Why we want to share our Teamspeak with other grids

Now that I am a world renowned published author – thanks to Hypergrid Business publishing my last article — I began vigorously stroking my…er…um…er… long beard – tuts to all of you with filthy minds – and began thinking of ways to help promote and extend the reach of the hypergrid community in general, but also specifically the adult ones, as I am a part of this genre.

One such area that I thought about was events and voice. Here at Avalonia Estate we run many events on voice, such an event would be our Erotic Readings event, that takes place every Sunday starting Sunday, June 8 — as found on our events calendar — where we encourage members of our grid or the hypergrid community to read a short Femdom-related erotic story, as this is the theme of our grid.

Such an event lends itself very well to the use of voice but there is one downside — traditionally, it requires that anyone who wishes to take part in the event to log in world, or hypergrid over to the grid and region to be present to participate.

A short story reading on the Avalonia Estate grid. (Image courtesy Justin Ireman.)

A short story reading on the Avalonia Estate grid. (Image courtesy Justin Ireman.)

What if there was way of increasing the reach of your voice event beyond your grid, so that others, who cannot attend directly, or who cannot even be logged in world directly due to having to attend to other daily activities, could also be part of your voice based event? Wouldn’t that help to increase the profile of your grid and popularity, and may be provide people who would not normally attend your grid, the opportunity to take part, and then hopefully encourage them to attend in person the next time?

Well, I am going to propose just that, so hear me out. Get it… “hear me out”. Voice..”hear me out”. Not even a sympathy laugh? – I don’t know, my talents are wasted 🙂 Any way, I digress.

At Avalonia Estate – as far as I am aware — we are unique in that I use TeamSpeak3 as our voice solution, as opposed to Vivox voice  or Mumble or FreeSwitch amongst other options. For those that care to know why I chose TeamSpeak, I have a page on my website that explains it so I won’t go into all that detail here.

Suffice to say, I wanted a solution that was under my control, and not reliant upon an external company. Also, I have issues with the licensing requirements of Vivox’s free OpenSim voice offering as it specifically excludes commercial use.

I am aware that some of the larger commercial OpenSim grids have a commercial licence agreement with Vivox, but for the smaller grids, the pricing for this is just too high and prohibitive.

Anyway, getting back to my idea. The beauty of TeamSpeak3 is that the voice server and software is separate from the virtual world. Now this can be seen as a disadvantage, and I do realise that it is not as convenient as having it built right into the viewer, like Vivox voice is. However, I actually see this as an advantage, and something positive, with benefits that far out way the negatives – at least for me.

As the voice client is separate from the viewer client, voice is not limited to, or interrupted by in-world glitches or crashes, or limitations of hypergrid technology. For instance, I was using our voice and talking to someone in-world the other day, and as we have all experienced at least once, I suffered at the hands of the mean teleport gremlins and crashed out. However, I was able to inform my chat partner that I had crashed and would be back in a moment – my voice conversation wasn’t interrupted by my viewer crash.

Another example is that I was in Avalonia having a chat, when a friend of mine in Second Life left me an instant message which I received via email. So I just said to my chat partner, “Hey, I am just gonna log out of AE [Avalonia Estate] and reply to this message in SL.”

Again, I was able to leave the OpenSim-based world and log into Second Life without my voice conversation being interrupted. This just isn’t possible using in-world Vivox voice.

Now all of this got me thinking – a phrase that causes my sister Ardrianne Torrance to duck for cover, as rarely do good things happen when I start thinking, although sometimes I hit upon a gold nugget 🙂 If I were to open up my TeamSpeak3 voice server and allow other grids, particularly adult ones, to host their voice events on our voice server – wouldn’t it bring the hypergrid community a little closer to together, and allow even greater collaboration, and provide new opportunities to promote your grid by providing a way for others to attend your voice events, even if they do not wish to tp to your grid in person, or if they cannot log in world for other reasons?

A resounding “YES” keeps coming back to me. Let me just paint a little word picture for you here. Let’s say Nara from Nara’s Nook was hosting her authors’ story reading event, she advertises this, and encourages people to come to her grid at the appropriate time to participate in the event in person. She also advertises that the event will be held on our TeamSpeak3 voice server. “Melanie” from grid XYZ decides that she would like to check this out, but she is busy building on her own grid at the time, and doesn’t want to interrupt this, especially as she has never been to Nara’s Nook before. So she downloads the TeamSpeak3 voice client — only has to be done the once — and joins the chat and takes part in the event, listening to the stories and comments and general discussion. All the while she is continuing to happily build on her own grid. Melanie thinks, “that was good, I enjoyed that, next time I think I will go in person and meet the people, and take a look around the grid.” Everyone is a winner!

Now I have nothing against Vivox, in fact I do doff my hat to them for being willing to provide free voice to OpenSim users – even if it has limitations. However, Vivox voice isn’t great when it comes to conferencing and you have to invite all the participants to join the conference at the beginning, and it is hard, if not impossible to join a voice conference if you are not currently located on the same grid as the voice event is taking place. Our TeamSpeak voice gets around all these issues with ease.

