How do voices work?

The idea for how to make voice-controlled games was created by David Flessner (who is a co-founder of Oculus) and Chris Evans (who is a co-founder of SCE). The basic idea is that we can bring the character into the virtual space, but also manipulate it based on the player’s voice. The voice, in the sense of the voice that you use to speak to the game, is a character, which in Oculus’ case, the character would be a human. We would then be able to interact with him that way.

This would be good news for developers, who would find themself more in touch with their player than an in-game text.

What about the limitations?

The most prominent problem facing this type of technology is what it would mean for the voice interaction in VR. While I’m sure that some players would love to be able to use voice in their games, they would have to be careful. It’s clear from interviews with developers that the desire to voice in games is a bit on the extreme end of the spectrum. Even so, I’d imagine that there are at least as many games that would be interested in having voice work as those that would not.

How does Oculus do it?

The technical requirements are a bit daunting, as the Oculus Rift headset needs to be connected to a PC capable of processing sound, as required by the Oculus API. However, the system can be used on a mobile device as well. If you want to try it out, you can use a phone to make your voice work as you’d in real life.

The Oculus app does the actual sound mixing, so the actual dialogue is done in-game instead of in the desktop application.

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How can I make myself available to play in VR?

Oculus allows developers to create an option to be available in your Oculus app. For example, I believe that there is an option on the PC version of Halo:

So, if you are a Halo player who knows what they’re doing in VR, this could be a great way for you to be present as the player has to react to each of the player’s actions.

For a similar example of voice-controlled games and the possibility of speaking to the player, see my post for The Last Guardian which goes into more detail about how a game can use voice to influence the feel of the game.

If you want to try out how it worked in