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White / black list audio for individuals

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JamesW0140
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Joined: 16 Dec 2021 01:11

Is there already, or at least planned, functionality to "white list/black list" audios for individuals? D&D example: players are in a tavern hearing ambient tavern sounds and one player starts hearing hallucinations in their head, preventing other players from hearing said hallucinations? Non-distinct echo chatter would be a nice audio suggestion too.
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Pan Athen
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JamesW0140 wrote: 23 Dec 2021 21:53 Is there already, or at least planned, functionality to "white list/black list" audios for individuals? D&D example: players are in a tavern hearing ambient tavern sounds and one player starts hearing hallucinations in their head, preventing other players from hearing said hallucinations?
You made a duplicate post, so I deleted one.

Also, please try to give a descriptive title to your posts, just posting with the subject "question" is very wrong for many reasons as I'm sure you can understand. for this time, I changed the title to give you an example. You can always edit your post and change the subject's title.

Now let's get to your question, which is very interesting!

It's a nice idea, but on the very-very theoretical side of things, right?

I mean, ok, let;'s say that you want to do that, how are you going to play different audio for each DnD player? They all hear the same speakers right?

Can you give us more details on the hardware/speaker setup you have in mind and the speaker configuration together with the room?

The main issue is that, if you play something from one speaker everybody will hear it, right?
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Pan Athen
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JamesW0140 wrote: 23 Dec 2021 21:53Non-distinct echo chatter would be a nice audio suggestion too.
Do you have an example of this? Can you find one on the internet and post it here?

What do you mean by "echo chatter"?

Also, if this is irrelevant from the white/black list question and it's a content request, then make a separate topic at the content requests sub-forum here: viewforum.php?f=26, following the guidelines of the sticky announcement you'll find there.

Thanks!
JamesW0140
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Joined: 16 Dec 2021 01:11

Sorry about all that.
I agree it would be very theoretical, in my mind most people don't have the ability to play d&d in person so they use virtual systems to bridge that gap. I personally use the virtual table top (vtt) software called fantasy grounds to handle most of the game systems in tandem with discord for the audio chat. There are other softwares that function similarly too.

That being said I could see the players logging in to a system that can determine who hears what, the closest similarity I can think of is the line of sight mechanics most virtual map softwares use plus a tagging system, everyone hears this but these people hear this other thing in addition.

I suppose not everyone would use Echotopia in that manner and would also play in person. I would then have speaker lights in the ceiling around the room making that functionality null. The only way I could see an in between would be if Echotopia could distinguish individual speakers/headphones being used, which sounds way too complicated.

A good theory but difficult in practice.
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Pan Athen
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I like where this goes.

The physical separation in the same room is not easy, as common speakers cannot direct the sound with so much focus to only be heard from one person. It will be some years in the future that we will see this happening. And even when that happens it will need some kind of guidance to make the directive speakers follow different people aiming their ears all the time. I don't see that happening any time soon.

So, this is more of a tech availability problem and has nothing to do with Echotopia, because from our side, if such technology was available commercially (and within an accessible price), the only thing that we had to do was a system for Echotopia to stream multiple listening experiences to different outputs of your computer. You would also need to have a computer that supports many outputs, 2 for each person playing if you want to give them an immersive binaural stereo experience of their own personal surround.

Now, on the streaming and virtual systems...

Virtual tabletops are online systems that can serve from one central application on a server to many clients at the same time. This gives them the ability to choose what to serve to each client.

Echotopia is a desktop editor and cannot serve any clients.

Think of it like Netflix. That's the virtual tabletop web applications. While Echotopia is like Premiere Pro, a desktop video editing application.

Usually, desktop editors are used to creating the content, and sometimes like in the case of Echotopia, to perform it live like a DJ. But then server-client online services are used to stream it to multiple clients. Just like my example above, Premiere is used to make a movie and Netflix to stream it.

Also, I don't really like the idea of adding a service to Echotopia because it will be a small part of it and will create the need to make it a product that will be available with a subscription to payments as it will be using an online service to function. If many users really need something like this, then it will be a big part of the product and we will create it, but if it's a very rare case then I don't think that anybody would appreciate monthly payments just to add multiple streaming to a desktop editor.

