Jump to content

Fully Integrated In-Game Comms


Recommended Posts

Yes it’s great that the game added support for SRS. But it’s...

Way too complicated!

 

Seriously, there’s a whole page of instructions and edits to config files that 90% of players will be unable or unwilling to understand. If there is going to be this sort of feature semi-officially included it needs to be much easier to use (a simple one click “install”) or if not that then completely integrate this into the game with no extra work required. The current SRS setup is too complex to be worthwhile IMO. Since I am guessing very few other players use it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not very computer savvy and found SRS easy to set up. I think the instructions could be hosted somewhere more accessible than buried in the forum but I don't think the app itself is an issue and works fine. If you can set up your controls in this game, you can set up SRS

  • Upvote 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, SharpeXB said:

Funny thing I can learn to fly an airliner in a sim but I have no patience for editing config files. 

 

You open the file, copy-paste one block of text in at the bottom, save it, and close it, and it's done. 10 second job.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, =621=Samikatz said:

 

You open the file, copy-paste one block of text in at the bottom, save it, and close it, and it's done. 10 second job.

 

You don't even have to do that anymore, the auto installer does it all for you now!

Edited by Dijital_Majik
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

Yes it’s great that the game added support for SRS. But it’s...

Way too complicated!

 

Seriously, there’s a whole page of instructions and edits to config files that 90% of players will be unable or unwilling to understand. If there is going to be this sort of feature semi-officially included it needs to be much easier to use (a simple one click “install”) or if not that then completely integrate this into the game with no extra work required. The current SRS setup is too complex to be worthwhile IMO. Since I am guessing very few other players use it.

 

https://github.com/ciribob/IL2-SimpleRadioStandalone/releases/latest

 

See the updated instructions, literally one line, run the autoupdater and it's all done automatically for you, no editing

 

8 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

The real radios in these planes were easier to use than SRS...

 

What would you like to see to make it easier? Where did you struggle?

 

8 hours ago, [DBS]Browning said:

SRS is not suitable for VR either.

 

In what way? Please give details or suggestions. I fly exclusively in VR and created SRS. 

 

Have you turned on the voice feature in settings? It's invaluable for me in vr as it reads out changes like channel change and selected radio

 

You can also bind a read status bind which will give details about your current selection

 

Edit: worth adding SRS is a free and open source project, so anyone can contribute. Always happy for suggestions, just get me on Discord https://discord.gg/Ajzxqxj

Edited by ciribob
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ciribob said:

 

https://github.com/ciribob/IL2-SimpleRadioStandalone/releases/latest

 

See the updated instructions, literally one line, run the autoupdater and it's all done automatically for you, no editing

If that’s how it works. Great. But is that information included on the forum post instructions?

When I tried reading that page on the forum after swiping up about three times through an entire page of text... I give up.

The point being that if 1CGS can semi-officially adopt a plug in, an even better move would be to incorporate this completely into the game with no separate install required. 
 

The other important advantage of having this feature in-game is the ability to easily assign HOTAS buttons to PTT. Not all these programs recognize HOTAS buttons. By trial and error I was able to get Discord to read the mini stick push button on the CH Throttle but for example that program won’t read any of the other buttons. Neither would Teamspeak. Although realistic, PTT is a gigantic pain to use. I don’t know how SRS handles this yet.

 

Edited by SharpeXB
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SharpeXB said:

If that’s how it works. Great. But is that information included on the forum post instructions?

When I tried reading that page on the forum after swiping up about three times through an entire page of text... I give up.

The point being that if 1CGS can semi-officially adopt a plug in, an even better move would be to incorporate this completely into the game with no separate install required. 
 

The other important advantage of having this feature in-game is the ability to easily assign HOTAS buttons to PTT. Not all these programs recognize HOTAS buttons. By trial and error I was able to get Discord to read the mini stick push button on the CH Throttle but for example that program won’t read any of the other buttons. Neither would Teamspeak. Although realistic, PTT is a gigantic pain to use. I don’t know how SRS handles this yet.

 

 

Totally understand where you're coming from - I'll email @Jason_Williams and see if we can get some updated instructions at least. He'll need them from me

On the HOTAS buttons - SRS handles it the same as IL2 or other games do - Hit Set on the SRS client and then press the button. Doesn't matter how many device you have, works for all game controllers, keyboard or even mouse buttons

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/15/2021 at 8:01 AM, ciribob said:

 

In what way? Please give details or suggestions. I fly exclusively in VR and created SRS. 

