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Difference between revisions of "Video and Voice Chat"

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Roll20 utilizes two built-in WebRTC video and voice chat features that allows you to communicate with other players. One is powered by Tokbox's OpenTok 2.0 and the other is an in-house version built by Roll20. As of October 2016, the Roll20 WebRTC option is the default video/voice chat tech for newly created campaigns. WebRTC is high-definition and runs natively in your browser without the need for any additional plugins. It's also adaptive so it works well with low-bandwidth connections.
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Roll20’s in-browser video and voice feature doesn’t require any plugins or widgets to install in order to use your microphone/webcam to communicate with other players in a game. Instead, we utilize a component, called WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), to natively run in your Chrome or Firefox browser. WebRTC is an HTML5 high-definition, peer-to-peer VOIP service. It's also adaptive so it works well with low-bandwidth connections.
  
Once at least '''two people''' log into a game using either WebRTC options, you should see a dialog box along the top of your screen that asks you to give permission for Roll20 to use your camera/microphone.
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Once at least '''two people''' log into the same game using any Broadcast settings beyond ''None'', Roll20 will initiate the process to activate your webcam and/or microphone and attempt to connect everyone in the game into a call. If this is your first time utilizing this feature, you should see a dialog box along the top of your screen that asks you to give permission for Roll20 to use your webcam and/or microphone.
  
{{mbox | text=Note: If you aren't having much luck with the built-in video/voice chat, you might also try running your game in a Google+ Hangout, which offers an alternative way of having video/voice chat in your game. [[Playing in Google+ Hangouts|Read more...]]}}
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{{mbox | text=Note: If you are experiences issues with Roll20 built-in video/voice chat, we recommend walking through the [[Video and Voice Chat Troubleshooting|Video and Voice Chat Troubleshooting wiki page]].}}
  
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==Enabling and Disabling WebRTC Video & Voice Chat==
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Video and Voice are enabled by default. Unless this is changed, Roll20 will try to automatically connect a call when at least two users launch the game.
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===Managing Browser Device Permissions for the First Time===
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If this is your first time playing in a game that has WebRTC active, your browser will prompt you to give Roll20 device permission to utilize your webcam and microphone before you connect with other players. Unless you have set strict permission restrictions on your browser, you’ll only need to do this once.
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====Device Permissions In Google Chrome====
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A dialog box will appear along the very top of your browser screen. Click "Allow".
  
== Enabling and Disabling WebRTC Video & Voice Chat ==
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[[File:Chrome_Mic_Permissions.png]]
===Managing Browser Permissions===
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'''In Google Chrome:'''
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A dialog box will appear along the very top of your browser screen. Click "Allow." (You may only have to do this the first time you use WebRTC).
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[[File:Screen_Shot_2013-06-25_at_8.47.37_AM.png]]
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Note that you can click the little camera icon located in the far-right of your address bar to change the settings of what camera/microphone is being used.
 
Note that you can click the little camera icon located in the far-right of your address bar to change the settings of what camera/microphone is being used.
  
[[File:Screen_Shot_2013-06-25_at_8.47.52_AM.png]]
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[[File:Chrome_cam_icon_Addressbar.png]]
  
'''In Mozilla Firefox:'''
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====Device Permissions In Mozilla Firefox====
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A dialog box will appear in the upper left-hand corner of the browser, choose which webcam or microphone devices you would like to use and then click on the Allow button. If for some reason a dialog box does not appear or if you wish to change your device settings after the game has started, click on the Red Camera or Microphone icon in the address/search bar to remove the permissions (click on the X beside each device). A browser tab refresh will bring back the permission dialog box to allow you to change your devices.
  
A dialog box will appear, click on "Share Selected Devices" to allow Roll20 to start video chat (highlighted in green below). If for some reason a dialog box does not appear, or if you wish to change your settings after the game has started, click on the Camera icon (highlighted in pink below) to change your settings.
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[[File:Firefox_Device_Permissions.png]]
  
[[File:MozillaWebRTCScreenshot.png]]
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===Enabling/Disabling Video and Voice for an Entire Game===
<br>
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[[File:Video and Audio Chat Options.png|right]]
===Roll20 Video/Voice Settings===
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Enabling or Disabling Video and Voice for the entire game can only be done by a GM. On the '''My Settings''' tab (the <span style="font-family:Pictos;">y</span> icon) on the '''Sidebar''' (top-right side of the screen), scroll down to the '''Video + Audio Chat Options''' section. The very first option here is a drop down menu labeled ''Chat Tech:''. There are currently three menu options to choose from this drop down:
[[File:VideoANDVoiceSettings.png|thumbnail|200px|right|The Video + Voice Settings on the My Settings tab]]
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# ''Roll20 WebRTC (Chrome + Firefox Only):'' This is our complete rebuild that was released as an open beta on January 2018 and will be the tech we will be using moving forward.<br /><br />
Go to the '''[[My Settings]]''' tab (the [[File:GearIcon.png|middle|Gear Icon]] icon) on the Sidebar (top-right side of the screen). Scroll down to find the '''Video + Voice''' heading. There will be several drop-down menus here. They are:
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# ''Legacy Roll20 WebRTC (deprecated):'' This is our first WebRTC build that is using some now-deprecated JavaScript libraries that are causing conflict issues with the latest Chrome and Firefox browsers. Games made after January 2018 will automatically default to the first tech option. We will eventually remove this Legacy option in a future update. For anyone still using this version, we recommend swapping over to the non-deprecated version.<br /><br />
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# ''None (no video/audio):'' This will disable both Video and Voice for the game. The call connection process will not initiate under this setting. Choose this option if you want to disable Video and Voice completely for everyone in the game.<br />
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<br />
  
