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How do you want your sound effects?

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I'm keeping myself very busy with recording and creating sound effects at the moment. I've bought a new high quality sound recorder and I bring it with me everywhere to capture sounds that can be used "as they are" or, as I like to do, alter them into other sounds suitable for games such as ambiences, emitters, and combat sounds.

I save all my sounds as 48kHz 24bit files and I plan to offer them as such and additionally also as 44kHz 16bit files and OGG-files.

I have two questions to you who develop games and I hope I get many answers so I can tailor my stuff to your needs.

1) Looping
Do you have any fancy stuff for your emitters where it would be useful with looping-points defined within a sample? E.g. lets say we have a machine that a player can switch on and off. Should the same sample have the startup sound, the looping sound (with defined looping points for the sample) and a shutdown sound - or should these be three different sound files?

2) Formats
What formats would you prefer to download the samples as? Is it enough with the original WAV-file or do you want a selection of pre-encoded formats such as OGG in different bitrates, ACC, or even MP3 (although MP3 are useless for seamless looping)

Thank you very much in advance.

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1) Looping
If it's music, I'd prefer smooth transition between beginning and ending of sound, it's annoying when music suddenly turns off and the end, then starts playing again at maximum volume. Even slight difference is annoying, it's really nice when it's impossible to tell where's begin, and where's ending.

2) Formats
Doesn't MP3 need license or something? Either way, we all want quality and small size either performance (or even all 3). And of course custom format would be even nicer, so no one can steal and reuse without permission ^^

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I'd say go look at some of the more common sound engines that people will be putting in their games. Like fmod(free non-commercial games), or wwise(offered in the Gamebryo engine), or OpenAL. Pick a format that they support, so people can pick a sound engine and go without having to also find and use some decoding library. Design your loops with those editors in mind. This may mean that you are better off providing "start", "loop" and "stop" as 3 separate samples to be played in-order from code, or hooked up to sound events in something like WWise. I'm not sure what file markup tags (ie loop points) any of those support out of the box, so having all 3 sounds in one file seems like a bad choice.

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Quote:
Original post by KulSeran
I'd say go look at some of the more common sound engines that people will be putting in their games. Like fmod(free non-commercial games), or wwise(offered in the Gamebryo engine), or OpenAL. Pick a format that they support, so people can pick a sound engine and go without having to also find and use some decoding library. Design your loops with those editors in mind. This may mean that you are better off providing "start", "loop" and "stop" as 3 separate samples to be played in-order from code, or hooked up to sound events in something like WWise.


Agreed, well said.

On top of all of that, many of the 3rd party audio middleware provide solutions for auto pitch (changing the pitch of a repeating audio file slightly), changing the volume for repetitions and a round robin approach where different audio files can be called for each repetition. This helps keep audio footprint down while enhancing the audio of the game.

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