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Integrating Syrinscape & Local Audio Files with Fantasy Grounds Unity

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Title: Integrating audio with the Fantasy Grounds Unity VTT 4.4.0 platform.

Integrating local audio files into your Fantasy Grounds Unity (FGU), campaign can significantly enhance the immersive experience for your players. However, this process requires some organization and technical setup. Here's a basic guide to help you navigate this process.

First, you must consider organizing your audio collection and place the files into the Fantasy Grounds data directory. To do this, press the folder button on the upper left corner of the FGU launcher screen, create a "sounds" subfolder, and place your audio files there. This essential requirement has been added recently.

Once done, add your new directory path within the Fantasy Grounds Unity audio setup. If you're using Windows 11, select the files you want to import, select your files, hold the shift key, right-click and select; "Copy As Path" from the right-click menu, and paste them into the Import window. For a MAC, it is "Right-click", then hold Opt to display the 'copy as path' option, or, cmd+opt+c without going through the menu to copy the path. Due to security risks, local audio files must trigger from inside the FG Data folder in a folder that you must create called "sounds." You are also often limited to only one sound file playing at a time.

FG Forums Source:

Local sounds are sent to the operating system to be opened. There is no native or corresponding URL command that an operating system will understand to "close/stop" a file. The local sound system only calls URLs, so it does not know what sound player you are using and has no way to stop sounds. Smiteworks is considering making sure the stop button is not visible on file-specific sound entries.

The community is working on an extension to work with the free VLC 2.0 older audio player for the Forge. You can find this free VLC Audio extension here.

The host or Game Master (GM) must also find a way to pipe the audio or sound stream to the players, using apps like Discord or OBS and Voicemeter to mix your local audio with your audio stream online to platforms like Twitch or YouTube.

The main advantage of the FGU audio integration is that it allows you to trigger audio events and create custom sound links inside your campaign. This can be achieved without needing Syrinscape Integration, or you can mix and match if desired, depending on the needs of your group. Remember, your players can only hear your local sounds if you pipe the audio to them.

Fantasy Grounds only helps organize, trigger, and link sounds with the Chat window or manually started as one-shot sounds from the new audio interface, placed and set up under "files." Associating your links and files to your local game session still takes time and effort, regardless of the audio, computer, or streaming service you use.

The older offline Syrinscape player application does NOT work with the newer audio integration but can still be used offline with Mattekure's Syrinscape Sound extension, mentioned below.

The Syrinscape Integration provides links, audio sounds, and an online web player to pipe audio to your group of players or your stream via a web browser. The FGU audio integration makes navigation, setup, and implementation much more accessible. The module packs remove some time and effort from manually associating sounds with events or triggers within the FGU platform. These packs are not required but are quicker and more convenient for most users, especially those new to the platform.

For those interested in the initial audio integration packs for the FGU platform and the DnD5e rule set sound packs, you can find them here. These packs are available on the Fantasy Grounds Forge, an open marketplace for publishers and creators to release titles and extensions for FGU.

For an official preview of the new 4.4.4 features, you can watch this preview video by Smiteworks. The discussion on audio chat starts at 24:57.

As the community and Smiteworks adjust to these changes, workarounds, extensions, and many solutions will be developed over time. This will take time as we learn how people use the platform and its incorporated features.

If you prefer to continue using Mattekure's and Rob Twohy's sound and audio links, it's still viable and works similarly. You can find Mattekure's and Rob Twohy's audio chat triggers on the FG Forge here and here.

For more information about Syrinscape, visit the official Syrinscape website.

Remember, the goal is to create an immersive and engaging experience for your players. You can use these tools with effort and creativity to bring your campaign to life. If you'd like to see something in Fantasy Grounds that isn't currently part of the software or something you think would improve a ruleset, don't hesitate to add your idea here. Your feedback is valuable in shaping the future of the platform.

Thanks to Mattekure, Gwydione, and Rob Twohy for pioneering this audio functionality over the years! ~FGA~

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