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RajanSky

What features should a good sound engine have?

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Hi, I am working on coding in some new features for my game engine''s sound engine. Anyways I''ve added every feature I could think of, mostly because I don''t know that much about sound design myself. So I''m curious to hear from you guys what other stuff it should have. Any ideas or input would really be appreciated! Here''s my very short list of "cool effects" I have right now: -3D sound (including doppler effects) -Change music speed -Volume variation (every time you play a sound, it can vary its volume by some amount you specify) -Frequency variation -Randomization of sounds: like if you slash with a sword it can randomly select one of 3 different slash sounds What other kinds of effects would you consider important? Thanks again! Raj

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I''ve written a number of sound engines over the past few years and I think you''ve covered the basics. Good job!

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Coffee Mug makes a good suggestion.

Do you have any recommended reading on this subject? I seem to remember some articles on Gamasutra about this, but can''t seem to find them.

I know the XBOX has hardware support for this, but I''m also interested in the software implementation for PC and other consoles.

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Thank you very much, guys!

Heh wow I never even considered the sound obstruction idea, that is a cool idea... I might try that out if I get time

Raj

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Unfortunately I don''t believe there is a single "silver bullet" sound system that you can design - different games have different requirements. Sound obstruction may come in useful for a first-person or third-person game, whereas doppler will practically be useless. For a flight simulator, it''s the opposite. Perhaps one of the most important things to implement across the board is virtual voices: The ability to add thousands of sound sources in the world (moving or static) and let the sound system prioritise those and only mix down the important ones. If you were making a massive-scale car racing game, you could just give each car an engine noise, add crowd noises, ambient noise etc. and not have to worry about flooding the sound system with too much stuff.

Check out FMOD for a great example of a free cross-platform (for non-commercial use) sound system. If you still want to design your own sound system, you could still use the API as reference.

(FMOD 4 supports virtual voices, but isn''t available yet. If you want them with FMOD 3, you''ll have to implement them yourself.)

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