In-game voice redefined with the launch of 4Players ODIN [Sponsored]

4Players has released a new generation of in-game voice tools with the early access version of its communication software, 4Players ODIN, developed by the same industry veterans responsible for renowned TeamSpeak software. 

ODIN offers 3D voice chat for games and apps with ultra low latency and crystal clear voice transmission. It goes further than other SDKs, redefining in-game voice with spatial audio, 3D sound and chat integration of the gamers‘ characters into the game environment, which has not been seen before in this form.

Imagine a multiplayer team game. Now think about how you communicate with your teammates. Remember those moments where everybody in your squad is speaking with the same volume level, making it damn hard to differentiate the voices and filtering important information from chatter? Or those infamous moments where a mate is calling for help, but you have to ask him to jump or perform a silly emoticon to figure out where he is? We’ve all been there.

That’s why the team behind 4Players ODIN, a group of avid gamers themselves, wanted to approach in-game voice communication differently.

In contrast to many of its competitors, ODIN does not superimpose a superficial voice channel on the game. Instead, you are directly connected to your fellow players, opponents as well as other parts of the game world via native engine integration. Voice communication becomes an integral part of the gaming experience. The SDK is fully GDPR-compliant with its encrypted communication transmission, whether you run it on your own servers or on 4Players servers.

For 4Players, in-game voice is an integral part of the game experience. They had a clear-cut vision: Latency has to be ultra-low, voice transmission has to be crystal-clear, and voice chat features must not take away more time than needed from the creative side of the game. The SDK has to be as lean as possible and able to be integrated fast. 

ODIN not only matches the competition in these aspects, but surpasses them. The fastest integration so far clocks in at little over 30 minutes. This means developers can focus on whatever is important to them: storytelling, mechanics, art design – you name it

It was enormously important to 4Players that their SDK does not distract from the development process, but helps the developer to realize creative ideas. It’s not only one of the most powerful, but also one of the most scalable solutions for in-game speech.

While the ODIN SDK can be deployed for Unity and Unreal in any genre, it shines and makes the most sense in team-based multiplayer or online co-op. 

Let’s go back to the imagined game moment from before. With ODIN and its voice-com utilization of spatial audio and 3D sound you will be able to know from where the buddy talking to you is located without having to search for him. It just feels natural. 

Since the SDK is natively integrated into the respective engine, the voice-channel for each player character can be treated just like any other in-engine sound. Thus, it can be transformed by the environment. Distance and obstacles can become an influencing factor in the audio. For example, a player being stationed behind a door or a solid wall will change the way teammates sound. The whole soundscape (with characters included) becomes natural and realistic.

Of course, you can have the ‘regular’ radio-channel on top as well, where everybody talks to everybody, including a push-to-talk option and the classic whole nine yards that players are used to from superficial voice-comm layers. However, 4Players anticipate that many users will just use this as an auxiliary option once they’ve experienced the difference ODIN makes for intensity and immersion.

Let’s go back to the earlier example. We talked about playing a game with teammates. Now, imagine that you can listen in to the opponent’s squad members – provided they are in listening distance. Of course, that same enemy might hear you, so players will have to whisper in order to not give away their position! 

The intensity of a player’s voice will transfer directly to all teammates, thus raising the level of tension and drama on the battlefield, or in a cops-vs-robbers game like Rainbow Six Siege. Only ODIN can deliver this realism.

Also, it is almost infinitely scalable without having an infinite impact on the publisher’s balance sheet. If you have a sudden spike in users or just want to add bigger maps with more players, ODIN will seamlessly grow with you for a reasonable price. 

Plus, ODIN’s Unity and Unreal compatibility means that whatever platform—be it on mobile, consoles or PC—there is just one coherent code base and equal high performance. Wherever you go, ODIN goes with you.

If needed, publishers can even utilize servers provided by the worldwide operating server host 4Netplayers. You can rely on almost 20 years of experience in game server hosting and the leading global TeamSpeak server provider, as used by Electronic Arts, Activision, Giants Software, Aerosoft and more of the most iconic names in gaming.

Also, since your in-game voice communication is nobody’s business, we made sure that all transmissions are encrypted and fully GDPR-compliant. If you want to have even more control, you can host the communication on your own servers, of course.

To finish, let’s go back to the initial question: What do you want from voice communication software? Whatever the answer is: We think that ODIN is the right tool for you.

Not convinced? Put us to the test. Once you experience the difference, all other voice tools are just two-dimensional.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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