|Microsoft DirectX 9.0|
The current trend toward team-based multiplayer games makes player-to-player communication an essential part of gameplay. Historically this has been confined to text-based communication, where players type out the messages to their teammates. Although suitable for slower, turn-based games, text-based communication is at best an inconvenience for real-time games. Not only does it put slow typists at a disadvantage during gameplay but also it is a significant break in the reality that games attempt to create for the player. An obvious solution to the problem is the use of speech as a means for communication. It requires no training and increases the immersion of the game itself.
The windows platform provides all the tools required to provide real-time voice conferencing to video game developers, but it requires a significant amount of effort on the part of the game developer. This, combined with the cost and difficulty of obtaining the rights to compression technology capable of handling extremely low bandwidth situations, has prevented the wide-spread use of voice in games.
Microsoft?DirectPlay?provides the game developer with a robust real-time voice conferencing system that requires a minimal amount of effort to use.