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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #16 

So, no then?


Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #17 
Once again about a year late to the party, but maybe a slightly different approach along the lines of ARkantos's idea, Instead of a "real-time" conversation, there's code that will record video to mp4, and that could be sent by comms across to the other ship, when their comms officer would play it on screen.  (Much like the "Voxer" app on Android phones.)  Wouldn't be real-time, but would simulate the time lag of communicating over long distances.    Not a code-writer, so I don't know if this approach would be easier or more difficult to implement... just a possible different means to get to the end.

I'll knock the good idea fairy off my shoulder, and return to my regularly scheduled programming...


Posts: 188
Reply with quote  #18 
An asynchronous voice chat would be easier to implement but it would probably be so slow it wouldn't be practical.  By the time they watch it, then record a response, send it and then it gets played it wouldn't be practical for real time combat.  I do think that idea would be really cool for the GM'd games to be able to give orders from FleetCom or Star Command or whatever the HQ is.  Or even for distress calls from other ships...  But those same scenarios can be accomplished through the current text messaging system.

I like the idea of a two way video chat for ship to ship comms, but it would probably have to be done outside the game (as already mentioned) in order to be practical.

Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #19 
A problem with ship-to-ship video is getting a good looking video.  Something that would be challenging to do unless you had two dedicated, light-controlled, fixed bridges.

After implementing Comms station headset-to-headset communications turning that station colloquially into "the smack-talk station" I no longer yearn for video.  [smile]

Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #20 
Great idea, but the implementation would probably be a royal PITA. Lan would be one thing, but Inet is not so quick to be done.

Though if the game would support triggers for it (hailing, start & stop conversation), it could be modded in. In 'regular' mode, the AI sends a text message that is shown with all the standard interactivity (ignore, accept, close)
A mod would intercept the triggers and then do the Video-Chat interfaces.

We would also need to ID each other (here my lack of the API shows)

Some ideas:
Any solution would be highly OS and system dependent. Some people use Skype, others use something else. I'll use Skype as a place-holder.
skype, probably others as well, does support command-line operators, so it would be possible to start up skype and directly call someone. Then you would need a trigger (proxy?) and a name (ship name = skype-user-name?).
Next problem would be to close the skype window when the call is over... no solution for that. Perhaps the Skype API could help.
Changing the levels of windows on the desktop should also not be that complicated, even if it would be OS dependent.

Posts: 50
Reply with quote  #21 
I just did a game like this where we used Skype.  While it did work, it was very clunky to integrate into the flow of the game.  Integrating web cam chat into the game is an excellent idea, and so is the ability to play video files.  I 100% agree that this would make the game better and more like our favorite sci fi show.

Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #22 
Pupbrad never posted it, and this is a couple years late, but I found this on the old forum. 

and Copy & paste just in case.  Links still work.


drspacemonkey said Jan 15, 2013 00:27:39
Crap, sorry - forgot to post it. 

You'll need to have nircmd.exe (available from in the same folder as your script. This script gives you two modes:

1) Artemis invisible and muted, microphone on, google+ hangout window sound on
2) Artemis visible and unmuted, microphone muted, google+ hangout window muted

Pressing space toggles between the two. You can also manually switch between them by pressing 1 and 2 on your keyboard. These hotkeys are easy to change.


On the computer running your ship's main viewscreen, run your Google+ Hangout in fullscreen mode (press F11 in your browser). Then, run your Artemis game. In 1.6, you'll need to run in Window mode at your screen's native resolution and do a WinKey+left click to activate borderless fullscreen (winkey+right click to switch back). The new fullscreen window mode in 1.7 doesn't need that part.

That's it. Might want to play with it for a few minutes just to make sure that it behaves properly, but you should be good to go. Something to keep in mind is that running this script with AutoHotKey will disable use of your spacebar, 1, and 2 on your keyboard. You can change that with a minor tweak, but I prefer it this way because our comms officer uses a DiNovo mini wireless keyboard hooked up to the computer running our main viewscreen. This way, he or she just has to press the spacebar on the little mini keyboard to switch back and forth.

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Posts: 1,297
Reply with quote  #23 
This is awesome! Just what I have been looking for

-Captain of the TSN Gungnir JN-001
-Eastern Front online group member
-My continuing bridge build:

Posts: 73
Reply with quote  #24 
I would be all for a new station called "Webcam" that is used solely for this purpose and has a look similar to the conference screens as seen in The Avengers.

Posts: 3,009
Reply with quote  #25 

The big problem, as I see it, is that webcam hailing between ships is a request that is limited to a VERY small subset of the player base. It would be more accessible to more people if there were options for audio-only interaction, or video files that could be used by a GM to create more immersion in a script.