 

Have you turned on the voice feature in settings? It's invaluable for me in vr as it reads out changes like channel change and selected radio

 

You can also bind a read status bind which will give details about your current selection

 

Edit: worth adding SRS is a free and open source project, so anyone can contribute. Always happy for suggestions, just get me on Discord https://discord.gg/Ajzxqxj

 

So as a result of your comment, I gave SRS another go.

I though if I wrote about my experience, it might help you in some way.

Installation was very, very easy. No problems there, however, it would have been nice if the startup.cfg instructions were displayed the first time I ran SRS.

 

My expectation was that I'd join a server, select a team and then be able to hear my team's comms and make my own transmissions.

 

I joined FinnishVirtual and all three 'plugs' went green.

The SRS client showed "Connected Clients: 21" Great!

I went to controls and set up a PTT button. So far so good.

I joined a team, pushed my PPT and requested a mic check and....no reply.

I opened the client list to see if that had any info. Lots of names with numbers and circles next to them, but no indication of what the numbers and circles might mean. That was no help.

 

Trying to trouble shoot, I clicked on the overlay and saw I could switch between 5 different channels and that I was on two channels at once. There were four sliders here with no labels. They remain a mystery to me.

 

Perhaps people were on a different channel? I moved to each of the 5 channels and repeated my radio check, but still no response.

Perhaps only the other team was using SRS?

I went back to chn 1 and 2 and left SRS running, but I still didn't hear anyone for the one-hour flight.

 

The experience was confusing and disappointing. I can't see my self using it again. This was my second serious attempt at using SRS.

Edited by [DBS]Browning
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

So as a result of your comment, I gave SRS another go.

I though if I wrote about my experience, it might help you in some way.

Installation was very, very easy. No problems there, however, it would have been nice if the startup.cfg instructions were displayed the first time I ran SRS.

 

My expectation was that I'd join a server, select a team and then be able to hear my team's comms and make my own transmissions.

 

I joined FinnishVirtual and all three 'plugs' went green.

The SRS client showed "Connected Clients: 21" Great!

I went to controls and set up a PTT button. So far so good.

I joined a team, pushed my PPT and requested a mic check and....no reply.

I opened the client list to see if that had any info. Lots of names with numbers and circles next to them, but no indication of what the numbers and circles might mean. That was no help.

 

Trying to trouble shoot, I clicked on the overlay and saw I could switch between 5 different channels and that I was on two channels at once. There were four sliders here with no labels. They remain a mystery to me.

 

Perhaps people were on a different channel? I moved to each of the 5 channels and repeated my radio check, but still no response.

Perhaps only the other team was using SRS?

I went back to chn 1 and 2 and left SRS running, but I still didn't hear anyone for the one-hour flight.

 

The experience was confusing and disappointing. I can't see my self using it again. This was my second serious attempt at using SRS.

When you pressed PTT, did you notice the transmit light on the radio overlay go green?

The channels will individually show if anyone is listening on them - so if you are on channel 1 and there are 5 people on that channel, it will say 1 - 5. Was there anyone on those channels?

Often, people will listen in on SRS but won't talk, especially if they are in a squad and already on that squad's discord or teamspeak service. SO they may show up in teh clients list.

Just as an observation, the couple times I flew on Finnish, SRS was very quiet so it might be a server thing, just not as wide adoption there. On CombatBox where I fly a lot more, people are pretty chatty if anyone's online, they even have the AI radio bots answer radio check calls now!

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, RedKestrel said:

When you pressed PTT, did you notice the transmit light on the radio overlay go green?

 

I could find nothing labelled as a transmit light. I did get clicks when I PTT'd.

 

19 minutes ago, RedKestrel said:

The channels will individually show if anyone is listening on them - so if you are on channel 1 and there are 5 people on that channel, it will say 1 - 5. Was there anyone on those channels?

 

I could find no indication of who was in my channel.

 

19 minutes ago, RedKestrel said:

Often, people will listen in on SRS but won't talk, especially if they are in a squad and already on that squad's discord or teamspeak service. SO they may show up in teh clients list.

 

There were many names in the client list.

 

Thanks for them help, but I don't really have the energy to try and sort this out. If the game gets integrated comms or SRS becomes more user-friendly, I'll give it another go. Until then, I'll stick with discord and teamspeak.

