State of the Game #197: I Walk Through the Valley of Sound

This week, to show my progress best, I will lead with a video.

Oh what progress a week makes. The sounds of bullets whizzing by, distant explosions, parts being ripped off, and that oh so satisfying chug-chug-chug of machine guns. It almost brings a tear to your eye.

So, there are several things that went into that video, and surprisingly not all of them are sound. In fact, one of the first things I did was make sure my Impact Management System was actually setup properly for all surfaces. The IMS [Impact Management System] handles generic collisions between all the different surfaces in the game. Instead of coding up a bullet to react differently for every single object in the game, there is a central system that the bullet can just ask ‘Hey, I am a bullet and I ran into this thing. What now?’ and the IMS takes over the rest. It handles spawning the hit FX, the proper sounds, and any other things that need to be done.

With a fully working IMS, it was fairly easy to hook the footsteps into that system and allow them to not only play footstep sounds [that will change based on the ground surface] but also play small dust clouds with each foot step.

The other big component at play is the Bullet Whiz Manager. This checks the player periodically for incoming fire, calculates the likelihood of the projectile missing, and then plays sounds based on the projectile type and how close it will miss by. This actually helps a TON with battlefield awareness, as you can instantly hear when someone starts to fire at you. Since these are all 3D sounds as well, they are directional and work great with headphone or surround sound systems.

Most everything else was a matter of balancing out how loud the sounds play and when it’s actually valid for the sounds to play. There is a LOT of distance checking, crosses with a priority system, which helps make sure only the most important sounds are competing for your attention.

The last big updates were to the non-footed chassis’s. The engine sound system got a overhaul and now is made by clearly mixing 2 separate audio tracks based on the engine ‘load’. There is an idling under track, which is blending with a load track, which is dynamically pitched to match the current engine load. This gives a nice effect that is not as monotonous as the old single sound system.


Lots of small sounds were added as well:

+Torso twisting sound was added
+ Better hover sounds
+ Better wheel sounds
+ Better tread sounds
+ Added lots of bullet whiz sounds
+ All sounds have some random variation to them
+ Fixed weapon code bug that had the shotgun paying a sound for each bullet fired at once
+ Added small footstep particle cloud

Next on the sound list it to add in all the MAV ui sounds, like weapon switching, zooming in and out, showing health, showing the map, switching Aux parts, deploying Aux parts. There are also lots of small things in the levels that don’t use the new system either. This will all be updated over the next week.

In the mean time, join me tonight on Twitch (7:30PM PST) as I stream development. Tonight I will be working on some new particles effects to better match these great new sounds!

Comments 1

  1. People always underestimate just how much that little ‘zwing!’ when going into and out of menues, or the ‘click’ of making a selection helps.

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