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New Sound Manager svn patch

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Does anyone think the battles sound better? More full?

The error messages are meant to be removed before alpha 13. I just put them in to test we were getting the expected behavior on all platforms. It sounds like we are so I don't think there is a need to keep them in there at all.

For the record getting the message

ERROR: Sound: Entering distress mode through shortage

Is normal and expected during a moderately sized battle. At this point some sounds are not getting played. A good improvement would be a way to prioritize certain sounds and try and make sure they get played.

Anyway when the battle is over you should exit distress mode with no error (on Win and Linux). It seems MacOS returns 'unknown internal error' at times when in a stressed state. People on the OpenAL mailing list think its some thread contention bug in Apples implementation. Either way it doesn't seem to have too much effect, but I will keep trying to isolate it. If only to report it to Apple.

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Does anyone think the battles sound better? More full?

Yes! It seems much improved, but I still think we could do away with all the dying sounds. Not only because they're repetitive and we need more variety.

Preferably we've have a different set of sounds for battles and skirmishes. In a skirmish you might want to hear an individual unit die, but in a battle you want to hear war cries, trumpets sounding, and then trampling feet, stuff like that to make it feel epic. Think of battle scenes in a movie, what do you hear? But even in a battle I suspect there would be a special indicator sound for certain units dying, like a hero for instance, maybe mourning/lamenting sounds?

The battle music is a good first step, but we could do more to enhance the experience, like once(if) we add battle formations, there could be retreat and you'd hear the sound of retreat, or if it turned into a rout you'd hear frantic sounds of fleeing.

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Yes! It seems much improved, but I still think we could do away with all the dying sounds. Not only because they're repetitive and we need more variety. Preferably we've have a different set of sounds for battles and skirmishes. In a skirmish you might want to hear an individual unit die, but in a battle you want to hear war cries, trumpets sounding, and then trampling feet, stuff like that to make it feel epic. Think of battle scenes in a movie, what do you hear? But even in a battle I suspect there would be a special indicator sound for certain units dying, like a hero for instance, maybe mourning/lamenting sounds?

That's a pretty interesting idea, though nixing death sounds completely may be a bit drastic in my view. Perhaps they could be more subtle, blending into the other sounds you suggest, though.

Edited by zoot

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I'm linking to http://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/Intensity_%26_Priority here as it's relevant. Even if the old concepts might not be entirely applicable to the new sound system etc/there might be other ways to do it, there's certainly no reason to "reinvent the wheel", so it's at the very least important to know about the old discussion so we don't try and find new solutions to problems which were already solved in theory several years ago :)

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stwf, on an unrelated note, is there a way to play UI sounds for e.g. attack notification? There is a simulation function called PlaySound(), but that is always tied to an in-world entity.

You can play sounds, but at the moment you can't play a sound at a position without a unit. I can put that in though, I was also going to add a playlist capability for the next alpha.

Yes! It seems much improved, but I still think we could do away with all the dying sounds. Not only because they're repetitive and we need more variety.

Preferably we've have a different set of sounds for battles and skirmishes. In a skirmish you might want to hear an individual unit die, but in a battle you want to hear war cries, trumpets sounding, and then trampling feet, stuff like that to make it feel epic. Think of battle scenes in a movie, what do you hear? But even in a battle I suspect there would be a special indicator sound for certain units dying, like a hero for instance, maybe mourning/lamenting sounds?

The battle music is a good first step, but we could do more to enhance the experience, like once(if) we add battle formations, there could be retreat and you'd hear the sound of retreat, or if it turned into a rout you'd hear frantic sounds of fleeing.

Yes the numbers thing is a clear place to improve, having a separate sounds for multiples of the same unit in the same general vicinity. That would let the SoundManager play a lot more sounds too. Is there an easy way to get this info? I don't think having sounds based on formation or state would be too hard either. Although it might be best handled in the simulation.

I'm linking to http://trac.wildfire...ty_%26_Priority here as it's relevant. Even if the old concepts might not be entirely applicable to the new sound system etc/there might be other ways to do it, there's certainly no reason to "reinvent the wheel", so it's at the very least important to know about the old discussion so we don't try and find new solutions to problems which were already solved in theory several years ago :)

Thanks, this is just what we mean, although they don't seem to consider where to place the sounds, or if cavalry on the far right and far left should be considered the same unless I misunderstand it. The muffling for offscreen stuff is already in there but more more strict than this paper suggests although it can easily be changed.

