Mumble – the open-source group voice chat software designed mainly for online gaming

Mumble is a VOIP (Voice over IP) application which allows users to speak on a chat channel, as in a telephone conference call. It was designed for gamers, who use the software to communicate with other players in the same multiplayer game.

Mumble is a relatively new arrival on the VOIP scene; it has been around in a stable form for about a year, at the time of writing. It takes advantage of newer technologies, such as sound quality and low latency, removing the noise from the audio input.

It is a cross-platform product which is free and open source. It is integrated with the game software in a customisable game overlay so that as well as hearing the other players, you can identify which is speaking. It supports advanced voice activity detection and will record conversations if set up.

To start you must set up the Mumble Server, called murmur, which features secure communication and full extensibility.

We think this is a product with a bright future. It looks easy to work with on the face of it, but running into difficulties is unnerving. It has live support team contact available. There is some technical support from community forums, and there looks to be a wish list for future development. It looks and feels like a product that is on its way up and it will be interesting to see if it develops for usage outside the game arena, but first it needs to grow new functionality, to include things like a user database.

Download Mumble for WindowsDownload Mumble for Mac

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Age of Empires Online

Two day ago Microsoft Studios released Age of Empires Online. Created as the next chapter in the best-selling Age of Empires PC game franchise, the game features two of the greatest ancient civilizations–the Greeks and Egyptians–and offers more than 40 hours of gameplay for free!

The game starts with your small village that needs to be built in order to face the challenges of a huge world. Your progress through the game depends on how you can manage to collect resources, build structures, arm your forces, and how will you develop new technology. If you can master all these you will be able to grow your civilization from a small village to a huge empire in order to conquer the world.

In the beginning there are some basic quests to go through that will teach new players the basics of this game. But as you will progress, the gameplay becomes more interesting because of the social side of it. You are free to chat with other players, trade with them and even send your armies to attack them.

Microsoft kept the RTS gameplay that made Age of Empires franchise so popular. The player has to build mighty empires, manage resources, earn rewards, and battle his way into rich new worlds full of lively villagers, epic warriors, and historically-themed architecture. It’s like the whole classic gameplay concept has been improved in order to deliver awesome moments in an online environment.

Most of the features are offered for free, but if you want to accelerate your expansion and become a respected ruler you can buy Premium Content Packs (not necessarily at a reasonable price) which include new civilizations, booster packs, new game modes and campaigns.

download Age of Empires Online

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