Developer Blog
TS3 Client Tweaks Continue
by Karl Hessinger on Aug 6, 2009
Greetings TeamSpeak Community!

We know you're all waiting for new TS3 material so below is a screenshot of what the main window of the TeamSpeak 3 Client looks like as of today. Please note that all screenshots are only development screenshots and the look of the final product may change by the final release.


The toolbar on the left side (which includes Away, Mute mic, Mute headphones, etc.) can be moved virtually anywhere you want. For example, it can be placed on any side of the main window or, if you don't want it to be located within the main window at all, you can drag it completely off the client and have it free-floating on your desktop wherever your heart desires. The best part about this bar is that eventually you will also be able to completely customize its functionality to suit your needs by dragging buttons on to it. So everything can be right there at your finger tips as you see fit.

You may also be wondering what that eye-looking icon is on the toolbar. For starters, clicking this icon can come in handy if you join a public TeamSpeak server with lots of channels. Say you are looking for a friend on a large, public server but you aren't quite sure what channel he/she is in. Normally with a TeamSpeak 2 Server configured in Public server mode you might have to jump from channel to channel to locate them. However, in TeamSpeak 3 this icon instantly expands your view for all channels so you can find your friend more easily.

It doesn't quite stop there though. With TeamSpeak 3 you are now in complete control of channel views via an all new channel subscription feature. In TeamSpeak 2, the server decided how users would view channels. If it was set to Clan mode, you were able to see everyone in every channel at all times. This was a nightmare for large TeamSpeak servers because you'd constantly hear "new player" or "player left". So the TeamSpeak 2 Server also provided you with a Public server mode. This allowed users to see only the clients of the channel you were currently in. This no doubt made it easier on your ears but also included other limitations and disadvantages. Well, with TeamSpeak 3 you are now able to subscribe to any or all specific channels. You can for example subscribe to all channels (Clan mode), subscribe to none (Public mode), or pick and choose which channels you wish to subscribe to. All activity within unsubscribed channels is simply ignored and will not be shown on your channel list.

The last thing we'll show you is a URL catcher. This nifty, new tool captures all URLs from any of your text chat windows and stores them within the TeamSpeak 3 client. If you forget a link that someone provided you can simply look through your collected URLs to retrieve it.

So what else is going on in TeamSpeak 3 dev-land?
  • Aside from the usual bug fixes, we have implemented and improved Push-To-Talk features within the client.
  • Numerous improvements with regard to the permissions system have also surfaced, making it easier for users to understand and configure user permissions in general.
  • We are also in the process of implementing offline messages. We will have more details on that when it is fully functional.
In the near future we will update you with more features and breaking news. Until then, happy chatting!
Whispering Gets an Overhaul in TS3
by Florence on May 29, 2009
In our latest developments, TeamSpeak 3 gets a nice new interface to an old feature - "whispering". In TeamSpeak 2 whisper functionality is not very easy to find and configure, so many users don't even know it exists. In contrast, TeamSpeak 3 vastly improves whispering via overhauled and simplified configuration.

In case you're unfamiliar with what whispering is, we'll explain by example. Usually when you talk in TeamSpeak, the users that will hear you are those that are in the same channel as you. But on some occasions you may want to talk to a specific user that is not in your channel (without either user having to leave their current channel). Or you may simply want to talk to someone "privately" (without other users knowing). Further yet, you may want to talk to only a subset of users on your server. Whispering is required for each of these examples. With whispering, you can specify a list of users or a list of channels that you will talk to whenever you press your whisper key.

Let's dive into a more game-related scenario. Suppose you are playing a multiplayer game with 30 players on your team and everyone is logged into TeamSpeak. Imagine the chaos if all players in the same channel were to speak freely. You may have something important to say but your comments are most likely targeted to a subset of the 29 other players in your channel. Furthermore, it can be frustrating waiting for other player's babbling to come to an end so you can begin talking. Well, whispering is one possible way to work around these problems.

Next we will map out a solution to this example scenario using whispering. Keep in mind there are no strict guidelines here. Whispering empowers you to take control and target your comments to anyone else on your TeamSpeak server, so experiment and find what works best for you and your group.