As other people have suggested, the best solution would probably not be for Thom to implement a video chat solution, but to implement an interface or "hooks" that would allow players to use their own equipment and software to overlay a video or image over the Mainscreen, and pipe audio into the main speakers. Then you don't have to make Artemis invisible or use separate keyboards to give Comms control over the video input. All Comms has to do is activate a control on his normal console, and Artemis will switch to the video feed. (either by going invisible, or for full effect actually capturing the video input and displaying it to the screen, possibly limiting the apps that can be used)

For greatest functionality and applicability to the largest number of people, I would prefer the following:

1) A built-in text chat, using an extension of the GM interface. This wouldn't require any external mics or webcams, but is a good place to start.

2) The ability for Comms to display a still image on the screen, while playing script audio. This will attract the other players' attention to the screen, and serve as a way to identify who is talking. Artemis will provide a number of stock images, such as "TSN Command", insignia for the various enemy races, or a civilian starbase, and others can be created by the script writers and used in their scripts. As noted below, this image could be displayed over the Mainscreen view or in a corner, as in picture-in-picture. A full screen option should still be available, though, for talented script writers who want to show a still of the enemy captain, or even a fake "low scan rate" video.

3) The ability for Comms to play a video on the screen, with built-in audio. This can be in a standard format such as AVI, or OGG video for consistency. As above, this would be used by script writers for NPCs in missions, and would typically be activated by a button just like the one to listen to a scripted audio message.

4) The ability to pipe audio input, typically from the Comms' chat input, into the Mainscreen speakers. This lets everyone listen in to Comms chatter. This can also activate a mic used by the Captain, if equipped. A standard image should appear in the screen, such as "AUDIO ONLY", although the image could be overlaid over the Mainscreen view. (i.e., in a corner out of the way) Captains could also provide logos for their ships, or an avatar of some sort, which would be specified to Artemis in some way. (As an example, the images could be called shiplogo.00x, where x is the slot number of their ship. The Comms officer would still have to choose between the images in some way)

5) Full "on screen" webcam ability, where the Comms officer reacts to a request on the chat channel, and "opens up" the video channel for direct communication between ships, or the GM and any helpers acting as NPCs.

This list builds on the previous features, and could be implemented in order, giving Thom plenty of time to work on them. The interface for 2) and 3) already exists, and while 1) doesn't yet exist, it should be easy to add a "Send Comms" button to Comms similar to the one on the GM screen, and it could communicate back to the GM, as well as to other ships. I see the interface for 4) and 5) being an extension of the standard Mainscreen Controls, which Comms once had access to, but doesn't any more. I'd give Comms that access again, perhaps on the screen brought up by the "Send Comms" button. (Meaning Comms has secondary access to the Mainscreen, and primary access for incoming communications)

This latter idea could solve the issue of choosing between the images. Thom can provide standard logos for the ships, Artemis, Hera, and so on, and whichever Comms has selected on the "Send Comms" screen is shown as the overlay when Comms opens audio or video to the Mainscreen.


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Posts: 70
Reply with quote  #26 
In multi-ship games, it would be great to be able to do more formal intership comms. However, the speed of combat makes it impractical, especially to have the comms officers relay orders.

I would love to try sometime, reducing the cycle rate on beams for all weapons and slightly reducing ship speeds and see if that creates a slightly more wet-navy feel to the game, allowing for a bit more pontificating by captains and better inter-ship coordination.

Captain Conrad Matsiyan - TSN Viper
4th Light Division, 2nd Space Fleet, Terran Stellar Navy
TSN RP Community  |  WTSN Fleet News Pulse Podcast  |  Stellar Navigation Console

Posts: 3,009
Reply with quote  #27 
Originally Posted by Matsiyan
In multi-ship games, it would be great to be able to do more formal intership comms. However, the speed of combat makes it impractical, especially to have the comms officers relay orders. I would love to try sometime, reducing the cycle rate on beams for all weapons and slightly reducing ship speeds and see if that creates a slightly more wet-navy feel to the game, allowing for a bit more pontificating by captains and better inter-ship coordination.

You can just go into the Customize options when setting up a game and reduce the Enemy Speed and Weapon Power and Player Weapon Power if you want to try this. You can't reduce the player speed, but you might try going into vesselData.xml and changing the player ships speeds.

If Thom ever makes it possible to increase the size of a sector, that would be another way to extend a game and make it longer. You might also try my Sector Size Mod, which simulates the same thing by making speeds and ranges shorter. (note it's designed for Artemis 2.3:

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