There will be those that would pooh-pooh this, and say that it isn’t as convenient as having voice right in the viewer client, and I do acknowledge that.

However, a one-off download of the TeamSpeak3 voice client — which is super easy to set up and very light weight — isn’t very inconvenient or complicated at all. And unlike using services like Skype TeamSpeak DOESN’T require you to have to set up an account or register. You just enter a “nick name” — using your in world avatar name is the most sensible — and enter our server URL connection details — and save them as a bookmark for easy connection next time — and you are then connected. Plus, there is no limit to the amount of people that can be in the conference at once, unlike Skype’s 25 people call limit.

I already have a commercial licence with TeamSpeak, and I will be upgrading my licence in the next two weeks to accommodate up to 128 simultaneous voice users at once. As part of my desire to see greater collaboration with other Adult related OpenSim grids –- particularly via The Adult Metaverse G+ community — I am going to open up my voice server and offer other adultrrelated groups the chance to host their voice events on our server. I can create permanent and temporary channels for specific grids, and individual users are able to create their own channels for public or private voice conversations.

If you are interested in this, or would like to take part in this free offer, I am going to hold an open trial next Sunday 1st June at 11 p.m. till 12:30 GMT (6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Eastern) for those who wish to try it out and see what they think.

If you are interested, visit our website here  to download the TeamSpeak3 voice client, and for connection details.

During the times mentioned above, I will remove the server password to allow open access for the trial. There are also a couple of videos available on my site at the link above for those who may need help in setting up or using TeamSpeak3.

I believe that this could be a way to help foster closer ties between grids, and to help encourage more of a hypergrid community attitude, as opposed to an isolationist view.

Justin Ireman

Justin Ireman is the founder of the Avalonia Estate grid.

  • Interesting concept. As I spend quite a bit of time in IMVU lately, I’m wondering if TeamSepak3 can be used for that program?

    • TeamSpeak is a program on its own so yes it can be used for IMVU as well as other programs. TeamSpeak and Ventrilo are used alot by World of Warcraft players since the in game voice chat has very poor quality.
      TeamSpeak, Ventrilo and Mumble are voice chat programs that lets you download their free client and connect to any of their supported voice chat server that people can rent off of voice chat providers.
      When IMVU removed in program voice so many years ago, afew of us immediately switched to TeamSpeak for voice chat.

  • Paul

    When paying game with friends over the internet, we tend to use external voice programs (skype, teamspeak, etc) instead of the in game voice chat for these same reasons.

    Some times a game will crash, or a player needs to take a break, but still wants to participate in the chat and using an external voice chat client allows this.

    What I feel these kinds programs need to do is to allow multiple “Channels” of communication. This way a user can connect to multiple servers (Ventrillo, TeamSpeak, Skype, in world voice, etc) and other users can connect to what ever system they want and it will be replicated to the other servers.

    Think about it this way: As it stands, if the current system were implemented as mobile phones, then if you bought an iPhone, then it would not be able to connect to an Android phone, or a Windows phone.

    As you can see this would make using mobile phones very complex and difficult (probably to the point that many people would not use them). What needs to occur is that internet voice communications needs to develop a standard system for sending and receiving voice communication so that you can share connections to anyone using any client system, but in such a way that they can add features if they want.

    • Hi Paul, that is actually a very good point and idea. I doubt the various companies would do that though as it work against their business interests, but I think from the virtual worlds point of you – especially now we have the Hypergrid and so we are no longer all on the same grids, having voice externally, can expand the range of your circles, and provide other options. For example, TeamSpeak has clients for PC’s tablets and smart phones, so you can connect to voice and be part of an event or chat with your in world friends even when you are away from your pc.

      • Paul

        In game theory they talk about Nash Equilibrium, where individuals reach an optimum where no one can improve their position when acting alone. However, there can exist optimum strategies (choices) where all would be better off but to get there everyone must act together (as opposed to alone).

        This is the situation with current internet voice services. However, there does exist a service that proves that a coordinated approach would be far more beneficial for them: The Telephone Networks.

        Yes, the very infrastructure that they have built their services on actually is proof that they could do better by working together.

        It doesn’t matter what carrier your phone is connected with, the networks are connected together using standards that allow someone on any network to talk to someone on any other network.

        Early on it was the case that if you were on one network you couldn’t talk to someone on another network, but as more people started using the system and the various networks began to be owned by major conglomerates then standards began to be implemented and interconnection between them became possible and profitable.

    • “programs need to do is to allow multiple “Channels” of communication”
      You can actually run more then 1 ventrilo and teamspeak client. It just requires making multiple copies of both clients but you can run all copies of either voice chat client all at the same time but would be nice to be able to connect to multiple voice chat servers in 1 window like you can do with XChat’s IRC client.