In our solution, someone is needed who takes leadership of the whole party and organizes the flow, so let's call this person the Main Leader. You then have to split the players into groups of people that are likely to have a lot of information to share between each other (e.g. the crew of the helicopter, or the warrior/melee team, or perhaps the ranged offensive team, or the healer/medic team, etc.). Each of these groups will need a Group Leader. Now, to take advantage of whispering we need to create a channel for every group and each Group Leader will need to set up a whisper key to whisper to the Main Leader. To illustrate this arrangement, refer to the following image:



If you choose your groups wisely most open, default communication should be confined to relatively small, manageable groups of users talking within the same channel. But inevitably there will be situations where communication has to pass this barrier, and this is where the Group Leader comes into play. The Group Leader passes on strategic information to the Main Leader via his whisper key. Similarly, communication in the opposite direction also utilizes whispering. The Main Leader has whisper keys for each Group Leader, and then communicates directly to the appropriate Group Leader, who then passes the information on to his group.

Example:
A heavy weapons infantry player from the "offensive task force 1" group is badly wounded, and requires medical attention. He tells his Group Leader (in the same channel) about the situation. The Group Leader of the "offensive task force 1" presses his whisper key to message the Main Leader, and describes the situation. The Main Leader will then press the whisper key to whisper to the Group Leader of "medical squad 2", because he knows that they are the closest to the wounded player, and orders their Group Leader to dispatch a medic. The Group Leader of "medical squad 2" then communicates within his group's channel and asks a medic to go attend to the wounded player.

Although hypothetical, this example illustrates how organizing your team in a hierarchic fashion while utilizing whispering can be quite effective.

Ok, so what if you are a veteran TeamSpeak 2 user and you already knew all of this!? Not to worry, let's dig into what's new with whispering and TeamSpeak 3. For starters, setting up a whisper hot-key for a group of users (or channels) has been largely simplified via drag and drop. So creating a whisper list is as easy as dragging users into the whisper setup dialog box. Incidentally, one thing that makes whispering in TeamSpeak 3 much more powerful than TeamSpeak 2 is the fact that every client connection has a unique identity, which in turn allows you to create a key binding for "bob" no matter which nickname he chooses, and no matter on which server you meet him. This also allows you to drag people from your buddy list into your whisper list regardless of whether or not they are online.

The following image illustrates setting up a new whisper key binding (the right CTRL key in this case) to whisper to PeterS and Rico, regardless of what channel they are in. This is achieved by simply dragging PeterS and Rico from the main channel/user tree list view into the Whisperlist1 box.



As with other features in TeamSpeak 3, there is an easy and simple way to setup whispering and there is a more advanced way which gives you access to additional, powerful features. The advanced method is accessed via the keybinding manager (see image below).



As you can see, adding a whisper key per the drag and drop example above automatically creates two new entries in the keybinding manager which by default are configured to behave in a push-to-talk manner. Let's suppose, however, that you want to alter the behavior of activating and deactivating your whisper modes. With the keybinding manager advanced users can for example activate whisper mode when pressing the left CTRL key, and deactivate it when pressing the left ALT key. This way you would not have to keep the key pressed down all the time.

We hope you've enjoyed this dev blog. Until next time!
Chronicles of a TeamSpeak 3 Alpha Tester
by Ephraim on Feb 13, 2009
Like many of you I had been eagerly awaiting the release of TeamSpeak 3. Then I learned that TeamSpeak was searching for additional Alpha testers so I decided to apply and take a chance. I read the requirements on becoming an Alpha tester, and my immediate thought was, "I wonder if I will fit the profile?!" Nevertheless, I completed the application and began to wait. Several weeks later I received an invitation to an online interview. I was really excited to have been selected.

On the day of the interview I found myself logged into a TeamSpeak 2 server with several other devs. I was quite nervous. My first thoughts were, "What will they ask me? It's five against one!" :) But the dev team turned out to be less intimidating than I had perceived. In fact, most of the interview was a pleasant conversation. We even talked about WoW and I was suddenly asked the ultimate question, "Horde or Alliance!!??" Luckily I answered correctly. :)

After the interview, another waiting period followed ... and finally, several days before Christmas, I received THE final email acknowledging my acceptance into the Alpha test program! The email included information on obtaining the TeamSpeak 3 client and how to connect to the TeamSpeak 3 test server.

And now, my first impressions can easily be summarized in one sentence:
"TeamSpeak 3 is FREAKING awesome!"