My immediate solution would be to use Echotopia to create your acoustic world and then perform it as a DJ when everybody local or online can have the same experience. Then, you can export the soundscapes you created in audio files and import them into any virtual tabletop service so that you can set up various configurations on what each client should receive.

But this brainstorming doesn't end here!

If Echotopia was able to output 8 different channels of audio which gives you 4 pairs of stereo output, how would you stream those different streams to different people? I mean, Discord doesn't accept multiple sources of audio and doesn't have any mechanism to separate input sources, right?
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Pan Athen
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JamesW0140 wrote: 24 Dec 2021 03:37use virtual systems to bridge that gap. I personally use the virtual table top (vtt) software called fantasy grounds to handle most of the game systems in tandem with discord for the audio chat. There are other softwares that function similarly too.
Are those systems capable of separating what each person is hearing?

Because if that capability exists, then you could just export your soundscapes from Echotopia and import them there and use that to separate the experiences between the players.

Sure, you'll lose some of the main features that Echotopia offers for live performance and a lot of audio quality (which is a very bad thing and ruins the experience for everybody subconsciously), but the advanced acoustic simulations of Echotopia and the spatial audio engine would produce a far more immersive acoustic environment than what VTT software is capable of doing at the moment. Even if you lose the procedural audio generation, it would be ok for the experience you like to create to make that trade-off.

Personally, I think that at the moment it's just a cool idea because not many stories will feature that kind of separate acoustic experience, neither they will require it so often, and to create it would change Echotopia at its core and even change the pricing model and media assets licensing and not in a good way.

Online experiences are ok and now in the pandemic, we found out how can be used to keep us together when we are apart, but deep inside me, I feel that there is no replacement for real groups of people having fun close together. I hope that in the coming years we will be able to have full experiences using digital media but it's still very early on that. There are small changes of the body and face, the chemistry that our nose picks from other people, gestures, touch, and even slight changes in our eye pupils that our brains pick up and digital media don't have the capacity and fidelity to capture and deliver. Until those technological barriers are lifted, having fun in the same location will have no match.

Apart from the philosophical views, I like to keep discussing this, as from strange ideas many times cool features come to fruition.

Have you ever tried to transmit sound using services like Cleanfeed? https://cleanfeed.net/

I think their service can handle multiple inputs from an application (not sure how), and this could mean that there might be a way of creating separate experiences for separate groups of users. ;-)
JamesW0140
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Joined: 16 Dec 2021 01:11

Unfortunately, the systems I spoke of use a limited audio system that doesn't support more than maybe 6 ambient presets. My thoughts on that are, their line of sight system provides each player different visual output based on several parameters, the company that supports this program also supports community driven modifications down to basic code that doesn't modify the basic framework of the program. I think once Ecotopia is live and with enough support from their community they may open that line of sight up for some modifications, which may be able to retrofit a supporting overlay for Echotopia to be used in some way. Of course those are some big ifs and a decent amount of work to make happen. It's a cool idea but probably too ambitious.

I agree I prefer in person play, being able to see the expression on players faces as they put clues and events together is priceless.

I have never heard of that program and I'll have to take a look into it when I have a little more free time.
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Pan Athen
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JamesW0140 wrote: 09 Jan 2022 19:04their line of sight system provides each player different visual output based on several parameters
It's not their "line of sight" system, it's that they have a server-client platform.

It seems that it can happen if they have an open end and the community pitch in and we all develop something together.

Maybe if each player has an installation of Echotopia, then their VTT instance would just guide the position of the specific player in Echotopia's scene, so each user would have a personalized experience.

See? I told you that I like where this is going!

It's a lot of work, but if Echotopia becomes popular then I don't see a reason why not do that.

After all, as we take care of the high quality in the sound side, the rest of the tools that would connect with Echotopia would be far lighter to provide the rest of the experience. By having Echotopia playing the soundscape, you have features that can be done on desktop far easier with far more quality, i.e. different realistic reverberation for each room, wall occlusion, uncompressed audio files, and more simulations that you can do by web streaming.

We already started some research on how to handle remote control of Echotopia from users or machines, so something might be done on this idea in the future.

Where can we find this VTT system you talk about that has opened its end programmatically? I would like to take a look at their API documentation.
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