Breakroom
Creating custom voice zones
Adding custom voice zones to your region is a useful way to control audio "traffic" and combat cross-talk while giving users the ability to make spontaneous connections and get work done.

Overview

Voice zones give users the ability to connect through voice chat, webcam streaming, and screen sharing. Breakroom allows region developers to nest voice zones within other voice zones, opening up a world of region design possibilities. Through the use of multiple voice zones, you can create a space full of offices, cozy coffee corners, and bustling auditoriums—all in the same region, with no audio cross-chatter or audio interference.
Elsewhere, we covered how you can set up the prefab breakout areas included in your Breakroom starter item bundle. In this section, we'll explore how you can set up custom voice zones.
After using the Region Editor to add or edit a voice zone, always remember to click the Save button to store your changes. You can then click the Reset Zones button to reset the conferencing system. If this doesn't seem to push your changes forward, try leaving the region and entering it again.

Introduction to the voice zone objects

Voice zones take the form of boundary objects that encompass the virtual areas where audio and video sharing will take place. These boundary objects are normally invisible to you and your users.
A Conference region viewed in the Region Editor. Notice how transparent green boundary objects surround the three breakout areas in back.
If you launch the Region Editor in an area that contains breakout areas or other voice zones, you will see these boundary objects highlighted in transparent green, as in the image above.
In the Region Editor UI, there are two specialized tools you will use while editing voice zones. Clicking the Reset Zones button will refresh all of the voice zones within the region, pushing forward any changes you have made. Clicking the Visibility button will toggle the transparent green boundary object highlighting on and off, which is useful when you are creating custom voice zones and need to maneuver your working camera in order to adjust objects or make other changes.
The Breakroom Voice Zone objects, highlighted in a user's inventory.
In addition to the prefab breakout areas included in your starter bundle of room items, you will receive two customizable voice zones with no additional building or seat components attached to them. These items are called Breakroom Voice Zone and Breakroom Voice Zone Round. You can find them in the Furniture section of your Inventory window.

Voice zone shapes

Here in the Region Editor, you can see that we've set out a copy of the Breakroom Voice Zone object. This voice zone is shaped like a cube, and the transparent green walls indicate its size and boundaries. It contains other components, such as a screen, cameras, and a landing pad.
Here we've set out the Breakroom Voice Zone Round object, which is shaped like a sphere. Again, the transparent green walls indicate its size and boundaries, and it contains additional components.

Voice zone components

In order to fully customize a Breakroom Voice Zone object, you will need to edit its individual components. After you have added a Breakroom Voice Zone object to your region, follow the steps below to locate these components.
  1. 1.
    Open the Region Editor by clicking the Edit Region button at the bottom of your screen.
  2. 2.
    Click the Objects Button to launch the Objects window.
  3. 3.
    In the Objects window, locate the Breakroom Voice Zone object you want to edit. (Tip: You can use the search field at the top of the window to search for "voice zone" if you like.)
  4. 4.
    Click the > arrow located to the left of the object name to expand it. If necessary, you can expand some individual components by clicking the relevant > arrows.
In the illustrated tutorial below, we will discuss how these components work together to create a cohesive voice zone and how you can edit them to achieve the level of function you desire. Before we leap into our tutorial example, however, let's start with a brief overview of each voice zone component.
In the images that follow, you will see that the Breakroom Voice Zone object has been expanded in the Objects window. When the name of each component is highlighted in the Objects window, that component will also appear highlighted in green in the main visual window.
The zone collider highlighted in the Objects window. Notice how the movement gizmo is centered within the boundary object.
1. The ZoneCollider component: The zone collider represents the size and boundaries of the voice zone itself. Its size, location, and rotation can be edited independently of the other components that make up the voice zone object.
Note: At this time, Breakroom Voice Zone objects can accommodate up to 150 concurrent users. This limitation is fixed, regardless of the size of the zone collider.
The screen component highlighted within the Objects window.
2. The screen: The screen component indicates where the video feed will appear when users opt to share their webcams or screens, as well as the size and location of the screen. Like the zone collider, the screen component can be edited independently of the other voice zone objects.
The landing pad highlighted within the Objects window.
3. The landing pad: This object indicates where avatars will "land" when they teleport directly into the voice zone. It can be edited independently of the other voice zone components, allowing you to place it wherever you like.
All cameras highlighted within the Objects window. Notice how you can expand the Cameras object to select individual cameras.
4. The cameras: Colored boxes indicate the default locations for the screen, audience, and speaker cameras. This information is critical for the correct functioning of the gesture and camera controls, and the camera locations can be changed.