* '''I want to ''Broadcast'' to others''': This controls whether or not you will broadcast Video and Voice, ''Video only(Roll20 WebRTC feature)'', Voice only, or Nothing(disabled) to other players in the game.
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===Enabling/Disabling Video and Voice Individually===
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Available to both GM and Players is the ability to disable or enable what you personally wish to transmit and what you want to receive from other players.  
  
* '''I want to ''Receive'' from others''': This controls whether or not you will receive Video and Voice, ''Video only(Roll20 WebRTC feature)'', Voice only, or Nothing(disabled) from other players, if they are broadcasting at all.
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A couple of examples where adjusting these settings would be useful: If you only own a microphone and not a webcam, you can adjust your settings to transmit voice only. This will force Roll20 to skip attempting to locate and activate a webcam that doesn’t exist on your device. Another example would be if you are player with a limited internet connection. In this situation, you can change your settings to only receive audio and not video to save on bandwidth.
  
* '''Player Video/Player Avatar Size''': This controls the size of the player avatars that are shown on the Tabletop. There are four size options available: Large (200px x 200px), Regular (150px x 150px), Small (100px x 100px) and Names Only. If the last option is selected, the portrait image is hidden entirely and all that remains is the user's name plate. Note that if you choose Names Only, you will still broadcast video and/or voice if that setting is enabled. You need to set the '''Broadcast To Others''' setting to broadcast voice-only, or nothing at all.
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====Broadcast and Receive Settings====
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Under '''Video + Audio Chat Options''' of the '''My Settings''' tab are the two options with dropdown menus labeled: ''I want to broadcast to others'' and ''I want to receive from others''.  
  
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The Broadcast to Others menu controls whether or not you broadcast ''Video and Voice'', ''Video only'', ''Voice only'', or ''Nothing(disable)'' to other players in the game. If you’re lacking a webcam or microphone device, you typically don't need to change these broadcast setting for WebRTC to work; however, it can help speed up the initial connection process to other players if you specifically tell Roll20 to skip over attempting to connect to a device that is not available.
  
'''The following feature options ONLY appear when Roll20 WebRTC is currently enabled:'''
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The Receive From Others menu controls whether or not you will receive ''Video and Voice'', ''Video only'', ''Voice only'', or ''Nothing(disable)'' from other players, if they are broadcasting at all.
* '''Player Video/Avatar Location''': This controls where your player avatars are positioned on the Tabletop when using Roll20 WebRTC. You have the option of setting them at the bottom or at the top of the tabletop. At default, the avatars are aligned to the bottom.
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* '''Moveable Player Avatars''': One of the features of Roll20WebRTC is the ability to move the Player Avatars to wherever you want on the Tabletop. Underneath this setting is a single reset button available only when using Roll20 WebRTC. Clicking this will snap the player avatars back to the location you originally designated in previous setting.
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If you want to disable WebRTC entirely for you personally, adjust Broadcast and Receive settings to ''Nothing(disable)''.
<div style="clear: both"></div>
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If you make changes to your Broadcast or Receive settings while a call is active, you must click on the following '''Reconnect''' button for these new changes to be applied.
==Swapping Between OpenTok WebRTC or Roll20 WebRTC==
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[[File:VideoChatTechOptions.png|thumbnail|left|The Chat Tech options under the My Settings tab]]
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Further down on the My Settings tab, past the '''Video + Voice''' heading is the '''Video + Audio Chat Options''' Options heading.
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'''Chat Tech:''' This drop down menu allows you to switch between '''Roll20 WebRTC''', '''OpenTok WebRTC''', or '''None''' for your video/voice chat options. Upon choosing a different Video selection than what was selected before (this includes setting it to or from None), your and all other players currently in the game will have their browser tab refreshed. This is necessary to change up the chat tech.
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<div style="clear: both"></div>
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==Roll20 WebRTC Features==
 
