FreeOrion

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:14 am 
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Space Krill

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:00 am
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Hey, Gents!

I'm a long time lover of the MOO series and I thought I'd throw my talents into the ring to help make this thing badass. I used to play MOO 1 for hours with my dad back in 1994 when I was just a high school kid and then we moved onto MOO2. Even now when I go back to visit, I'll take the game(s) on my flash drive and we'll relive the nostalgia. : )

Anyway, I'm currently working as a full time sound designer for a Star Wars title due out some time this year but I enjoy side work like this strictly for the fun of it. Getting away from the professional, big budget industry is really liberating creatively. Obviously that would be my big priority but I'll make time for this project.

I've been looking through the forums and getting up to speed on what's needed and what isn't. I think some of the SFX could stand to be redone and I'd like to speak with the programmers about it's all being implemented. Or if you've already got that covered, maybe I can just toss a few sounds your way.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:23 am 
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parametric wrote:
I'd like to speak with the programmers about it's all being implemented.
Feel free to post to the forums with the details...


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:11 pm 
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Space Krill

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:00 am
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
parametric wrote:
I'd like to speak with the programmers about it's all being implemented.
Feel free to post to the forums with the details...


Okay, cool.

A few questions:

1) I've looked around a bit and can't find much info on how the SFX get implemented into the game. Obviously there's code support of some kind but is there any documentation or forum threads that go into more detail on this?

2) What is the best forum to discuss the overlap between audio and code and how that whole pipeline flows? Do you prefer we discuss it here or on the programming section?

3) Following the first question - have you guys considered (or are you using) any third party software such as Wwise? It's becoming the standard in professional games and we're using it on our current project. Traditionally, a programmer is needed for implementation purposes but now that such software exists, it's taking a huge amount of the workload away from coders and shifting it onto sound designers. This is a good thing. : ) A lot of elements like pitch shifting, variations in SFX, randomization of assets, music, looping, etc... are now taken care of by the existing code Wwise and people like myself just set it up to sound correct. The programmer still has to marry the third party software to the game code (Wwise has good documentation on this) but at least you're dealing with that aspect instead of writing additional code to make certain SFX loop properly, etc.

Also, it's free to use if you're working on a non commercial project. You can read about it here.

EDIT: Another nice feature of Wwise is that you can go into quite a bit of detail on the audio conversion settings. For example, you can specify that dialog be downsampled to a lower bit rate (24k / mono / .OGG for example - dialog is much more forgiving with 'worse' conversion settings) whereas music would remain at 44k / stereo / .PCM. This helps manage the overall memory footprint and prevent unnecessary bloating while retaining quality in the places you really want it. You can also specify which sounds can be cached into memory and which can be streamed from the HD or disc.

In the case of MOO, these considerations probably aren't quite as important since the audio isn't anywhere near as involved as something like GTA or COD. I may be wrong, but I imagine it's easy to stay within whatever the allocated memory budget is. Nevertheless, it's always something to keep in mind and I can handle all these things from my end in Wwise.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:59 pm 
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parametric wrote:
1) I've looked around a bit and can't find much info on how the SFX get implemented into the game. Obviously there's code support of some kind but is there any documentation or forum threads that go into more detail on this?
There's not much implementation to speak of... The client uses OpenAL to play the .wav or .ogg files. These are played when various in-game events happen, and the code that decides when what gets played is all in C++.
Quote:
2) What is the best forum to discuss the overlap between audio and code and how that whole pipeline flows? Do you prefer we discuss it here or on the programming section?
That sounds like a programming issue, yes.
Quote:
3) Following the first question - have you guys considered (or are you using) any third party software such as Wwise?
We haven't had any discussions about anything other than just playing .wav files when appropriate.
Quote:
Also, it's free to use if you're working on a non commercial project. You can read about it here.
From what I can tell, they don't provide source code for non-commercial users, and the non-commercial restriction probably makes the library not GPL compatible. FreeOrion code is all GPL (or CC-BY-SA for game content type code), and runs on Windows, OSX, and Linux, so any library we used would need to be GPL compatible and work on all those platforms.

If I'm misreading the Wwise license terms, please do correct me...


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Space Krill

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:00 am
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
From what I can tell, they don't provide source code for non-commercial users, and the non-commercial restriction probably makes the library not GPL compatible. FreeOrion code is all GPL (or CC-BY-SA for game content type code), and runs on Windows, OSX, and Linux, so any library we used would need to be GPL compatible and work on all those platforms.


Ahhh, I see. Wwise isn't going to fly then which is kinda unfortunate but making it all work with code seems to do just fine.

Ok, I'll play through the game a bit and start brainstorming.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Space Floater

Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:02 pm
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hey there - just wanted to mention i'm still lurking around here as well. name is Scott - i did some sounds for the combat portion and started coming up with a few newer revisions for the main interface sounds(which haven't been submitted yet). i'm slammed with some tight deadline work right now, but i'll try to find time to revise a few of the original combat sounds to Geoff The Medios notes.

it would also be cool to simply consult with other sound-oriented folks to see what their ideas of interface design are sounding like. personally, one of my favorite sound sets for 4X gameplay was Alpha Centauri. it had a nice techie feeling to it without feeling overly cluttered in the process.

i did also provide an item_drop.wav sound earlier which was totally missing in earlier builds according to a bug report. anyway will hopefully get around to more as i have time.

scott


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:29 pm 
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metaphysician wrote:
hi did also provide an item_drop.wav sound earlier which was totally missing in earlier builds according to a bug report.
Can you link to where that file is available? I can't seem to find it, and it hasn't been added to SVN. Also, if you haven't already, make sure to post that you release it under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.


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