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The Eternal Crusade Experience using Razer Comms

The Eternal Crusade Experience using Razer Comms

On: Aug 12, 2014

I have been asked to write about how and why we want to use this 3rd party software for our game. But before we get to that, let me give you a little background.

So who am I?

My name is Patrick Balthazar and I am working as Lead Programmer at Behaviour Interactive in Montreal on the Project “Warhammer 40,000 – Eternal Crusade”. I love to work on cutting edge technology, getting stuff to run that wasn’t there before, or just making sure that the wheel is not reinvented. The way we approach our current project is exactly like that – let the people and companies do what they do best and we combine it into one amazing game!
So let me backtrack a bit first and give a more general overview about the situation.

Are we an MMO?

Hundreds and thousands of players, together in a virtual work, trying each to become the best and play together to overcome obstacles of all sorts. Communication is the key; I couldn’t imagine playing any multiplayer game without the possibility to write, read or talk to my fellow players to make my intentions as a player clear, and or just follow another player and his ideas of how to progress through the world.

Are we a third person shooter?

This is a very specific, fast paced multiplayer aspect – the luxury of just waiting and writing/reading other players messages is possible, but during a fight something that will put you into a disadvantage. Basically every player of FPS or TPS games is using some sort of voice communication to make sure that he can receive or deliver orders or information to his team mates as soon as possible.

We are a Massive Combat RPG!

Now this is a fun situation to be in actually. For a long time we have thought about how we can get the best of both worlds working for us – when it comes to a chat system, “IRC” has been out there forever: established, stable, known to many users, and free to use. There is not much that would need to be done to integrate an “IRC” server into the game and the problem of text communication is solved. For voice the situation is not much different actually. There are a number of solutions out there, like “TeamSpeak” or “Ventrillo”, that come with overlays or possibility to adjust from inside any game – but none of these are capable to support chat rooms for enough players.

So why Razer Comms?

When Razer approached us with their product and presented us with their solution and the fact sheet, there was basically only one question left – how to integrate it to our game. The SDK solution we are co-designing with Razer is going to be the perfect thing to use. We have the opportunity to shape their software with the needs we have, and in return make a lot more people see the next generation of voice communication.

The SDK is still in development, we have only tested the current Razer Comms Client, but from what I can tell right now – the quality of the voice communication, and the possibilities coming with this out of the box,are way beyond what we dreamed of. Being able to have chat sessions from players in the game with the outside world; just texting someone with your Smartphone to give an ETA when he will be online is in one word: awesome!

Can you imagine how it would sound like to talk to a group of orks sounding like actual orks? Or hearing the echoes of warp and daemonic energies bleeding for the voices of you champions of chaos? This is the promise. It’s this sort of immersion and in-game flexibility that made Razer Comms the obvious choice to use over other VOIP software. Now there is still a lot of work to be done, and Razer and Behaviour will have to work closely together to make this a reality.

What is very exciting is the integration of Razer Comms in the experience. Armies in the Warhammer 40,000 universe communicate using a form of radio com system that Razer Comms will allow us to simulate. Players will have access to various channels like their squad or strike force channels, private channels, and field channels. Sergeants, captains, and commanders will have their own channels as well helping them to coordinate on the battlefield and between battlefields.

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More and more features will come in and will be introduced to the systems, expanding both on our side in the game, and Razer ’s side outside with more hardware. Who knows, this could change how communication is perceived in next generation multiplayer games!

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