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SA-Magic

The future of sound in games.

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Where is it going? What will we see in the future? Better compression, surely? Was I right in seeing that Knights of the Old Republic had correctly synched mouths to the voices (as if the model corresponded to the waveform)? If that's true, surely we'll get perfectly speaking models (perhaps it could expand to make their faces change to show expression, ala what Half-life 2 apparently has). Are there any editing packages that can let us amateurs get closer to movie-style voices? (Or is that already possible? ) What do you reckon? [edited by - SA-Magic on March 17, 2004 7:57:10 PM]

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I see sound taking a more active role in gameplay. Historically, it has been an atmosphere item; it sets the mood and plays with the player''s subconscious, but it didn''t actually affect gameplay in a real way. Nowadays, however, sound is really starting to become as important a part of gameplay as anything else.

Take, for example, Counter-Strike. Pretty old game. It''s possible to hear people running, defusing the bomb, etc, however. These sound cues are often enough to clue in a player to the exact whereabouts of an enemy. On the other hand, moving around quietly can actually allow you to sneak up behind someone and knife him.

An even better example -- Deus Ex. Sounds propagate and alert enemies that something is amiss. Quiet weapons are invaluable, because you need to selectively remove oppposition without alerting the other guards in the area, or even worse, setting off the alarm and activiating turrets. The Gamasutra articles about Deus Ex 2 (I''m not sure if this is Invisible War or not) indicate a throughly advanced sound model that will allow for an unprecendented level of realism.


So I think surround sound, 3D sound, etc. will be far more important than relatively trivial things like syncing lips to sound. That sort of stuff is alrady done. Look at the console market more for that; I think all of the Insomniac games (the Spyro and Ratchet and Clank series) exemplify that stuff. Skeletal face animation that is perfectly synced to sound is not such a big deal. It''s sound as part of gameplay that matters.

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i think the future of sound lies in dynamic sound generation, rather than have a bunch of .wav files the sound will be generated depending on the situation.

ie a wooden box falling onto a steel floor will generate an appropriate approximation to the sound it would actually make. also voices will be computer generated rather than prerecorded.

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I remember a while ago some guy was making a horror game. They were going to use ultrasonic sound because apparently it can cause humans to have different feelings, and also because of the effects it can have on animals. Eventually they didn''t use it because very few sound cards and speakers can play the sounds, but with more advanced hardware in future it is possible.

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quote:
Original post by Kuladus
i think the future of sound lies in dynamic sound generation, rather than have a bunch of .wav files the sound will be generated depending on the situation.

ie a wooden box falling onto a steel floor will generate an appropriate approximation to the sound it would actually make. also voices will be computer generated rather than prerecorded.




Deus Ex 2 does that, I think.

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Actualy the box->floor thing wouldn''t be too hard.

You just need a matrix of sounds, for instance, you could have metal boxes, wooden boxes, shoes, etc, falling on things like grass, sand, dirt, wood, metal, etc.

Throw in a bit of pitch, modulation, etc, as well as 3D sound (like, things are muffeled by doors, walls, etc), and you''re there.

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Check this out: [url="http://www.zero-g.co.uk/index.cfm?articleid=802"]Vocal demos[/url]. This is where sound is going (atleast pertaining to voices). text > to > speech, all with voice reflection/emotion based on the status of the world.

Booya!


Note: Read about the software that does the demos. Very cool stuff

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quote:
Original post by Kuladus
ie a wooden box falling onto a steel floor will generate an appropriate approximation to the sound it would actually make.

Tresspasser did this, and its about 6 years old now. But its spooky dismembered arm control system doomed it to failure. Very nice physics though

Equally, a lot of complex sound propagation and effects were used in the Theif games, but no one seems to remember them (and many current games are only just approaching Theif standard by now).

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I dont know if this is already done either but makeing true 3D sound using only stereo headphones(required) would be nice. Using binaural mathematics to do the proper delays of the frequencies. If you''ve studied a little acoustics, you know what Im talking about. You basically fool your mind into believing the position of some sound. Having this be dynamic and not limited to FL FR RL RR would be nice. Having proper echos would be a nice thing too, and changes in damping due to enviroment rather than just overlapping sounds. Like if youre in a building thats on fire, a gunshot sounds different than just the two overlapping.

there are a lot of ideas that end up being really complex, and try to simulate reality more everytime there is an advancement in technology.

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http://www.dolby.com/dolbyheadphone/

This is a box which takes a surround sound signal and "does stuff" to make it kind-of surround-like when listened to through normal headphones.

It has an interesting effect which is obvious in an AB test, but is hard to pinpoint in isolation.

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Well, we made one processor where you could be anywhere in a room and talk, and someone outside with stereo headphones could pinpoint exactly where you were. But it involved a LOT of acoustic mathematics and it was a pin. But it does work. I wonder how easily I could make this into my own game code.

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