==Roll20 WebRTC Features==
A recent addition to Roll20 is a built-in WebRTC feature, Roll20 WebRTC allows for more control over its functionality within the VTT itself. Listed below are the features available within this version of WebRTC.
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Once you have your Video and Voice settings adjusted to the way you want them, here are some additional features that can improve your experience.
===Relocating Player Avatars Around the Tabletop===
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[[File:MovingAnAvatarPortrait.gif|framed|right|One of the features of Roll20 WebRTC is the ability to move the player avatar portraits around the screen.]]
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One of the unique features of Roll20 WebRTC is the ability to move the player avatars to wherever you want on the screen. This can be very helpful when you have a specific broadcast overlay for streaming. This feature is always enabled for the Game Master, but it can be either disabled or enabled for the players to re-arrange the avatars as they see fit.
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To move an avatar, first make certain that Roll20 WebRTC is already enabled, and then hover your mouse over one. An icon resembling three horizontal bars will appear in the bottom left corner of the avatar (over top the Name Plate). This is the avatar's handle that you can click and drag the avatar to a new location on the Tabletop. You can still move these around if you have the avatar portraits hidden and only display the Name Plates. Regardless of who's moving their avatars around, they can only ever be placed in a spot on the Tabletop. You can't drag it atop the Tabletop Toolbar or over the Sidebar. They also will snap away from getting partially stuck under the sides of the browser window.
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===Selecting Specific Audio and Video Devices===
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(This feature is not available for the Legacy version of Roll20 WebRTC)
  
[[File:Roll20WebRTCBandwithOptions.png|thumbnail|left|You can set whether the players can move their avatars or not]]
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If you have multiple microphone and webcam devices connected to your computer, you are able to specifically choose which ones you want to use for broadcasting and receiving video and audio.
You can decide whether to prevent your players from moving their avatars by going to the '''Movable Avatar/Video Screens:''' Setting under the '''Video + Audio Chat Options''' heading. You can choose between GM Controlled or Player Controlled. It's important to note that when the Game Master rearranges the locations of the avatars on the Tabletop, these new positions are set on the Players' ends as well. If you set this option to Player Controlled, the Players can change the locations of their avatars, BUT it is only seen locally. One player's screen is likely to be arranged entirely differently than another's (be it GM or Player) and vice versa.
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[[File:Roll20WebRTCAvatarOptions.png|thumbnail|right|Options for re-positioning, controlling, and resetting avatar locations are only available when Roll20 WebRTC is currently selected]]
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In the '''Video + Audio Chat Options''' section are drop down menus for '''Audio Output Source''' (your chosen speaker device), '''Audio Input Source''' (your chosen microphone device), and '''Video Input Source''' (your chosen webcam device). Your input source menus are available regardless whether a WebRTC call is active or not.  
Beyond moving the avatars individually, you can also set the avatar portraits to either align to the top of the Tabletop or the bottom via the '''Player Video/Avatar Location''' setting which is found under the '''Video + Voice''' Heading. By default, avatars are aligned to the Bottom of the Tabletop.
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The locations of the avatars will snap back to their default location if you swap back to either OpenTok or None for Video Chat.
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Audio Output Source's device menu, on the other hand, will only populate while a call is active. It will activate the browser's default speaker choice (which is often dictated by your Operating System) initially, but then populate the option menu to every speaker device available. This device menu selection ONLY takes into account the voice audio received through WebRTC. Other Roll20 sounds (chat tab notifications, 3D dice SFX, and Jukebox audio) will play on the browser's default speaker still.
  
If you ever wish to reset the avatars back to where in the beginning, click on the '''Reset Player Video/Avatar Location''' button under the '''Video + Voice''' heading of My Settings. This will file the avatar portraits/name plates either on the Bottom of the Tabletop or the Top (depending on what you have set for the '''Player Video/Avatar Location''' setting).
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===Relocating Player Avatars Around the Tabletop===
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[[File:MovingAnAvatarPortrait.gif|framed|right|One of the features of Roll20 WebRTC is the ability to move the player avatar portraits around the Tabletop.]]
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(This feature is only available when the non-Legacy version of Roll20 WebRTC is enabled.)
  