Voice zone furniture items

Voice zones can be set up almost anywhere, and can offer users the option to voice chat, operate their cameras, share their screens, and more. However, in order to take full advantage of the tools built into Breakroom's conferencing system (such as gestures and adjustable camera angles), you will need to include furniture items that are designed to work with it. To get you started, we include two sets of furniture in your starter bundle.

Breakroom Add-on Round Table

The Breakroom Add-on Round Table object includes 10 seats situated around a center conference table.

Breakroom Add-on Stools

The Breakroom Add-on Stools object features 14 seats in two rows. When users are seated, they will all face the same direction.
Both of these furniture sets are designed to grant users access to Breakroom's gesture and camera controls. They can also be set up so that users are automatically seated when they teleport into your custom voice zone. You can hide individual chairs within these linked sets if you don't need all of them. This topic is covered in more detail in the tutorial below.
Important note: Unless otherwise noted, furniture purchased from the Breakroom Shop will not provide users access to gestures and camera controls. Chairs, couches, and other items that are not designed to work with the conferencing system will function as seating only.

Setting up a voice zone

The following tutorial offers step-by-step instructions for setting up a custom voice zone in your region. For this example, we will be using a Breakroom Voice Zone round object and a set of Breakroom Add-on Stools to create a networking area where users can "grab a cup of coffee" and chat.
For more information about using the Region Editor to place objects within a region and edit them, please see our Region Editor documentation.

Editing voice zone furniture items

The future site of much coffee and networking.
Note: Voice zones do not need to contain seating or other furniture in order to function. If you do not include seating in a custom voice zone, users will still be able to voice chat, turn on their webcams, and share their screens.
  1. 1.
    Log in to your Breakroom world and navigate your avatar to the region you would like to edit.
  2. 2.
    Open the Region Editor by clicking the Edit Region button at the bottom of your screen.
  3. 3.
    Click the Inventory Button to launch your Inventory window.
  4. 4.
    We want our voice zone to contain seating, so as a first step we will set out a conference-ready furniture item and edit it. For this tutorial, we will use the Breakroom Add-on Stools object. To find it, use the search field at the top of the Inventory window to look for "stools."
  5. 5.
    When you locate the Breakroom Add-on Stools object, set it down in your region using your preferred method. Click the Save button.
The Breakroom Add-on Stools object, as viewed through the Region Editor.
Here we encounter our first challenge. There are too many stools in this seating arrangement, and every user who sits down will be facing the same direction. For our next step, we will remove all but six stools from the Breakroom Add-on Stools object, leaving three matched pairs.
6. In the Objects window, click the > arrow located beside the Breakroom Add-on Stools object to expand it.
7. Click the > arrow located beside the Seating Arrangements Stools object to expand it.
8. Here you will find the individual stools that make up the linked stools object. To make a stool invisible, click the eye icon located to the right of its name. Click the Save button.
In the image above, you can see that we have reduced 14 stools to six. However, there's still a major issue.
All six stools are still facing the same way. We need to rotate three of the stools 180° so that two users sitting at the same table will face each other.
9. Locate the first stool you want to edit under Breakroom Add-on Stools > Seating Arrangements Stools in the Objects window. Click on the stool name to launch the Inspector window for that object.
10. In the Inspector window, locate the Transform component. Click the > arrow located to the left to expand it.
11. You will see three properties listed under the Transform component, each with three associated fields. Locate the Local Euler Angles property, and enter "180" into the Y-axis field.
12. Repeat this set of tasks for every stool you want to "turn around." When you are done, click the Save button.
The stools now face each other, so let's place them into position and dress the scene a little.
13. For the sake of convenience, we will move all six stools as a whole. Click on the Breakroom Add-on Stools object in the Objects window, and then use the movement and rotation tools to position it within your region.
14. Our networking area needs some tables and accessories. Click the Inventory button to open your Inventory window. When you find an item you like, feel free to add it to your scene. Use the movement, rotation and scaling tools to edit each item as you see fit. (Remember: You can use the Breakroom Shop to purchase additional furniture and decor items.)
15. When you are done, click the Save button.
Success! We've created a lovely networking area overlooking the water. Now, let's make it a voice zone.

