Hello my dear subscribers!
Today, I'm gonna tell you about one program that made me happy just in a few seconds, because "she" understood me... by voice!
Have you ever tried to play games with voice support? Even if your answer is no, I'm sure that you wanted to. As for me, this question was not so crucial (I've never been such a geek :) ), until I found a video on YouTube, where a guy played Elite: Dangerous. The most strange and attracting there was a female voice (that he called Astra) and she did exactly that the guy said. Damn! That's amazing! - I thought. Something that I was looking for about 3 or 4 years ago :)
After the video I googled that program, called Voice Attack and tried to implement similar configuration. There was a little success, however, I was pretty much surprised to find this tricky shareware program widely advertised among gamers for God knows what reason. Free version allows you to create only 20 commands to test how things work, shed a few tears and delete it after 21 days, because of a trial period. Or re-install it again, thus repeating the boring process of setting voice commands. Full version costs $8.00... that's, like Russians say, "Do khrena!". So, I decided to find something free with less idiotic restrictions. After two days of googling, downloading, testing, deleting and again along the circle, I finally found something very impressive - it was GAVPI.
At the first glance, it seemed a bit unclear due to its frame interface. I visited the homepage of the project on GitHub and read the documentation - nothing extraordinary. However, I was happy like a kid when GAVPI recognized my command and gave me an answer! Then I added all the necessary commands, required for testing in games and immersed myself in the process. That's why I want to share my experience in how to configure GAVPI. As an example, I will use Euro Truck Simulator 2 game.
So, let's start.
In this program I used proprietary (but very pleasant :-D ) voice called Salli from IVONA 2. It has a 30 days trial period, but it is much better than a trial period of a program.
(If you want to crack your IVONA voice, feel free to contact me).
If you downloaded Salli voice (or another one), you need to activate it in GAVPI:
- Open the program and go to Settings
- In the Speech Synthesizer section, select the IVONA 2 Salli speech engine (or another one) that you've downloaded earlier.
Now, create a new profile, so all your bindings can be loaded later with just a click of a mouse.
- Select Profile > New.
The Profile window is separated into three parts: Triggers, Action Sequences and Trigger Events.
The first one is used for creating verbal commands that will initiate some actions. The second one is for creating actions that will be executed when a verbal command is initiated (triggered). [The latter is used for reviewing purposes: it shows which Triggers are linked with which Action Sequences. Pretty simple. Cool thing here is that it doesn't matter how you start - creating triggers first or action sequences. You can link them at any time, create a set of action sequences and associate them with a particular trigger, etc. I will start with creating a Trigger.
- In the upper left part of the Profile window, click the right mouse button (RMB), New > Phrase.
In the Trigger dialog box:
- Type a name for the trigger. The trigger will appear under this name when viewing or editing Profile details. Let's say, "wipers".
- Specify a word or phrase that should be recognized by the program in order to execute all the Action Sequences associated with it. I used "wipers".
- Add a brief comment or click OK.
This trigger appeared in the list, but it does nothing until you've added some Action Sequences. Let's do this.
- In the right part of the Profile window, click the RMB > New Sequence.
In the Action Sequence dialog box:
- Type a name for the Action Sequence. The Action Sequence will appear under this name when viewing or editing Profile details. Let's say, again, "wipers".
- Comment text box I'm always leaving empty
- In the New Action Type section, you are, actually, choosing everything that your sequence should execute. As I want my sequence to switch wipers on, I select Key/Mouse Press > Add New Action.
Press Type: Key Press; Value: W.
You can either bind a button by selecting it from the dropdown list, or click the list and press the button that you want to bind to the action successively, until it appears in the list (each key press "rotates" the list, e.g. Enter, Esc, End, E). Sometimes, it is much faster and easier than searching a specific button.
This action appeared in the list and, basically, it's enough to have fun. If you need additional actions, just repeat the last three steps and reorder them (if necessary) using the Move Up/Move Down buttons at the right. However, to bring even more joy to the game, you can add a voice background to ensure that your command was recognized properly.
- In the New Action Type section, select Speak Action > Add New Action.
- Speak Item Type: Speak; Type a phrase that you want the speech engine to say in the text box below. For example: "Wipers activated".
- Click Add.
The speak action appeared in the list below the key press action. Click Save.
Next thing is binding of Action Sequence with a particular Trigger (or vice versa).
- In the Actions Sequence pane, select the Action Sequence that you want to bind and click the RMB > Add to Trigger.
- In the Add to Trigger dialog box, select the trigger that you want the Action Sequence to be binded to.
- Click Add.
The new binding appeared in the Trigger Events pane.
You can also add triggers to Trigger events to simplify some repetitive operations or when some existing triggers should be a part of other events. For example, if you are used to saving game and observing a road map after you've received a new cargo, you can combine all these separate triggers into one that is "responsible" for attaching a trailer. So, instead of 3 consecutive actions you can only say "attach trailer" and GAVPI will tell the game to automatically save your current progress, show a map and, probably, turn off the radio to help you concentrate on the road
Your profile is almost ready. The Last but not least procedure is to associate it with the game.
- In the upper left part of the Profile window, click Browse and proceed to a folder where .exe file is located (or specify a path to the game's shortcut and GAVPI will automatically resolve the game's .exe location).
- Select File > Save As. Specify a file name for the profile.
- Close the Profile window.
Things are set up and now it's time to test them a bit. Connect your microphone, hands-free or a webcam (I have a webcan with a built-in mic) and click Listen. From this moment, GAVPI will listen to your voice and translate it to commands. Say "wipers". Did you hear it? Yes? Perfect. So, your voice recognition works properly. In addition, you should see the word "wipers" in the log window.
Now, each time you say "wipers", GAVPI will initiate "W" key press action and confirm that wipers are on. If you said "wipers" but nothing happened, probably, it was very quiet. Repeat it a bit louder. Profit? Perfect. If there is still no luck, check the log window: if you see the question sign (?), it means that the program failed to recognize your voice. Try to say the word again more clearly.
When you're done with some preliminary testings, click Stop, select Profile > Modify and add all necessary triggers and actions according to your needs. Feel free to play with the existing action and key press types in order to create the simplest, yet the coziest configuration. Or, you can also download my own profile that I use in Euro Truck Simulator 2.
After several weeks of gaming with GAVPI, in 95% of situations, I found myself pressing only four buttons: throttle, brakes, look left/right (in cabin view). The latter two keys can also be added to triggers (and they were), but I prefer controlling views by hand - it's faster and more precisely.
As a brief: GAVPI is an excellent choice for those who want to bring more joy into their gaming experience, but do not want to pay for something that should be free. It has an amazing functionality and works almost flawlessly. Why almost? Well, just for a single reason - sometimes it is too responsive and recognizes unnecessary spurious words. However, compared to Voice Attack this is not so bad, because the latter obliges you to repeat almost 60% of commands twice. Another advantage of GAVPI is that you can use Push to Talk function and forget about the third sentence in this paragraph :-D . To enable Push to Talk, do the following:
- Click on Settings in the main window
- Select the desired functioning mode in the Push-To-Talk section
- In the Push-To-Talk key section, click the dropdown list and press the button that you want to bind to this function, or select it from the list
You can either bind a button by selecting it from the dropdown list, or click the list and press the button that you want to bind to the action successively, until it appears in the list
As you can see, these are only basic steps, but I won't get deep in all the possible settings combinations - they are pretty self-explanatory, so you can easily understand what they mean and combine them on your own. Regarding possible usage of all these combinations, everything is limited to your imagination and fantasy.
Now, we're done. Enjoy! See you in new articles!
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