====A Note About Splitting The Party====
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While Roll20 WebRTC is enabled, the GM and players can relocate the player avatar portraits (or their video feeds if video broadcast is enabled) around the Tabletop. This can prove useful if the default position of these portraits at the bottom of the Tabletop obscures important elements that the players should be able to see. It can also be helpful when you want to move the video feeds for a specific broadcast overlay while streaming on platforms such as Twitch or YouTube. This feature is always enabled for the Game Master, but it can be either disabled or enabled for the players to arrange these avatar portraits as they see fit.
If you have the avatars re-positioned on the Tabletop, you're still able to drag players onto individual Pages (AKA [[Page_Toolbar#Split_the_Party|Splitting the Party]]). Just make certain to click and drag on an area of the portrait that ''isn't'' the Avatar Handle on the bottom left corner. This will allow to drag the player into the Page Toolbar and assign them to a particular Page.
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<div style="clear: both"></div>
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===Muting and Volume Normalization===
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While video/voice chat is active, other players in your game will have a volume slider overlay located at the bottom of their portrait. This allows you to adjust the volume of each individual. Instead of a volume slider on your avatar, you'll find a mute button. You can use this to mute your mic if you don't have the physical means for it on your microphone itself.
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<br>
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===Whispering===
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[[File:WhisperPlayerIcon.png|framed|right|This is a player broadcasting Voice Only with the GM hovering their mouse over the Whisper Player button.]]
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Another feature unique to Roll20 WebRTC is the ability to whisper directly to a single player in the game (Presently only the GM has this ability). When Voice is active, a chat bubble icon is available on the upper right hand corner of the avatar upon a mouse over. This icon is the Whisper Player button. Click and hold for the duration of the whisper. While the whisper icon is held down, the other members currently in the game who aren't in on the whisper will have their avatars grayed out to demonstrate that you are holding a private discussion with the other player. This appears on the whispered Player's side as well. Likewise, those players not in on this conversation will see the GM and the whispered player grayed out to them. The group not privy to the whispered conversation can still talk among one another like usual. Everyone's avatars and Voice feeds will return to normal once the GM lets go of the Whisper Player button.
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<div style="clear: both"></div>
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===Video/Voice Bandwith Options===
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To move an avatar, hover your mouse over the one you’d like to move. An icon resembling three horizontal bars will appear in the bottom left corner of the avatar (over top the Name Plate). This is the avatar's handle that you can click and drag the whole avatar, Name Plate and Card Hand included, to a new location on the Tabletop. You can still move these around if you have the avatar portraits hidden and are only currently displaying player’s Name Plates. Regardless of who's moving their avatars around, avatars can only ever be placed in a spot on the Tabletop. You can't drag it atop the Tabletop Toolbar or over the Sidebar. They also will snap away from getting partially stuck under the sides of the browser window.
You can adjust the video/voice bandwith with Roll20 WebRTC. If you have a user who is working with a slower or limited connection, you can drop the bandwith to a less taxing setting. The drop-down menu for this can be found right underneath the Chat Tech menu option of the Sidebar (if Roll20 WebRTC is currently selected). There are four bandwith settings to choose from: High, Medium, Low, and Very Low. The bandwith rates scale depending on how many players are currently in the game.
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<br>
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===Push to Talk Functionality===
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[[File:UseAdvancedKeyboardShortcuts.png|framed|right|Enable Advanced Keyboard Shortcuts to utilize the Push to Talk key]]
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To enable Push to Talk, you will first need to check off '''Use advanced keyboard shortcuts''' from the '''My Settings''' tab of the '''Sidebar'''. This checkbox can be found right underneath the Master Volume Control slider at the top of the tab. Once enabled, pressing the tilde ( ` ) key will mute/unmute your microphone.
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{{mbox | text = '''Note:''' Roll20 keyboard shortcuts only work when the game's browser tab is focused.}}
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<div style="clear: both"></div>
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<br>
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===Video Only Broadcast===
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[[File:Chat Avatar Settings.png|framed|left]]
With Roll20 WebRTC enabled, a new option appears in the '''I want to broadcast to others:''' and '''I want to receive from others:''' drop down menu–'''Video Only'''. This will only display the video footage of a webcam and ignore all microphone input.
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The settings for this feature can be found on the '''My Settings''' tab under the '''Chat Avatars''' section (this section is directly above Video + Audio Chat Options).
<br>
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As the GM, you can decide whether this feature it available to players. Under the option “Movable avatar/video screens”, you can choose between GM Controlled or Player Controlled. If you set this option to Player Controlled, the Players can change the locations of their avatars, but their positioning will only be seen locally on their own device.
  
==OpenTok WebRTC Features==
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Beyond moving the avatars individually, you can also set the avatar portraits to either align to the top of the Tabletop or the bottom via the Player Video/Avatar Location menu option. By default, avatars are aligned to the Bottom of the Tabletop. This position won’t automatically take if you (or your players) have re-positioned the avatars to a specified place on the Tabletop.
=== Managing Volume ===
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While video/voice is enabled in Roll20, hover your mouse on the bottom right corner of a player's portrait in the Player Zone. This action will pop up a volume slider that you can use to fine tune a player's mic volume to be heard properly. It's important to note that a slider exists on your own portrait and tuning your personal mic volume affects how other players in Roll20 hear you.
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If you ever wish to reset the avatars positioning, click on the '''Reset Player Video/Avatar Location''' button. This will file the avatar portraits/name plates either on the Bottom of the Tabletop or the Top (depending on what you have set for the Player Video/Avatar Location setting).
  
