as usual, first off we are sorry for keeping you waiting for the new devblog for so long. We just like programming more than writing prose.
So, what have we been up to these last 4 months? The short answer is that we have been making excellent progress, let's dive into the details:
For the occasional devblog readers, let us remind you that TS3 software is currently in closed ALPHA testing. We had 6 testers the last time we mentioned it. However, due to the code slowly getting closer to feature completeness (=> BETA), we have nearly doubled that number - and now 11 testers are testing for bugs and suggesting changes day in and day out. Our expectation and hope is still to be able to get into Open BETA and provide you with something to download later this year!
Also, we should add that per above we are working with a few select companies to provide them with our TS3 Software Development Kit (SDK), which they are using to integrate voice communication directly into their software (mostly online games). The key advantage for the software companies working with us this is a nice opportunity to get high quality voice communication easily integrated into their software, while for us we obtain valuable feedback during testing and implementation. Since even the normal TS3 client uses the same code-paths as any SDK solution, we have received an enormous amount of valuable feedback which has directly helped advance our main product, the upcoming TS3 client.
One exciting, new thing about the SDK situation is that one of the companies we have been working with has actually released their game with TS3 technology fully integrated. The game itself has been around since 2004 and is a very entertaining, action-oriented space MMORPG. Additional details and relevant press releases should be out soon after this devblog is published.
Most of our time during the last several months has been spent on the permissions system, which we are sure you guys will like - the flexibility it gives you is just awesome. For example, let us tell you about "Talk Power". You (should) all know how the "Moderated" flag of a channel works with TeamSpeak 2: basically if it is set you need "Voice" or higher privileges to be able to talk in the channel. With TS3 we took this concept to the next level. You can now configure a "Minimum Talk Power" variable in each channel - this is a number between -100 and 100. Every client has a certain "Talk Power", which the user has received through the permission groups the user is assigned to (e.g. if we are in the "Talk" Permissions Group, and that group has a "Talk Power" of 20, then that would be our "Talk Power" - unless we also belong to a second group with a higher "Talk Power"). Now we can talk in every channel with a "Minimum Talk Power" of 20 or lower. Effectively this means that with a TS3 group setup similar to the hard-coded TS2 groups, you can now make a room where everybody can talk, one where only members and higher can talk, one where only server admins can talk, etc.... Or you could also modify the "Minimum Talk Power" of the channel on the fly (via a key-binding for example) to allow the raid leader to have a moment of silence where only he can talk. Of course the fun doesn't have to end there, the same power-principle can be done for kicking, banning, moving of other players, etc... you will have a lot of fun with this, we assure you
One thing we also added is a new codec which is optimized for ultra-high quality sound, e.g. for music streaming. Apart from the high quality, this codec also lends itself well to transmitting stereo sound. Of course most microphones only produce mono, but for transmitting music or those lucky guys out there with stereo microphones this new codec will rock.
Also, people running FreeBSD servers can now rejoice. We have always stated that for the final release of TS3 (or open beta or whatever you get to download first) we would have a TS3 server and client for:
Mac OS X (universal binaries, with both Intel and PPC support)
Linux (32Bit and 64Bit)
Windows (32Bit and 64Bit)
This list has now been expanded to also include a FreeBSD/x86 TS3 server build. Note that all of these builds are now frequently built by our build boxes, none of these is a "TODO" or "wishful thinking" item.
Lastly, one nice graphical feature we have also added is the ability to configure an avatar which will be displayed when people click on your name. This is similar to what is possible in our forums, and adds some personality to the people you talk with.
Until we meet again, please stay tuned to our site!
Note this article is from the Dev Blog from the Teamspeak site.