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I have been developing a voice program for STO for ease of play in the game. This was originally designed to compensate for the loss of available buttons when assigning powers for the xbox 360 controller. This program would fill that gap with voice activated key bindings as well as optional responses.
As I was designing, developing, and implementing this program, I became more inclined to expand the program to include more options and flexibility. I wanted to see if this is something that others could use as an option to enhance their STO gaming experience.
At this point, I have only managed to develop the initial voice commands, key bindings, and responses for addition, editing, and deletion in anticipation that this program will be beneficial for some. Also, the Alt and Shift key combinations are not functioning at this time and I am researching further into the matter as I believe it is a problem with the game client not recognizing my key sequence. After talking with other STO players, I have come across other ideas for this type of program which include:
• Combined Key Bindings
Bind multiple commands to a single voice command. Useful for rapid shifts from offensive to defensive and alpha strikes.
• Multiple Command Echo Personalities
For aesthetics, have the computer use a different voice synthesizer other than the standard female and male for command responses and echoes.
• Multiple Player Layouts
Having a multiple player layout for the different STO characters so that you don’t have to reset your bindings for each character.
• Star Trek Skin
I haven’t sub classed yet, but this is an option I would consider if people would want it.
• Timers for Commands
Timers set for commands so that you could be notified when powers became available.
• Preset Continuous Commands
This would be a sub function of the timers for the commands that would continuously engage a command until the computer was told to stop.
The program itself is third party and does not gather or manipulate any part of the client other than to send key commands to it. This program also uses the standard voice library and threading class so that the voice recognition and interpretation happens in the background and doesn’t affect the game client.
Since this is doing nothing more than sending key commands to the client, if the command is on a cool down, it will not know it and will send the command anyway. In its current form, the application will accept voice commands and send the key combination to the game client.
There are some built-in voice commands that will pause the interface, so that you can speak freely, and then resume it when you are ready. It will also tell you via the synthesizer all of the available voice commands. I am going to test this program to see if it will work in conjunction with Ventrilo so that you can pause your commands, interact with Ventrilo, and then resume whenever you wish, rather than hearing “command unrecognized” all the time.
I just wanted to get a feel if this is something that the STO community would use before I dive too far into making it flexible. If it is, I will add in the features listed above over time and any that are requested, as long as they are within my programming ability and begin public testing when I am far enough along. Let me know what you think.