So I wanted to talk with you all tonight and gather your thoughts on an idea we've been kicking around internally. We'd like to know what you all think about EpicBattleAxe getting a Mumble server to facilitate Axeheads gaming together? This would be a way for Axeheads to meet up, play games, talk, and maybe even participate in future live shows. Lets talk over a few details.
Mumble is an open-source voice chat software designed for gaming. If you've used Ventrillo or Teamspeak in the past, Mumble is comparable to those applications. For those who've never used this kind of voice chat software here's a screen shot to illustrate what I'm talking about:
So, what you've got is different channels or 'rooms' dedicated to different games (or platforms) and you can have sub-channels nested within those like we see in this screencap with Modern Warfare and World of Warcraft. This is all customizable and we can set things up to suit our needs.
Uh, that looks cool and all but...I'm on console.
We know a lot of Axeheads are console gamers, which is why we're talking about using Mumble as opposed to Ventrillo or Teamspeak. Being open-source, Mumble has free clients on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. So, if you're a console gamer, you can still participate and utilize the service if you have a compatible mobile device. Now, we know that not everyone has a mobile device but we think this plan will allow the most number of people to participate.
PC gamers, especially, are probably going to have their favorite apps for voice chat and they may not be Mumble. The primary reason we've selected it is the free client software on every major platform. As an example, the Ventrillo and Teamspeak clients cost $5 each on the iOS App Store. So, we want to keep the barrier to entry as low as we can so, again, as many people as possible can participate.
Who will be allowed to use the service?
Our thinking, at the moment, is to restrict access to website members. What we'd probably do is put up a page here on the site that only signed-in members can view. We'd have the password for the Mumble server there along with all the pertinent info.
Can this be used for things other than gaming?
Yes. In fact, we'd love to think it would grow into a way for Axeheads to meet, hang out, and have discussions, whether they're playing games together or not. Lorin and I have discussed the possibility that it could also be utilized to do live shows, with call-ins, more often than once a year.
So what's the catch?
The catch is that there are Axeheads all over the planet and we're going to have to pick a single server in a particular location and its going to work better for some people than others. We could rent two servers, one in North America and another Europe, but splitting up people like that kinda defeats the whole purpose in our minds. So, we'd have to try to pick a server with the best ping time, for as many people as possible, with the understanding that its going to work better for people physically closer to the server.
Now, usually, the catch is money, but Mumble servers are not terribly expensive to rent. The cost does go up as you have more people connected to the server simultaneously, but its still pretty reasonable. We would be paying for this out of The War Chest with the money that many of you regularly contribute to the site.
So, with all that said. We'd now like to hear from you all. Please let us know what you think of the plan and whether or not it would be something you would use. If the community is interested then we'll probably do it; if not, then we probably won't. Please also vote in the poll over in the sidebar. We look forward to hearing whatever you've got to say.