Edited by [DBS]Browning
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, RedKestrel said:

Just as an observation, the couple times I flew on Finnish, SRS was very quiet so it might be a server thing, just not as wide adoption there. On CombatBox where I fly a lot more, people are pretty chatty if anyone's online, they even have the AI radio bots answer radio check calls now!

This!  Finnish super quiet. try CBox, its awesome!

Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

I could find nothing labelled as a transmit light. I did get clicks when I PTT'd.

 

 

I could find no indication of who was in my channel.

 

 

There were many names in the client list.

 

Thanks for them help, but I don't really have the energy to try and sort this out. If the game gets integrated comms or SRS becomes more user-friendly, I'll give it another go. Until then, I'll stick with discord and teamspeak.

 

You will have to put some effort in - the same as you did with Discord and TeamSpeak :)

 

Glad the installation was easy, you dont need to edit the .cfg hence no instructions on the installer around it.

 

The colours on the list - its the side colour, the same as the map -  Red, Blue & Neutral

 

The list will also show a number, indicating the channel that user is tuned to - or 2 numbers if they're on two channels.

 

The overlay will show the channel and the number of pilots i.e 1-2 means channel 1, 2 pilots

 

This is all listed in the instructions on the first page

You'll need 3 binds minimum - Radio 1 select, Radio 2 Select & Push to Talk

Verify you've got the right mic and speakers using preview audio

Finally - try combat box - there is an AI you can talk too so you can use comms without any players

You can also always get me on Discord if you do want help - happy to get more people set up  https://discord.gg/vqxAw7H

Edited by ciribob
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, ciribob said:

You will have to put some effort in - the same as you did with Discord and TeamSpeak :)

 

That's kind of the point. I didn't need to put any effort into Discord or Teamspeak. I certainly didn't need a manual.

Both are very intuitive. All sliders, buttons and information is labelled to show its function or a label pops up on mouse-over. I never have to guess at what a red circle, an unlabelled slider or "1-2" might mean. I can see who I am talking to at a glance without having to decipher a list of people from all channels.

 

I'm not trying to bash SRS. I'm sure it has its niche. Instead, I'm with SharpeXB; it would be nice to have a simple solution to comms that does not require a user manual to navigate. It puts off too many players. I think that explains its low uptake.

 

Something simple, like the comms found in first-person-shooters would be fine, especially if it came with a team and squad/flight channel. Even something like Falcon BMS's IVC would be good.

I'm sure there are even better solutions that could be imagined.

SRS as it currently is, isn't it. Perhaps it could be in the future or perhaps that isn't a direction you want to take it in.

 

Edit: Something that would be a really good start to making SRS more user friendly would be naming the channels, or allowing the server to name them. Another hurdle that I had to jump was that there was no indication of what channel I should be in. Was channel 1 the main team channel? Was it channel 2? Was channel 3 only for bombers? As it is, the user is left to guess what might be a good channel to join.

Edited by [DBS]Browning
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, [DBS]Browning said:

Edit: Something that would be a really good start to making SRS more user friendly would be naming the channels, or allowing the server to name them. Another hurdle that I had to jump was that there was no indication of what channel I should be in. Was channel 1 the main team channel? Was it channel 2? Was channel 3 only for bombers? As it is, the user is left to guess what might be a good channel to join.

 

It took me little while to sort it out initially but no harder than whisper function in TS...

 

You seriously have to checkout Combat Box. The immersion it adds is amazing..

 

It has a description of the main two channels/function in the mission/server info

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, SCG_Tzigy said:

You seriously have to checkout Combat Box. The immersion it adds is amazing..

 

Yes, I did briefly try it. Very impressive, but the lack of plane set variety on combat box isn't for me.

What is the reason other servers do not have this? Is it something developed by combat box that they refuse to share or do other servers just not want it?

Edited by [DBS]Browning
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

Yes, I did briefly try it. Very impressive, but the lack of plane set variety on combat box isn't for me.

What is the reason other servers do not have this? Is it something developed by combat box that they refuse to share or do other servers just not want it?

All the extra audio calls and interaction from the 'tower' is made by the CB admins, using I believe google text-to-speech and lots of scripting using info from the log files. I don't know enough about it to know if it would be portable to other servers' stuff and mission design, or if they even want it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

That's kind of the point. I didn't need to put any effort into Discord or Teamspeak. I certainly didn't need a manual.

