     
  8. Ocyepeta

    Ocyepeta New Member

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    I have a few profiles from HCS myself, I have really enjoyed this system. With the Captains Log, Ships Cat and now they are moving toward having two different profiles for ED and SC it makes it so easy to just load it up and take off no need to update key commands any more since they are release Star Citizen packs now. The newest ones are CLEO (a story behind this for me) and Eden and I love them both. :)
     
  9. Alysianah

    Alysianah Member Content Creator

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    Yes, I like the ease of not having to maintain the keybindings now that they're changing quite a bit. I don't have to like them anymore. I just say the commands. :-)
     
  10. Havrek

    Havrek New Member

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    Great information! I too use a HOTAS setup and had similar issues. When I first started using Voice Attack I had issues using a default setup because it was a bit overwhelming. Besides I'm one of those people that have to understand how something works before I can use it. If you fall into this realm I would suggest setting up your own commands. The first voice command I setup was raising my landing gear. Slow over a couple of days I created over 50 commands. Now I'm ready to to move onto one of the advance packs.
     
  11. Lt. General Falcon

    Lt. General Falcon New Member

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    Hi citizens, i'm as well a fanatic user of Voice Attack. I use multiple voices, like: Alix, Orion/Verity/Cylons(B-Galactica) and a few others to keep multiple applications on the background organised and separated. Also using 4x Ipad 3's to run Powergrid on it so that i don't need to switch to my mouse cursor for the display panels. I just press on the Ipad's. Very usefull ;-) T16000m FCS Hotas is my baby and i'm very satisfy... well, until now! With all of this including my 3-1 eyefinity 27" lcd setup(pyramid), SC gameplay is fun (ditto) TrackIr5 i sold it because my view in gameplay is very wide(5760x1080) and i can see alot, enough is enough, right ... and i like a wireless headset so with the

    Playing SC without Voice Attack is for me almost impossible. I made myself some extra command's. If you like to hear some of my uploads, then please check out my personal Star Citizen YouTube channel. Lots of info and regarding Star Citizen i think you'll find the most reviews of our "BoredGamer" FailBear

    Check it out and all tips and usefull info are welcome wStory
     

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