Gaming Set for Auto Pilot
After reading through some of the documentation, and doing a bit of inferencing on my own, I found a few configuration problems that could have attributed to my difficulty. The recording was coming in way too loud, and the control for recording volume in the GC mic settings panel was grayed out. Upon inspecting the GC options panel, I changed the "GC record" input device (MX version includes this to be able to bypass GC for voice chat programs) to be assigned to my "SB16 record" device (It is an unusual soundcard, with even more unusual drivers...trust me). Now I could change the record volume. After tweaking this around a bit, I finally got it to a suitable level. Off to the KA demo again!. This time around, it was a bit better. More commands were being recognized, and a bit less confusion was occurring, but I was still getting shot pretty badly due to lack of voice recognition.
Labtec LVA-7331 microphone
I determined that perhaps it was time to try some other games, so off I went to re-install my entire gaming library (well, about 10 gig of it anyway). First up, Starfleet Command: The game that led to my knowledge of GC. After about 3 skirmish missions, I decided to go into the campaign. In all tests, GC was incredible. It didn't miss a single command in over 45 minutes of gameplay. It greatly improved my performance, as well, as I was able to focus my keyboard time on for more important macro-management tactical functions. (Nothing like having to arm photon torpedoes while your shields are being depleted by the second). Next up was Total Annihilation. TA was perhaps my least favorite of all games to try, while it's my favorite real-time strategy game, its controls are laid out well enough so that voice processing was simply overkill.
Next, I moved on to the FPS genre (First Person Shooter). Unreal was first. I loaded up a save game from about halfway through the game, and played for awhile. It wasn't too bad. The ability to use my inventory items at a whim was great, and perhaps the first time I ever used anything but the flashlight. Half-life; however, proved just how powerful GC can be. Team Fortress is a demanding game with many sub-functions that you just don't have the time to be bothered with. GC allowed my to rapidly switch weapons in the middle of combat, and perform diverse functions (like building something as an engineer) without losing my aim. Finally, the true realization of what this puppy was meant for: Sims. I loaded up Freespace 2, (and other than an odd bug in FS2 which crashes when it loads a movie when there is any window open (a.k.a. GC)), it was an asset right off. In farther missions where you are up against an onslaught of Shivan fighters and cruisers (the dreaded Sathanis missions), words can not describe how invaluable it is to switch missile banks without looking, fire without shifting fingers on the joystick, perform shield management functions, order wingmates, call for reinforcements, call for support, perform power management, match speeds, and switch targets, all without shifting your eyes (or you concentration) from your target.