Editing voice zone objects

In order to accommodate users at different points in their Breakroom tech journey, we will begin this section of the tutorial fresh. If you are interested in learning more about conference-ready voice zone furniture items, please review the section above. If you need a refresher on the different voice zone components, you will find that information here.
  1. 1.
    Log in to your Breakroom world and navigate your avatar to the region you would like to edit.
  2. 2.
    Open the Region Editor by clicking the Edit Region button at the bottom of your screen.
  3. 3.
    Click the Inventory Button to launch your Inventory window.
  4. 4.
    Locate the Breakroom Voice Zone object you want to use. (For this tutorial, we are using the Breakroom Voice Zone Round object.) Add it to your region using your preferred method.
  5. 5.
    The Breakroom Voice Zone Round object will default to its standard size. In the example image above, you can see that there are several issues:
    1. 1.
      The zone collider is too large.
    2. 2.
      The screen is placed in an inconvenient location.
    3. 3.
      The landing pad is right on top of the seating area.
The voice zone, rotated so that the screen component is in a more convenient location.
6. To begin tackling these issues, select the top-level Breakroom Voice Zone Round object in the Objects window. Then, using the Region Editor tools, move and rotate the entire voice zone until the screen component appears where you want it to be. By moving the entire voice zone as a linked set, you will preserve the existing camera angles.
The landing pad highlighted in the Objects window.
7. Next, we will reposition the landing pad. In the Objects window, click the > arrow to the left of the Breakroom Voice Zone Round object name to expand it. Then click on the Landing component to highlight it.
8. Using the Region Editor tools, move, rotate, and resize the landing pad to meet your specifications.
The size of the landing pad indicates the area into which your users will teleport. You can make the landing pad bigger or smaller by highlighting it in the Objects window and then changing the local scale values listed under its Transform component, or by using the scale tool in the Region Editor.
9. Finally, we will customize the size of the voice zone boundary object itself. In the Objects window, click the > arrow to the left of the Breakroom Voice Zone Round object name to expand it. Then click on the ZoneCollider component to highlight it.
10. Using the Region Editor tools, move, rotate, and resize the zone collider to meet your specifications.
11. When you are satisfied, click the Save button to store your changes.
12. Click the Reset Zones button to reset the conferencing system.
The zone collider resized to create a smaller, more contained space for voice chatting.

Special instructions for screens

After resizing the voice zone collider, you may find that the default screen size is too large or small for your intended purpose. By editing the ScriptingData component attached to the screen object, you can customize how the screen appears.
The screen highlighted in the Objects window, and its associated ScriptingData component expanded in the Inspector window.
To locate the ScriptingData component and edit it, follow these steps.
  1. 1.
    Log in to your Breakroom world and navigate your avatar to the region you would like to edit.
  2. 2.
    Open the Region Editor by clicking the Edit Region button at the bottom of your screen.
  3. 3.
    Click the Objects button to launch the Objects window. Locate the Breakroom Voice Zone object, and click the > arrow to the left of the object name to expand it. Then click on the Screen component to highlight it.
  4. 4.
    In the Inspector window that opens, click on the > arrow to the left of the ScriptingData component to expand it. You will see three properties, each with an associated field.
  5. 5.
    If you want to change the aspect ratio of the screen, you can enter independent values into the Width and Height fields. For instance, you may wish to create a narrow, long screen to accommodate the webcams of several different speakers.
  6. 6.
    If you want to change the size of the screen while preserving the current aspect ratio, you can enter a value in the Scale field, which is normally set at 1. Because this is a multiplier field, you can enter 0.5 to reduce the screen size by half, 2 to double the screen size, etc.
  7. 7.
    When you are satisfied, click the Save button to store your changes.
  8. 8.
    Click the Reset Zones button to reset the conferencing system.
For this tutorial, we have entered a .75 value into the Scale field. This will make the screen smaller overall, while preserving the default aspect ratio.
Once the screen is scaled properly, you can see that it appears at a much more manageable size.