=== Switching Devices ===
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====A Note About Splitting The Party====
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If you have the avatars re-positioned on the Tabletop, you're still able to drag players onto individual Pages (AKA Splitting the Party). Just make certain to click and drag on an area of the portrait that isn't the Avatar Handle on the bottom left corner. This will allow the GM to drag the player, as usual, to the Page Toolbar and assign them to a particular Page.
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<br style="clear:both;"/>
  
To switch between multiple microphone and webcam devices, once again hover your mouse on the bottom right corner of your avatar in the Player Zone. Next to the volume slider that pops up is a wrench button. Clicking on this button brings up a new window where you can specify which devices you wish to use for chat.
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===Mic Input Indicator===
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[[File:Mic Input Indicator.gif|framed|left|The Blue Live Mic Indicator Bar]]
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Between the user's Nametag and Avatar Portrait (or video footage, if broadcasting that as well), is a small bar that lights up pale blue when a player begins speaking into their microphone. This blue bar expands and contracts with the wavelength of what is picked up from the mic. This is the "Mic Input Indicator" and it should help Voice-Only games determine which player is speaking at any given time during gameplay.
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<p style="clear:both;"></p>
  
=== Push-to-Talk ===
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===Volume Adjustment and Webcam and Microphone Toggles===
OpenTok does not have Push-to-Talk functionality built in.
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====Volume Adjustment====
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While Voice is active in a call, other players in your game will have a volume slider overlay ( <span style="width: 30px; height: 30px; font-family: Pictos; font-size: 25px; color:#333333; padding:5px 6px; vertical-align:middle;"><</span><span style="background-color:#333333; display:inline-block; width:100px; height:10px; vertical-align:middle;" ></span><span style="width: 30px; height: 30px; font-family: Pictos; font-size: 25px; color:#333333; padding:5px 6px; vertical-align:middle;">></span> ) located at the bottom of their Avatar's portrait when you mouse over it. This allows you to adjust the volume of each individual's voice in the call.
  
If Roll20 WebRTC is not an option, here are some methods to facilitate Push-to-Talk:
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====Muting Your Microhpone====
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Instead of a volume slider on your own Avatar, you'll find the '''Mute''' button displayed as a speaker icon ( <span style="width: 30px; height: 30px; font-family: Pictos; font-size: 25px; color:#333333; padding:5px 6px; "><</span> / <span style="width: 30px; height: 30px; font-family: Pictos; font-size: 25px; color:#333333; padding:5px 6px; ">></span> ). You can use this to mute your mic if you don't have the physical means for it on your microphone itself. A pink icon with a dark grey speech bubble within it ( <span style="width: 30px; height: 30px; font-family: Pictos; font-size: 25px; color:#333333; padding:5px 6px; background-color:rgb(238, 43, 123); border-bottom-right-radius: 5px;">w</span> ) will appear in the upper left corner of your Avatar if you are currently muted. This icon status can be seen by the GM.
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<br style="clear:both;" />
  
* Muting ones self when not talking.
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====Pausing Your Camera====
**  But this is quite a lot of effort in conversation.
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While Video is active in a call, a camera icon ( <span style="width: 30px; height: 30px; font-family: Pictos; font-size: 25px; color:#333333; padding:5px 6px; ">V</span> ) will appear to the right of the Mute button over your Avatar's protrait. This is the '''Pause Video''' button. Clicking on this button will toggle your camera on and off. A pink icon with a dark grey pause symbol within it ( <span style="width: 30px; height: 30px; font-family: Pictos; font-size: 25px; color:#333333; padding:5px 6px; background-color:rgb(238, 43, 123); border-bottom-right-radius: 5px;">5</span> ) will appear in the upper left corner of your Avatar if your webcam has been toggled off. This icon status can be seen by the GM.<br />
* Manually using the mic's mute feature.
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**  Some microphones have a button for this, which is better.
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* Using a program which controls your microphone mute feature.
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**  ''This is by far the best solution.''
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===Push to Talk===
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There is an advanced keyboard shortcut to Mute yourself via the Tilde Key(~). Utilizing this shortcut key, you’re able to simulate semi Push-To-Talk functionality. The big difference between conventional Push To Talk functionality in other platforms and Roll20 is you do not want to press and hold the ~ key. Instead, it’s a single press to toggle your mute button on and off.
  
One recommendation is http://www.pushtotalk.nu/
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To enable this, you must first check the '''Use advanced keyboard shortcuts''' checkbox under the '''My Settings''' tab of the '''Sidebar'''. Once enabled, the Tilde Key(~), will toggle your microphone mute on and off. You can use the pink indicator on your avatar to know when mute is currently toggled on. It's important to note that Push To Talk functionality only works while the browser tab currently running the Roll20 game is focused on your device (meaning that you aren't currently browsing on another browser tab or actively interacting with a completely different device application).
  
