We're rolling out a beta for a new implementation of our WebRTC Voice and Video chat service! The goal is to focus on stability and ease of use for a straightforward and quick setup for talking and seeing your fellow players and GMs!
As of February 13th, 2023 New Voice & Video is now the default for all new games. As a result, you can find the most up to date information here: Integrated Voice and Video
Please Note: This service is most stable for five or fewer connected users.
We regularly speak with users experiencing issues with our current video and voice chat system, and we hear you: it's frustrating. Stability and performance are two of the major issues that have led us to reconsider the way voice & video works on Roll20.
The existing implementation is reliant on peer-to-peer connections that ramp up bandwidth usage for calls as more people join. The higher upload bandwidth consumption results in usability and reliability issues for users with low upload connections and for larger groups.
How do I access the Beta?
If you would like to test join in on testing the beta, you can follow the steps below:
- Visit the Audio & Video tab in the VTT right-hand sidebar
- Select "New Voice & Video Beta" from the "Chat Tech" drop down menu
- Your game should refresh, and you will now be connected to other players via the new video chat system
- In the Audio & Video section of the Settings tab on the VTT, ensure you and every connected user have "Others can see" set to "Both"
- In the Audio & Video section of the Settings tab on the VTT, ensure you and every connected user have "I can see" set to "Both"
- Under "Video Display" in the Audio & Video section of the Settings Tab, ensure you and every connected user have "Player video/avatar size" set to Large, Regular, or Small.
What does the Beta change?
This beta is testing a new, purpose-built, modern Elixir backend service for connecting users via voice and video in the VTT. This new service focuses on:
- Adding stability and stronger connections to WebRTC
- Reconnections within the VTT resolving connection issues that previously required a refresh to fix
- A more modern front end built in Vue
- A dynamic color picker for dice roller
The following updates are already released in the Voice & Video Beta:
- Connection Status monitoring (and indicators) for each player in the game
- Auto-reconnect functionality; when we detect your connection to another player is lost, we will fully re-initialize your WebRTC session automatically, auto-healing issues like network traffic degeneration or miscellaneous browser and device issues.
- More robust signaling and relay servers, as well as some user-configurable options to fit usage to your own network conditions.
- Full support for card decks in hands by the player avatars
- Player Avatar persistence regardless of connection status (if you're in the game, your avatar will show even before you're connected to Voice & Video, just like before the New Voice & Video Beta)
- Full support for player avatar size settings
- No initial automatic connection – you'll wait to join the Voice & Video channel until you press a small button by your player Avatar, so no need to cover your camera if you are just hopping in a game outside of a normal session.
And here are some more updates coming very soon:
- Voice activity indicators
- Additional connection status monitoring, such as when you temporarily lose your connection to another player for any reason.
- A variety of state tracking and connection recovery techniques to maintain connection to other players even in difficult network conditions.
Since this new chapter of Voice and Video is in Beta, we’ll be looking for feedback from the community to help refine it! If you have any feedback when you try it, we’d love to hear about it in our forums.