Special instructions for cameras

Here the voice zone cameras are highlighted, as well as the camera control system UI.
If you create a custom voice zone that contains furniture items designed to work with Breakroom's camera control system, you may find that you want to change the camera focus points. (For example, if you move the screen out of range of the Screen Camera.) You can edit the voice zone cameras by using the "Move Object to Camera" button in the Region Editor. Detailed instructions are available here.

Editing voice zone Display Names

An example of how the Objects and Inspector windows may appear after several breakout areas and voice zones have been renamed. Notice how Voice Zone 003's Display Name differs from its Zone Name.
If you add multiple copies of any item to your region, you will quickly notice that every copy is identified by the same name. To facilitate region setup and management, you may want to rename these items so that you can find them more easily in the Objects window. You can do this by editing the item's Display Name.
Note: Changing a voice zone's Display Name will not change its Zone Name, and so will not interfere with any functions built into the conferencing system. For information about changing an object's Zone Name, please refer to the section above.
To locate and edit an object's Display Name field, follow the steps below.
  1. 1.
    Log in to your Breakroom world and navigate your avatar to the region you would like to edit.
  2. 2.
    Open the Region Editor by clicking the Edit Region button at the bottom of your screen.
  3. 3.
    Click the Objects Button to launch the Objects window.
  4. 4.
    In the Objects window, locate the Breakroom Voice Zone object you want to edit. (Tip: You can use the search field at the top of the window to search for a specific object.) Click on the object name to launch the Inspector window.
  5. 5.
    In the Inspector window, locate the Display Name field (highlighted above). Enter the display name you would like to use.
  6. 6.
    Click the Save button to store your changes.
  7. 7.
    Click the Reset Zones button to reset the conferencing system.

Adding voice zones to navigation tools

An example of the Areas of Interest panel, located next to the moderator controls.
When you add a custom voice zone to your region, you may see it appear in the Areas of Interest panel. This panel is visible on the right side of the screen when activated, and can be set up to offer direct teleport links to any voice zone that has the "Zone Visible" option enabled in its RoomFurniture component.
Zones already linked in the General Navigation or Breakout Rooms bar will be ignored by the Areas of Interest panel. This makes it a flexible solution for offering additional teleport options to your users.
You can enable, disable, or rename individual links within the Areas of Interest panel. If you disable all of your custom voice zones from appearing within the Areas of Interest panel, the panel will not be displayed on your screen. You can also add a custom voice zone to the Breakout Rooms bar by following the steps outlined on this page.

Enabling auto-sit on teleport

If you set up your custom voice zone using furniture designed to work with the Breakroom conferencing system, you can enable the auto-sit feature. This means that when users teleport into the voice zone, they will be automatically seated in an available chair.
To enable the auto-sit feature, please follow these steps.
  1. 1.
    Log in to your Breakroom world and navigate your avatar to the region you would like to edit.
  2. 2.
    Open the Region Editor by clicking the Edit Region button at the bottom of your screen.
  3. 3.
    Click the Objects button to launch the Objects window. Locate the furniture item you want to edit. Click on the object name to launch the Inspector window.
  4. 4.
    In the Inspector window, click on the > arrow to the left of the RoomFurniture component to expand it.
  5. 5.
    You will see a single property titled Zone Name. In this field, enter the same exact Zone Name you used for the associated Breakroom Voice Zone object. (For example, if your voice zone is named "Coffee Bar," then the Zone Name for the stools should also be "Coffee Bar.")
  6. 6.
    Click the Save button to store your changes.
  7. 7.
    Click the Reset Zones button to reset the conferencing system.

The RoomFurniture component

The RoomFurniture component attached to the Breakroom Voice Zone objects contains several fields that can be manually edited. By doing so, you can:
  • Change the voice zone type,
  • Disable or enable voice and text chat,
  • Adjust the voice zone's spatial settings,
  • Edit voice zone priority and "nest" voice zones,
  • Enable or disable audience cameras, and more.
These are advanced settings that region designers can use to create wholly customized points of interactivity. Please see our RoomFurniture component documentation for more information.