Both are very intuitive. All sliders, buttons and information is labelled to show its function or a label pops up on mouse-over. I never have to guess at what a red circle, an unlabelled slider or "1-2" might mean. I can see who I am talking to at a glance without having to decipher a list of people from all channels.

 

I'm not trying to bash SRS. I'm sure it has its niche. Instead, I'm with SharpeXB; it would be nice to have a simple solution to comms that does not require a user manual to navigate. It puts off too many players. I think that explains its low uptake.

 

Something simple, like the comms found in first-person-shooters would be fine, especially if it came with a team and squad/flight channel. Even something like Falcon BMS's IVC would be good.

I'm sure there are even better solutions that could be imagined.

SRS as it currently is, isn't it. Perhaps it could be in the future or perhaps that isn't a direction you want to take it in.

 

Edit: Something that would be a really good start to making SRS more user friendly would be naming the channels, or allowing the server to name them. Another hurdle that I had to jump was that there was no indication of what channel I should be in. Was channel 1 the main team channel? Was it channel 2? Was channel 3 only for bombers? As it is, the user is left to guess what might be a good channel to join.

 

The channels are up to the servers, the same as creating a real radio plan. Usually it's in the server briefing.

 

The channels are the key difference between SRS and any other audio solution, as you can form flights with an interflight and flight channel quickly, avoiding the giant Comms blob you get with Discord or Teamspeak. 

 

I understand where you're coming from to some extent, but all the sliders and buttons do have labels if you hover over them (if not I'll fix), and again the idea is to at least glance at the manual. 

 

SRS tried to straddle a good simulation of radio, without going too in depth, as it does on other Sims. 

 

Finally, SRS is an open source and community project. 

 

Would you be up for helping to improve the documentation? What would make it easier?

 

Ultimately as it's community driven it can change however the community want.

 

I always appreciate the help.

 

On usage, I'm pretty happy, monthly unique users is around 1.5k from my last check and I think a lot of that is driven by combat box going all in.

Edited by ciribob
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

I'd be up for designing changes to the interface. Might that be of use? 

Absolutely - no guarantees it's doable but definitely want to get community involvement.

 

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t understand what’s wrong with Discord or why we needed something this complex for comms. It seems like a mess so I won’t bother with it. I really like to spend my gaming time actually gaming instead of fiddling with my PC. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2021 at 4:53 PM, ciribob said:

You will have to put some effort in - the same as you did with Discord and TeamSpeak

But the effort to install and figure out Discord or Teamspeak is more worthwhile since these can be used for other games. I already have these figured out. SRS is only used for IL-2. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The advantage SRS has is its communal nature. 

Back in the day most servers had a teamspeak that was well used. Squad teamspeak servers where not so common due to the price. The result was that a significant number of people on your team where in a single teamspeak server. 

Discord had eliminated the price bar and now almost every squad uses a discord server. There are now many pilots in small comm groups. Good for individual flights, not so good for the team. 

The old calls of "109 in grid 56, check six" or "dragging bandit to South base. Anyone there?" are not as common as they once where. 

 

SRS attempts to fill this gap by providing comms the whole team can use. 

However, due to the low uptake (partly as a result of its complexity) it is not effective at this. In game comms would have near 100% uptake. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

What would you quantify low or high uptake by? I am relatively new to IL2 so I'm not sure what the size of MP is.

 

Current usage for SRS over the last 30 days from anonymous stats puts the usage at 2,133 unique monthly users

 

The issue I personally found with Discord - you have to join 10s of Discords if you just want comms for a flight and fly on a variety of servers.

 

SRS has an autoconnect - as long as you've started it - it just connects to the right server the moment you join an IL2 MP server, taking away that issue.

 

Either way as I said above - SRS is a free and open source project, the IL2 devs have kindly built in hooks to allow SRS to function, and its up to you as a community to decide how you want this project to go (if you do at all). I'm happy either way, as the uptake from CombatBox along has met my personal goal

 

Always open to suggestions on improvements - and always looking for help if people do want to produce videos, docs or anything else to help with the project.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ciribob said:

What would you quantify low or high uptake by?

The number of people using it at any one time on a server.

 

If only 3 people are using SRS on your team of 40, it's not playing to its strengths as comms tool when compared to Discord or Teamspeak.

Once 10 or more people are using it, now it becomes a useful tool.