* Tested and works with Windows 10 64bit.
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===Whispering===
* Free, a tiny download, no installation required, trivial to configure.
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A GM can whisper directly to a single player in the game when Voice is active in a call. When the GM hovers their mouse over a player’s Avatar, a dark grey double chat bubble icon ( <span style="width: 30px; height: 30px; font-family: Pictos; font-size: 25px; color:#333333; padding:5px 6px; vertical-align:middle;">q</span> ) appears on the upper right hand corner of the player's portrait.
* One recommendation is to configure its hotkeys as ` (backtick) and right-control.  It turns out that right-control will permanently un-mute until backtick is pressed, which is technically a bug but really useful.
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This icon is the '''Whisper Player''' button. Click on this button to toggle on whisper mode. While the GM is whispering, other players who aren't in on the whisper will have their avatars grayed out to the GM and the Player being whispered to and will no longer be able to hear audio from those other players. Likewise, those players not in on this private conversation will see the GM and the whispered player grayed out to them and will not be able to hear what is being whispered. The group not privy to the whispered conversation can still talk among one another like usual. Everyone's avatars and Voice feeds will return to normal once the GM toggles off the Whisper Player button.
  
Even though it's additional work, ensuring that game policy has all players doing this very simple step will vastly improve everyone's playing experience''Please consider it for your game.''
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===Video Bandwidth Options===
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You will notice that there is a menu option for Video Bandwidth. This is an option that currently isn’t available as of yet. We are still gathering numbers to figure out what the ideal bandwidth thresholds are for High, Medium, Low, and Very Low. When this setting is available, you’ll be able to adjust the video quality of what you will receive from other players.
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==When In Doubt, Reconnect==
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Sometimes, two users may not complete the handshaking process to link their video/voice feed together in a call. If you encounter any issues connecting with your fellow players in the game, the first thing you should try doing is hit the '''Reconnect''' button. This will prompt the handshaking process to begin again and reset the call. The Reconnect button is located in two places on the VTT, the first is under the My Settings tab of the Sidebar.
  
''If anyone has another solution or program, please take a moment to post it here.''
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The second, and likely more convenient to access, is available when you mouse over your Avatar's portrait. In the upper right hand corner of the portrait is a dark grey reload icon ( <span style="width: 30px; height: 30px; font-family: Pictos; font-size: 25px; color:#333333; padding:5px 6px; vertical-align:middle;">0</span> ) This is also a '''Reconnect''' button and is only accessible on your own Avatar.
  
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If your group still experiences difficulties connecting in a call, please review our [[Video and Voice Chat Troubleshooting|Video & Voice Troubleshooting Wiki Page]].
 
[[Category:Docs]]
 
[[Category:Docs]]

Latest revision as of 14:05, 3 April 2018

Roll20’s in-browser video and voice feature doesn’t require any plugins or widgets to install in order to use your microphone/webcam to communicate with other players in a game. Instead, we utilize a component, called WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), to natively run in your Chrome or Firefox browser. WebRTC is an HTML5 high-definition, peer-to-peer VOIP service. It's also adaptive so it works well with low-bandwidth connections.

Once at least two people log into the same game using any Broadcast settings beyond None, Roll20 will initiate the process to activate your webcam and/or microphone and attempt to connect everyone in the game into a call. If this is your first time utilizing this feature, you should see a dialog box along the top of your screen that asks you to give permission for Roll20 to use your webcam and/or microphone.


Contents

[edit] Enabling and Disabling WebRTC Video & Voice Chat

Video and Voice are enabled by default. Unless this is changed, Roll20 will try to automatically connect a call when at least two users launch the game.

[edit] Managing Browser Device Permissions for the First Time

If this is your first time playing in a game that has WebRTC active, your browser will prompt you to give Roll20 device permission to utilize your webcam and microphone before you connect with other players. Unless you have set strict permission restrictions on your browser, you’ll only need to do this once.

[edit] Device Permissions In Google Chrome

A dialog box will appear along the very top of your browser screen. Click "Allow".

Chrome Mic Permissions.png

Note that you can click the little camera icon located in the far-right of your address bar to change the settings of what camera/microphone is being used.

Chrome cam icon Addressbar.png

[edit] Device Permissions In Mozilla Firefox

A dialog box will appear in the upper left-hand corner of the browser, choose which webcam or microphone devices you would like to use and then click on the Allow button. If for some reason a dialog box does not appear or if you wish to change your device settings after the game has started, click on the Red Camera or Microphone icon in the address/search bar to remove the permissions (click on the X beside each device). A browser tab refresh will bring back the permission dialog box to allow you to change your devices.

Firefox Device Permissions.png

[edit] Enabling/Disabling Video and Voice for an Entire Game

Video and Audio Chat Options.png

Enabling or Disabling Video and Voice for the entire game can only be done by a GM. On the My Settings tab (the y icon) on the Sidebar (top-right side of the screen), scroll down to the Video + Audio Chat Options section. The very first option here is a drop down menu labeled Chat Tech:. There are currently three menu options to choose from this drop down:

  1. Roll20 WebRTC (Chrome + Firefox Only): This is our complete rebuild that was released as an open beta on January 2018 and will be the tech we will be using moving forward.

