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Darkmouse

Radio system/voice acting

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Posted (edited)

With substantially more time on my hands I have been playing a lot of IL2 and I am of the opinion that it is the very pinnacle of WW2 flight simulation in all regards except one - the radio system and voice acting. I suspect I'm not alone in feeling that IL2 is incredibly immersive - until the radio radio chatter starts. I don't notice it very much flying Russian and German aircraft as the radio chatter itself means nothing to me (unless I read the messages of course, which I don't) and is just background atmosphere. With the addition of the British and American voices it has hit me how truly awful the radio system is and, by extension, the chatter itself. That is clearly not the fault of the voice actors from this forum that put the work in to make it, but the chatter system itself and the type of dialogue it lends itself to.

 

I have seen Jason Williams mention in several places that he is aware that it needs an overhaul/tweaking, and I have a few proposals, not for the overhaul per say, but perhaps as an interim measure if such a thing is possible.  

 

Currently I feel the chatter is of very little use. By this I mean it gives me no meaningful information during a flight/fight and as such is superfluous, but more than that its very mundane and tedious. The last thing I want during a dogfight is for some disembodied tower controller passing me wind direction repeatedly or my flight telling me they are attacking fighters 1km away - I know that, I'm in the damn fight and its been going on for the last 2 minutes! 

 

My proposal is twofold. The first suggestion, which may well not be possible, is to simplify the current chatter system and to re-record some dialogue to aid immersion - by this I mean, keep the calls simple ala original IL2 - "He's on my six", Bail out", "Got the bugger!" but with some realistic dialogue. For example replacing the robotic "Fighters" or "Bombers" that interrupt a spoken line with the generic "bandits" - you have a. improved authenticity and b. negated the need to chop up audio, making it sound more natural. Then, add some post processing to make it sound more like using a 1940's radio, mic and earphones. Big piston engines and mask microphones create a very distinctive 'radio voice' even today. And whilst no one wants over excitement on the r/t, the stress and excitement would come through in the calls regardless - the language was occasionally quite colourful too.  

 

(That reminds me of the apocryphal story of the US Navy pilot over Vietnam yelling that he was being engaged and needed some help, and someone pipes up, deadpan, "Will you shut up and die like an aviator?")

 

Which brings me to my second proposal, an extension of the first. The radio system and the dialogue it creates, particularly in regard to the British and American dialogue, is very wooden, stilted and most of all not r/t. Phrases like "over" and "out" are army VP, and whilst r/t and army VP would have been more closely aligned in WW2, are not phrases you would routinely expect to hear over r/t - and yet every single line of dialogue ends in them.

 

I would be quite happy to look at the current system and dialogue to see how it could be tweaked for both authenticity and immersion, or any future implementation of said system. Whilst I clearly wasn't there, so can't be 100% sure that the dialogue is accurate, I'm damn sure I can get it 90% authentic and very immersive. Current RAF r/t has clearly moved on since 1945 but its roots are still clearly visible - combine that with having devoured many many autobiographies of the period I'm confident that I can get it period accurate and perhaps add a touch of tension and drama too. 

 

Anyway, that offer is open to both 777 and anyone working on mods that require dialogue/voice work. 

 

ps. Looking over the original call for voice actors there is some discussion about why it is quite rare to hear regional accents in old recordings. The reason is that whilst aircrew clearly came from all over Britain (and the world), as well as many different walks of life, they were actively encouraged to enunciate properly and drop regional accents to aid clarity over the r/t. That was still going on well after the end of the war.     

Edited by Darkmouse
Brevity/Structure
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I fully agree with you that a) the current radio chatter is of very little use and b) proper language is missing (e.g. "bandits" instead of "fighters" etc).

 

On the other hand, since these changes would primarily be important only to single-player gaming, I'm not sure of how high such changes are on the devs priority list.

 

But I would also love to see such changes, because imho good audio can greatly add to the overall immersion.

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Thanks for posting.  I won't spend too many words on it, as I have already beaten my head against this brick wall countless times over the years, and this thread will soon get archived into a sub forum somewhere where nobody will see it.  But yes, the scripting and repetition of the radio calls is awful.  Nobody does it worse.  

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Posted (edited)

The radio system does need some work. Jason has posted that it is on his list but not a priority right now.

 

The ground controller /spotter is actually broken and when you enter the coverage area, it just gives you a wind direction, nothing more.

 

The flight call signs in BoBP also do not match how it was organized during later WWII. An entire mission was given a designation like “Woodbine” or “Bluebird” and then each flight of 4-6 aircraft was given a color. Red, White and Blue were usually used first so if you were the tail end Charlie of the 3rd flight with a mission designation of Bison, you would be Bison Blue Four. Simple way to keep everyone sorted out. This is not at all what we have now.

 

Hopefully this will climb up the priority list one day, because as a campaign writer, it would help a lot to be able to communicate mission objectives. The choppy radio calls are due to stock verbiage being pieced together. I can see it being done in a smoother and more natural way, but not without some massive audio files being recorded and included with the downloads.

 

For any one individual to make any changes to this is just not possible. You can have voice actors do audio tracks to play custom radio calls and chatter in scripted campaigns, but that takes an entire team, a written script and many hours of coordination to implement. Not an easy task for even just a few missions.

 

 

Edited by Jaegermeister

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yes the radio sounds are repetitive and unrealistic,I like the German and Russian radio sounds I think they were done well.

The American and British radio chatter I just do not like, in the mods section I done experiment with some cfs1 American replacement sounds,these did not really work very well as not enough different sounds could replace the original ones,

you get a lot repeating sounds like a parrot.

i do agree some new radio sounds are needed ( we need that ckckckck before and after every message )

I for one do not like to complain about this great simulation , it’s not that bigger deal for me I can live with it

 

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A new radio system would benefit every player.  No matter what graphics settings they need to use.  Whether they are in QMB, a paid DLC campaign or a Career mission.  VR or hat switch or whatever difficulty settings they prefer.  Right across the player base, it would benefit everybody.  Even multiplayer (I'm wounded!). 