I have 58hours flight time on Finnish in Q1 2021. For the last 15 days I've been starting SRS with the game as I would like it if more people used it until a better alternative comes around.

So far, I've only heard 3 mic checks and one request for a wingman (I said he could join my flight and his next question was if we were on discord. We were).

 

At least on Finnish, uptake is poor and usage is abysmal. I have no doubt uptake is better on CombatBox due to their text to speech, but as they do not want other servers to have that, it isn't any help in SRS usage in general.

 

Without the text to speech, I suspect most pilots try SRS once, see that it's a little inconvenient to use and that no one else is talking anyway and then don't use it again.

Edited by [DBS]Browning
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/15/2021 at 3:55 PM, ciribob said:

By trial and error I was able to get Discord to read the mini stick push button on the CH Throttle but for example that program won’t read any of the other buttons. Neither would Teamspeak. Although realistic, PTT is a gigantic pain to use. I don’t know how SRS handles this yet.

 

Odd.  My whole squad has been using Teamspeak via buttons on our joysticks for many years.  I suggest your issue has to do with with your PC or Joystick, not SRS or Teamspeak  I use the buttons labelled 'B' & 'C' on my X-52 for PTT but at various times I have used the hat switches and the buttons on the base and and on the throttle unit.  They all work fine with TS and SRS.    I also use buttons on my HOTAS for changing channels.


Personally,  I *loathe* Discord and will never fly with a squad that uses it for operations.  I do know how to use it and have a dozen connections for those groups that only share info that way but I hate that every time I log in I am confronted by 100s of posts, most of which are drivel and important info is often buried in there. That signal to noise ratio often carries over into their live comms too.  It is a chat app for kids.
The biggest issue for ops though is that I want a channel to talk to my wingman while at a press of a button being able to talk to my whole squad and another button letting me talk to the whole side.  TS & SRS let me do that and used properly SRS can fill in that isolation from everyone else that using TS for squad comms can cause (though we have been known to just use SRS for everything)

 

Edited by 56RAF_Roblex
spelling
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, [DBS]Browning said:

The number of people using it at any one time on a server.

 

If only 3 people are using SRS on your team of 40, it's not playing to its strengths as comms tool when compared to Discord or Teamspeak.

Once 10 or more people are using it, now it becomes a useful tool.

I have 58hours flight time on Finnish in Q1 2021. For the last 15 days I've been starting SRS with the game as I would like it if more people used it until a better alternative comes around.

So far, I've only heard 3 mic checks and one request for a wingman (I said he could join my flight and his next question was if we were on discord. We were).

 

At least on Finnish, uptake is poor and usage is abysmal. I have no doubt uptake is better on CombatBox due to their text to speech, but as they do not want other servers to have that, it isn't any help in SRS usage in general.

 

Without the text to speech, I suspect most pilots try SRS once, see that it's a little inconvenient to use and that no one else is talking anyway and then don't use it again.

 

Gotcha - thats fair. I've got no stats either way on that - only global usage. 

 

Think CombatBox have some good stats on concurrent usage though (however they heavily promote SRS), but with any new thing its chicken & egg. It would've been the same with Discord previously.

 

It will also depend on timezone and language (seeing how it spread in the other sim). It will also depend how heavily servers prompt SRS as the primary tool, as did happen in the other sim 

 

Edited by ciribob
Ended mid thought
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, 56RAF_Roblex said:

Odd.  My whole squad has been using Teamspeak via buttons on our joysticks for many years.

I haven’t used Teamspeak for years but if it’s still the same your joystick would need to emulate key presses to be recognized. Not a big deal but the CH software for setting this up is positively archaic. I think Discord recognizes the CH Throttle mini stick press because it may be set up to default as a mouse click. It won’t recognize any other buttons. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

I haven’t used Teamspeak for years but if it’s still the same your joystick would need to emulate key presses to be recognized. Not a big deal but the CH software for setting this up is positively archaic. I think Discord recognizes the CH Throttle mini stick press because it may be set up to default as a mouse click. It won’t recognize any other buttons. 

No I don't run any joystick-to-key or other special software at all. TS natively recognises that PTT=button 2 or whatever I choose. 

 

Setting PTT to be a key on my kb then running Saiteks software to generate key presses when I press a JS button is *a* way of doing it but I have never used that software in IL2 or any other game as everything, Inc TS & SRS, recognises JS button presses. 

 

Edited by 56RAF_Roblex
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...