Text to Speech engine for Iams

Text to Speech engine for Iams

Postby Kaylu » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:05 am

I'd like to suggest incorporating a TTS engine somehow within the system so that the Iam can actually speak. A developer could select or purchase different voices for the engine to utilize. I suppose the current alternative would be to pre-record the responses using a TTS program, edit wav/mp3 files with Fmod, and add to the sound library of the City Editor. However, even with audio compression, the city file size could increase substantially. Especially if you have several Iams with lots to say. I think something like this would add to the realism of Blue Mars.

Also, I'd read somewhere that that the Iams are currently distinguished from the regular avatars by the white hair. Is this intended to be a permanent feature? Will we be able to alter their hair as we do the avatars?

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Re: Text to Speech engine for Iams

Postby admin » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:59 pm

I think TTS will make it into Blue Mars at some point. I just don't know how and when. But if you think about it, the Iam framework is not going to be the place for it. Iams don't live in the BM client. For TTS to work it would have to be a feature in the BM client where the user can opt for texts of other avatars (player or non-player) to be spoken instead of printed on the screen. I do like the idea of having custom voices for sale, just like clothing (Earl Ray Jones, anyone?). But it would indeed add considerably to the downloading of avatar data.

Given that we now have voice added to the client, a speech-to-text module might have higher priority.

Also, I'd read somewhere that that the Iams are currently distinguished from the regular avatars by the white hair. Is this intended to be a permanent feature? Will we be able to alter their hair as we do the avatars?


Fixing the hair to silver was an arbitrary decision. It is definitely not written in stone that this is always going to be so. Iam development is considerably lagging the development of the client and at this stage we've decided that it is desirable that Iams can be fairly easily distinguished from player avatars. This is because there are a lot of people who are sensitive about being fooled by an Iam acting like a human. We'll be assessing as we go whether or not this restriction can be lifted at some point.

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