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Posted (edited)

Adding to that the English/US voice radio messages sometimes do not include Callsigns its most of the time hilarious listening to them.
But yeah, 100% agree, this needs improvements.

Edited by Zeev

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Glad this problem has resurfaced. The game brings us so much immersion in terms of flying the beautiful birds the developers have created. The game is so close to all time classic status. But the entire comm system, chatter and usefulness is the worst I’ve experienced and I go as far back as EAW. Rowan did a nice job with this in BOB and several other sims have managed to make it a very convincing and intricate part of the games. But for any hope for change the devs need to recognize how important this is to a sim and commit the time and resources to get it right. 
 

I would gladly trade new planes and less damage calculations for a solid realistic useful comms system and chatter. 
 

Here’s to hopin! 

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I'm pretty sure it's a dead horse, but let me add my voice to the chorus.

 

Having a good radio chatter is probably out of reach, it will always get tedious at some point when you've played hundred hours.

 

But at least what is said must be useful.

 

Plus, I'd really like to be able to call some help when I'm a wingman.

I know any brit squadron leader would probably slap me for daring use the radio, but I've heard the yankees are more lax.

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I inherited the radio design and I have no way to change it at this point. I hired people from the community to do the radio calls. It is what it is. If there is a read bug, let me know, otherwise I can't do much about it at this point.

 

Jason

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Posted (edited)

That’s too bad. So much has been achieved under your leadership. Case in point the amazing success you and the team have just completed with 4.005. I had hope you would find the means to do it right. From a flying and fighting perspective your game has no equal in my view. But as a SP enthusiast I have to work hard to get past this. It just doesn’t match up with the professionalism and quality of the rest of the game.
 

I hope you keep it on your radar and maybe something or somebody will turn up that will help you. In any event congrats on the new release! 

Edited by TheSNAFU
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I find the German voices are just annoying. It's like listening to newsreels of Goebells ranting at Nuremberg or the Sportspalast. 

 

And the British voices sound like they are rufied up to the eyeballs. There are BBC recordings of Lancaster Bomber crews over Germany. Have the devs ever listened to them? I know that most are internal comms chatter and not R/T, but are the voices really any different?

 

The Russian voices seem credible to me, but I have nothing to base that on.

 

How can I turn them off the German and British voices or mute them?

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I loved the radio calls in '46 - at least the German ones felt very realistic. 

And besides the cooler calls themselves you could also interact with the world way better. 

 

I get that the workload of implementing a completely new call system would be immense - but the soundfiles from '46 should be usable as they are 1C property, aren't they?

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I wonder if it is something that can be modded? I know Pat Wilson dives deep with his career generator. HappyHaddock and Rowdyboot are getting deep into the clouds and lighting. Maybe there is someone who can dig around in the comms system and figure out ways to make things work better? Jason obviously does not have the time, people, or budget to devote to it any time soon so a community-led project may be the only way to go about it right now.

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The AI are only programmed to say only one thing in a fight;  "attacking aircraft from *this* direction at *that* range.  There is no room for variety or realism.  I'm trying to find a way to hack the sound config so that the game discards the disjointed pastiche of individual word samples and instead makes use of just the Range bit (the only variable in the entire mantra) to play some alternative chatter.  It might work.  It might not.  It might be best to just stick with Flying Circus and forget about it. 

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Posted (edited)

If a way can be found to change what is said when during a fight I'd be up for a community project, definitely. 

 

I'm not well versed in the inner workings of IL2, but I'm keen to write, record and post-process audio and help organise how to create a more believable and immersive environment. 

 

I know it may sound like a trivial problem, but I am really beginning to struggle to enjoy dogfighting because of the terrible broken chatter. My personal view is that fixing existing broken systems now gives the entire future series greater longevity. 

Edited by Darkmouse

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I think some clever person can do something, my thing is the repeating chat, ( if in a flight of 5 taking off you get the airborne voice over 5 times )

you need hundreds of different radio calls to make it work,wings over the reich has this and its my view it takes to much CPU making it a stutter show in busy conditions.

my view is just have it to use from your own pilot,to make commands to your wingmen with them replying something like roger,yes will do,I am on it sir etc

i would prefer if the in coming radio calls were turned off, hey they could turn their radios off,or sometimes would order radio silence,so yes an option to turn off radios would be a good idea

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Flying a Moscow career mission today, my I-16 wingman said This is three, target destroyed, This is three, target destroyed over and over again. Easily more than 250+ times in the space of ten minutes before he was mercifully made to STFU by the obligatory quartet of 109s that spawned over my ground target.  If nothing else can you at least debug this awful system to limit the number of times the AI repeat themselves?  It is pure torture to have to listen to.

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Lol I think pure torture is a bit much. I don't get as emotional about it but I think this is one of those aspects of the game that still has a lot of room for improvement. Unfortunately for us, they don't have the resources to tackle everything at once. I just miss the gunner swearing at me when I make abrupt maneuvers in the old Il-2.

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Posted (edited)

Five Bf-110 of my flight got shot down behind me when we flew back after a ground attack mission in clear weather and v-formation. All I heard was a 'Im wounded' from the no.6 that I interpreted falsely as a late Flak hit.

Suddenly the radio/order didn't work anymore (very bad sign..) and when I did a curve to look behind I discovered the two Russian fighters.

Having 5 pilots and 6 observers behind me I expected a bit more of a warning.

Edited by vonGraf

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