BrowserQuests™ Project Blog

New Narration Feature! (April 2021)

The GM now talks! Leveraging the built-in text-to-speech synthesis embedded in all modern browsers, the player interface now automatically narrates the GM's prose, providing an additional audio component to the overall gaming experience. This new functionality is enabled by default but a simple button (alongside the music button in the upper left corner of the presentation) can turn the narration off if desired as well. Note that the new feature works best in either Chrome or Edge on the desktop.

While the new feature is pretty cool, it's far from perfect--the inherent text-to-speech functionality does sound fairly human (as opposed to a monotone robot) but it's not nearly as natural-sounding as a real human. Hence, the speech synthesizer often mispronounces words (especially character or location names) and tends to emphasize the wrong syllables, so the voice doesn't always sound natural. Some will truly enjoy the new functionality, but others may find it silly or even annoying and will want to disable it. Note that blind players who already use special software to provide an audio component to everything found within the browser will likely want to turn the new narration functionality off as well, since it ONLY narrates the GM's prose, nothing more.

Log into BrowserQuests,™ give the new narration feature a try and let us know what you think! We are currently looking into the feasibility of actually narrating the GM prose manually as well, but that would be a lot more work so we're curious to know whether the text-to-speech approach is sufficient for most players.