How to entertain and/or annoy people in Steam based video games

I enjoy a number of the Valve games that feature voice chat – CounterStrike, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, etc.

These games are team oriented or coop games which allow voice chat with fellow gamers. One thing that is fun, but occassionally frowned upon depending on the server you are playing on, is to play music or vocal clips over the microphone channel – but only at appropriate times. Quick soundbites for taunting are usually well received, these can be from movies, TV shows or other games. Finding well-received soundbites is somewhat of an artform. Music at the beginning or end of a round can also enhance the atmosphere. Typically, as long as you maintain control over what you are playing and how long you play it, people are cool about it and certain servers even encourage this. However, playing too much stuff, material that is overly obnoxious, or content that is annoying for the sake of being annoying such as distorted sounds or extremely repetitive sounds can quickly earn you the label of a “micspammer.”

Here are some programs that offer this capability:

HLSS, typically used for short vocal clips.

HLDJ, this is good for paying songs.

The general rules are:

1. Don’t abuse the privilege.

2. Edit your sounds in an audio editor such as Audacity or Goldwave to keep the volume and bass under control.

3. Convert the clips to mono, 11025 Hz wav files so that they are properly played over the mic channel.

Have fun out there…

AirDeck… it lives!!!

Here is some video I shot shortly after my project presentation which demonstrates the AirDeck virtual theremin application I designed and explains some of the features. It uses the Wii remote as an input mechanism by tracking motion with Infrared LEDs. The AirDeck is written in Java with the WiiUseJ API for handling Wii remote events and the JSyn API for internal synthesis. It can control MIDI out as well as offering a simple DJ scratch interface for real-time manipulation of sound samples similar to a DJ scratching with vinyl records. After about a year of working on this project, I am very relieved that it is finished. I’ve learned a lot and am looking forward to possibly working on other similar concepts in the not too distant future.