  2. Legacy Roll20 WebRTC (deprecated): This is our first WebRTC build that is using some now-deprecated JavaScript libraries that are causing conflict issues with the latest Chrome and Firefox browsers. Games made after January 2018 will automatically default to the first tech option. We will eventually remove this Legacy option in a future update. For anyone still using this version, we recommend swapping over to the non-deprecated version.

  3. None (no video/audio): This will disable both Video and Voice for the game. The call connection process will not initiate under this setting. Choose this option if you want to disable Video and Voice completely for everyone in the game.


[edit] Enabling/Disabling Video and Voice Individually

Available to both GM and Players is the ability to disable or enable what you personally wish to transmit and what you want to receive from other players.

A couple of examples where adjusting these settings would be useful: If you only own a microphone and not a webcam, you can adjust your settings to transmit voice only. This will force Roll20 to skip attempting to locate and activate a webcam that doesn’t exist on your device. Another example would be if you are player with a limited internet connection. In this situation, you can change your settings to only receive audio and not video to save on bandwidth.

[edit] Broadcast and Receive Settings

Under Video + Audio Chat Options of the My Settings tab are the two options with dropdown menus labeled: I want to broadcast to others and I want to receive from others.

The Broadcast to Others menu controls whether or not you broadcast Video and Voice, Video only, Voice only, or Nothing(disable) to other players in the game. If you’re lacking a webcam or microphone device, you typically don't need to change these broadcast setting for WebRTC to work; however, it can help speed up the initial connection process to other players if you specifically tell Roll20 to skip over attempting to connect to a device that is not available.

The Receive From Others menu controls whether or not you will receive Video and Voice, Video only, Voice only, or Nothing(disable) from other players, if they are broadcasting at all.

If you want to disable WebRTC entirely for you personally, adjust Broadcast and Receive settings to Nothing(disable).

If you make changes to your Broadcast or Receive settings while a call is active, you must click on the following Reconnect button for these new changes to be applied.

[edit] Roll20 WebRTC Features

Once you have your Video and Voice settings adjusted to the way you want them, here are some additional features that can improve your experience.

[edit] Selecting Specific Audio and Video Devices

(This feature is not available for the Legacy version of Roll20 WebRTC)

If you have multiple microphone and webcam devices connected to your computer, you are able to specifically choose which ones you want to use for broadcasting and receiving video and audio.

In the Video + Audio Chat Options section are drop down menus for Audio Output Source (your chosen speaker device), Audio Input Source (your chosen microphone device), and Video Input Source (your chosen webcam device). Your input source menus are available regardless whether a WebRTC call is active or not.

Audio Output Source's device menu, on the other hand, will only populate while a call is active. It will activate the browser's default speaker choice (which is often dictated by your Operating System) initially, but then populate the option menu to every speaker device available. This device menu selection ONLY takes into account the voice audio received through WebRTC. Other Roll20 sounds (chat tab notifications, 3D dice SFX, and Jukebox audio) will play on the browser's default speaker still.

[edit] Relocating Player Avatars Around the Tabletop

One of the features of Roll20 WebRTC is the ability to move the player avatar portraits around the Tabletop.

(This feature is only available when the non-Legacy version of Roll20 WebRTC is enabled.)

While Roll20 WebRTC is enabled, the GM and players can relocate the player avatar portraits (or their video feeds if video broadcast is enabled) around the Tabletop. This can prove useful if the default position of these portraits at the bottom of the Tabletop obscures important elements that the players should be able to see. It can also be helpful when you want to move the video feeds for a specific broadcast overlay while streaming on platforms such as Twitch or YouTube. This feature is always enabled for the Game Master, but it can be either disabled or enabled for the players to arrange these avatar portraits as they see fit.

To move an avatar, hover your mouse over the one you’d like to move. An icon resembling three horizontal bars will appear in the bottom left corner of the avatar (over top the Name Plate). This is the avatar's handle that you can click and drag the whole avatar, Name Plate and Card Hand included, to a new location on the Tabletop. You can still move these around if you have the avatar portraits hidden and are only currently displaying player’s Name Plates. Regardless of who's moving their avatars around, avatars can only ever be placed in a spot on the Tabletop. You can't drag it atop the Tabletop Toolbar or over the Sidebar. They also will snap away from getting partially stuck under the sides of the browser window.

Chat Avatar Settings.png

The settings for this feature can be found on the My Settings tab under the Chat Avatars section (this section is directly above Video + Audio Chat Options). As the GM, you can decide whether this feature it available to players. Under the option “Movable avatar/video screens”, you can choose between GM Controlled or Player Controlled. If you set this option to Player Controlled, the Players can change the locations of their avatars, but their positioning will only be seen locally on their own device.