So there you have it. :D

Cool New Features in TeamSpeak 3

Ok, let's talk about some cool new features in TeamSpeak 3. There are plenty to choose from but I think the immediate, and most noticeable one for me is the reduced latency. Another Alpha tester and I did some latency testing, and we both agreed that there is little to no noticeable latency -- and we both have only average DSL connections. Woohooo! :)

Ok, so what else? I think the next "Wooohoo!" feature is that TeamSpeak 3 includes a very easy-to-use file sharing tool. There now exists the possibility to upload or download files on a per channel basis or into a common folder tree, all of which is hosted entirely off the server. So if you have a TeamSpeak 3 Server running, file sharing with your friends is easy. You no longer need to worry about how to setup FTP, or mess with any other complicated file-sharing applications...nor do you need to deal with any firewall issues. You can even insert a clickable link into the TeamSpeak 3 chat pane, so anyone who clicks on the link can instantly download the file. Permissions or access rights to files are just as easily controlled via the permissions settings of the channel.

The current GUI should look familiar to most TeamSpeak 2 users, but for all you GFX lovers TeamSpeak 3 is completely customizable. You can create your own set of icons, styles of controls, and so on. I love styles but since I don't fully understand how to create them on my own I guess I'll have to wait to see what sorts of great styles are developed by the TeamSpeak community when TeamSpeak 3 goes public!!

Last but not least, some of you may relate to the trouble of remembering your registered username and password when you connect to multiple TeamSpeak servers. Well these sorts of issues are now history! :) User management has been completely redesigned. When you first launch the TeamSpeak 3 client a unique identity is created, and when you connect to a server this unique identity is stored and tracked by the server. So, for an admin this eliminates the need to manually register a username and password with the server, and allows the admin to assign a set of permissions to your identity which will automatically be recalled by the server every time you connect. The end result is that your rights can be entirely controlled through your unique identity -- thus strengthening security by eliminating username and password issues, and effectively making the process of administering users far less tedious than ever before.

Life as an Alpha Tester

Being an Alpha tester is not such a difficult job. We really have fun doing it. There are typically 5 to 10 people connected at any given time so there is always collaborative testing or discussions going on. Sometimes we discuss Linux problems while someone else is playing Battlefield on another channel. One interesting fact, however, is that no one seems to play WoW. :) ...regardless, we did recently have a discussion on WoW vs Diablo 2. Guess which side I was fighting for? :)

Why is TeamSpeak 3 not released yet? Are the Devs Lazy?

Well first off, the devs are overall a funny folk and they are in fact working very hard and very fast on getting the bugs fixed which we find -- YES, we do our job. :) What amazes me is how it typically takes no more than 3 days for a new build of the client to be released with bug fixes. Builds are often even released on weekends. So, the TeamSpeak 3 client is in fact evolving quickly with measurable results.

So that's about it. All I can tell you is stay tuned to this site and stay patient! TeamSpeak 3 is well worth the wait. :) Ciao!

- Ephraim
TS3 Updates and New Screenshots
by Peter Kirk on Oct 31, 2008
Hi everybody,

Here we are again with exciting news regarding the latest TeamSpeak 3 developments. Lots of progress has been made in the last several months. You might have seen that on our website we now have the TeamSpeak 3 Software Development Kit available by request, so we have been getting lots of inquiries there and we also have been working with numerous companies interested in TeamSpeak 3 voice integration for a while now. The stability and availability of the SDK shows that the core TeamSpeak 3 components are almost finished. All the basic features are available and the frequency of errors or crashes is low. Currently our programming time is devoted to clean up work and finishing touches. Also, some more advanced features are being finished.

On a different note we are currently searching for a few additional Alpha testers. Note that we are looking only for qualified, experienced Linux and Mac users - as opposed to those that use Windows primarily. Those of you who are interested, please check out the following application form and be sure to read the requirements very carefully before considering to apply.

http://www.teamspeak.com/alpha

One more thing that many of you have been asking for...we can now present you with a screenshot of the full TeamSpeak 3 Client, as we have managed to clean up the interface and icons enough to be able to present something that looks a little more polished, but bare in mind that this is still work in progress and is NOT necessarily indicative of the final product. We will be spending more work and time improving the look and feel aspect before we go public.


Stay tuned - and we hope to get to know some of you as our new Linux/Mac closed Alpha testers!
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