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Vivox: Bringing player comms to everyone, everywhere

July 26, 2022 in Engine & platform | 8 min. read
UGS virtual city and virtual characters with chat icons
UGS virtual city and virtual characters with chat icons

Vivox, the leading player comms solution for games, now offers self-serve functionality and new, mobile-optimized features. This means more ways for your players to connect, collaborate, and communicate.

Vivox provides the best-in-class communication services for some of the biggest games around, including League of Legends, PubG, Valorant, and more – powering voice and text communications in over 120 countries, across 14 platforms, in over 850,000,000 minutes of conversations per day.

Vivox was founded in 2005 by telecom and voice-over IP veterans and joined the Unity family in 2019 to bring high-end communications tech to games and studios of all sizes – whether your game is built on Unity, Unreal, or another game engine.

Today, we’re excited to announce two new updates to the Vivox product: 

  • Self-serve functionality is now available through uDash and allows studios of all sizes to add in-game comms to their multiplayer games, in line with our suite of Unity Gaming Services products that are available now
  • Vivox has been upgraded to enhance the player comms experience for your mobile titles, bringing new features optimized for the platforms (and read on to learn more about these features) 
    • Automatic recovery system
    • Smart platform audio management

Read more on these features below

What is Vivox?

Vivox is an engine-agnostic service that works with engines like Unity and Unreal to enable player communication through accessible in-game voice and text chat. 

Vivox enables both 2D and 3D channels for your multiplayer experiences. 

  • 2D channels is a typical comms channel, allowing players to hear and speak to all of their teammates, no matter where they are on the map.
  • 3D-positional channels take into account your players’ position and orientation to represent audio in 3D space, allowing for more immersive experiences with players naturally hearing other players around them.

Bringing self-serve voice and text chat to studios of all sizes

Vivox has launched new self-serve functionality to bring battle-tested multiplayer communication services to developers of all sizes. 

This means that developers will now be able to activate and configure Vivox from within the Unity Dashboard. Getting a project up and running in a production environment has never been easier with the tools, technology, and user experience provided.

Webpage showing new Vivox self-serve onboarding flow through uDash.
New Vivox self-serve onboarding flow through uDash.

Here’s a quick look at what this means for developers: 

  • A guided self-serve experience to help developers get up and running with in-game voice and text comms. 
  • It’s now 97% faster to get to your first voice experience, taking an average of only one day.
  • An engine agnostic solution designed from the ground up to add player comms to games built in Unity, Unreal, or a custom engine, providing immersive experiences to players on any platform across the globe.
  • New and improved samples to implement into your game will help you understand the core Vivox functionality – you can copy all the code into your game and engineer to your needs.
Vivox Dashboard
Sign up flow in Udash to get to Vivox.

Bringing better player comms to mobile experiences

In its latest update, the Vivox SDK has new mobile-optimizing features for player communication. 

Here’s what this new package entails:

Automatic recovery system

Keeping your players connected no matter where they’re playing – even while on the go – is a must for mobile titles. That’s why the automatic recovery system has been revamped to work on mobile devices. 

The automatic recovery system kicks in when a player temporarily loses internet connectivity when moving between connection points – such as when they’re roaming between cellular networks, or when their device switches between an LTE mobile data connection and a home wireless network connection.

The Vivox SDK provides network connection recovery functionality for connection loss of up to 30 seconds. If the connection to Vivox is permanently lost after 30 seconds of disconnection, Vivox will trigger an automatic logout.

Smart platform audio management 

What’s the best way for audio to be configured on mobile when your player is muted? Or when they’re using a wired headset? What about a wireless headset? 

Smart platform audio management is the algorithm that ensures the best audio and communications experience no matter how the player is playing – configuring the audio devices on the handset depending on what the user is doing in-game. 

This feature ensures that sounds don’t bleed back from the game, avoiding echoes and poor audio experiences. 

For iOS: 

  • If the player is not in a session, or is muted, Vivox will configure the play device for audio playback only. In this state, the game and incoming voice audio are at full volume and quality and set to stereo. 
  • If the player is in a session and not hard muted, Vivox will configure the device for voice chat. In this state, the voice is at full volume and quality, the game audio is set at low volume, and all device audio is mono and compressed.  

For Android: 

  • If the player is not in a voice session or is hard muted and is using the loudspeaker as their playback device, the game audio quality will be slightly degraded (mostly absent bass) and the output will be stereo. 
  • If the player is in a voice session and not hard muted and is using the loudspeaker as their playback device, the game audio quality will be degraded, the output will be stereo (though only the left channel will be heard), and the voice audio will be loud. 
  • If the player is using a wired headset, regardless of being in a voice session or muted, the game audio will be high fidelity and the output will be stereo. The headset microphone will also be used if the player is in a voice session and not muted. 
  • If the player is using a wireless headset, regardless of being in a voice session or muted, the game audio will be high fidelity, the output is stereo, and the phone microphone is used instead of the bluetooth mic for any voice comms.
Trailer photo showing three characters from Axlebolt's Standoff 2 game

Get started with Vivox

You can test out player comms in your own multiplayer titles today by registering an account or contacting us.  

Additionally, join us tomorrow on July 27th for an interactive webinar running you through the basics of getting started with Vivox in any engine or platform.

July 26, 2022 in Engine & platform | 8 min. read