Beyond moving the avatars individually, you can also set the avatar portraits to either align to the top of the Tabletop or the bottom via the Player Video/Avatar Location menu option. By default, avatars are aligned to the Bottom of the Tabletop. This position won’t automatically take if you (or your players) have re-positioned the avatars to a specified place on the Tabletop.

If you ever wish to reset the avatars positioning, click on the Reset Player Video/Avatar Location button. This will file the avatar portraits/name plates either on the Bottom of the Tabletop or the Top (depending on what you have set for the Player Video/Avatar Location setting).

[edit] A Note About Splitting The Party

If you have the avatars re-positioned on the Tabletop, you're still able to drag players onto individual Pages (AKA Splitting the Party). Just make certain to click and drag on an area of the portrait that isn't the Avatar Handle on the bottom left corner. This will allow the GM to drag the player, as usual, to the Page Toolbar and assign them to a particular Page.

[edit] Mic Input Indicator

The Blue Live Mic Indicator Bar

Between the user's Nametag and Avatar Portrait (or video footage, if broadcasting that as well), is a small bar that lights up pale blue when a player begins speaking into their microphone. This blue bar expands and contracts with the wavelength of what is picked up from the mic. This is the "Mic Input Indicator" and it should help Voice-Only games determine which player is speaking at any given time during gameplay.

[edit] Volume Adjustment and Webcam and Microphone Toggles

[edit] Volume Adjustment

While Voice is active in a call, other players in your game will have a volume slider overlay ( <> ) located at the bottom of their Avatar's portrait when you mouse over it. This allows you to adjust the volume of each individual's voice in the call.

[edit] Muting Your Microhpone

Instead of a volume slider on your own Avatar, you'll find the Mute button displayed as a speaker icon ( < / > ). You can use this to mute your mic if you don't have the physical means for it on your microphone itself. A pink icon with a dark grey speech bubble within it ( w ) will appear in the upper left corner of your Avatar if you are currently muted. This icon status can be seen by the GM.

[edit] Pausing Your Camera

While Video is active in a call, a camera icon ( V ) will appear to the right of the Mute button over your Avatar's protrait. This is the Pause Video button. Clicking on this button will toggle your camera on and off. A pink icon with a dark grey pause symbol within it ( 5 ) will appear in the upper left corner of your Avatar if your webcam has been toggled off. This icon status can be seen by the GM.

[edit] Push to Talk

There is an advanced keyboard shortcut to Mute yourself via the Tilde Key(~). Utilizing this shortcut key, you’re able to simulate semi Push-To-Talk functionality. The big difference between conventional Push To Talk functionality in other platforms and Roll20 is you do not want to press and hold the ~ key. Instead, it’s a single press to toggle your mute button on and off.

To enable this, you must first check the Use advanced keyboard shortcuts checkbox under the My Settings tab of the Sidebar. Once enabled, the Tilde Key(~), will toggle your microphone mute on and off. You can use the pink indicator on your avatar to know when mute is currently toggled on. It's important to note that Push To Talk functionality only works while the browser tab currently running the Roll20 game is focused on your device (meaning that you aren't currently browsing on another browser tab or actively interacting with a completely different device application).

[edit] Whispering

A GM can whisper directly to a single player in the game when Voice is active in a call. When the GM hovers their mouse over a player’s Avatar, a dark grey double chat bubble icon ( q ) appears on the upper right hand corner of the player's portrait.

This icon is the Whisper Player button. Click on this button to toggle on whisper mode. While the GM is whispering, other players who aren't in on the whisper will have their avatars grayed out to the GM and the Player being whispered to and will no longer be able to hear audio from those other players. Likewise, those players not in on this private conversation will see the GM and the whispered player grayed out to them and will not be able to hear what is being whispered. The group not privy to the whispered conversation can still talk among one another like usual. Everyone's avatars and Voice feeds will return to normal once the GM toggles off the Whisper Player button.

[edit] Video Bandwidth Options

You will notice that there is a menu option for Video Bandwidth. This is an option that currently isn’t available as of yet. We are still gathering numbers to figure out what the ideal bandwidth thresholds are for High, Medium, Low, and Very Low. When this setting is available, you’ll be able to adjust the video quality of what you will receive from other players.

[edit] When In Doubt, Reconnect

Sometimes, two users may not complete the handshaking process to link their video/voice feed together in a call. If you encounter any issues connecting with your fellow players in the game, the first thing you should try doing is hit the Reconnect button. This will prompt the handshaking process to begin again and reset the call. The Reconnect button is located in two places on the VTT, the first is under the My Settings tab of the Sidebar.

The second, and likely more convenient to access, is available when you mouse over your Avatar's portrait. In the upper right hand corner of the portrait is a dark grey reload icon ( 0 ) This is also a Reconnect button and is only accessible on your own Avatar.

If your group still experiences difficulties connecting in a call, please review our Video & Voice Troubleshooting Wiki Page.