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I was also going to add a playlist capability for the next alpha.

Interesting. Could you let us know a bit more about how you think this will work?

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You can play sounds, but at the moment you can't play a sound at a position without a unit. I can put that in though, I was also going to add a playlist capability for the next alpha.

Just to be clear, what we'll need for attack notification is the ability to play a sound without a position. That is, in the same way as music, but obviously separately from it (playing an attack notification sound should not interrupt the music etc.)

Edited by zoot

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Just to be clear, what we'll need for attack notification is the ability to play a sound without a position. That is, in the same way as music, but obviously separately from it (playing an attack notification sound should not interrupt the music etc.)

Why not with a position? The attack does take place at a position after all :unsure:

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Why not with a position? The attack does take place at a position after all :unsure:

Because that would defy the point of an attack notification. You want to hear it regardless of where the camera is pointed, not only when you are already looking straight at the battle.

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Because that would defy the point of an attack notification. You want to hear it regardless of where the camera is pointed, not only when you are already looking straight at the battle.

Hmm, but don't we have position-based sounds which can be heard from wherever? I thought Stephen added that, but I might be wrong :unsure:

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Hmm, but don't we have position-based sounds which can be heard from wherever? I thought Stephen added that, but I might be wrong :unsure:

Not sure what 'position' would mean for the sound system in that case.

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Not sure what 'position' would mean for the sound system in that case.

Position as in the direction the sound is heard from, but yeah, maybe that's not possible :-/

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Seems there is in fact something called 'distanceless' sounds, which is what is used for selection sounds. Should I use that? I guess I could associate it with the attacking unit, though it would carry no real significance.

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Seems there is in fact something called 'distanceless' sounds, which is what is used for selection sounds. Should I use that? I guess I could associate it with the attacking unit, though it would carry no real significance.

Actually no, I shall associate it with the attacked unit, that should work fine. Then we can potentially have special attack notifications for heroes and the like.

(So, stwf, ignore my previous request - the current function should do fine after all.)

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Interesting. Could you let us know a bit more about how you think this will work?

hmm, I hadn't really gotten in to it too much. But currently the simulation finds all PEACE tracks in a civ's json file, picks a random one and loops that forever. So I'll add a way to upload the whole list and play each song in order, looping forever. Then I can add options for gaps between songs, or random play. This way the simulation can decide exactly what it wants a people can play around with it..

I did think that any changing of the music, say to battle music, would wipe out the playlist.

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MSVC warnings as of r13266:


9>..\..\..\source\soundmanager\js\SoundGroup.cpp(176): warning C4018: '>' : signed/unsigned mismatch
9>e:\devel\ps\source\soundmanager\items\cbufferitem.cpp(88): warning C4702: unreachable code

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MSVC warnings as of r13266:


9>..\..\..\source\soundmanager\js\SoundGroup.cpp(176): warning C4018: '>' : signed/unsigned mismatch
9>e:\devel\ps\source\soundmanager\items\cbufferitem.cpp(88): warning C4702: unreachable code

Thanks!

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About r13347, the music cuts off abruptly whenever the game window loses focus, even if it's just to tab over to some other window. I think in any case the music should gradually fade to silence, but I'm not convinced losing focus should necessarily pause the music. I think there are multiple cases to consider: fullscreen vs. windowed, minimized vs. lost focus. There's probably a better argument to be made for muting paused games; we could also transition to a quiet music track (Omri is working on one such track I think, to play in the game menus).

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About r13347, the music cuts off abruptly whenever the game window loses focus, even if it's just to tab over to some other window. I think in any case the music should gradually fade to silence, but I'm not convinced losing focus should necessarily pause the music. I think there are multiple cases to consider: fullscreen vs. windowed, minimized vs. lost focus. There's probably a better argument to be made for muting paused games; we could also transition to a quiet music track (Omri is working on one such track I think, to play in the game menus).

OK, I think a quick fade out can be put in pretty easily. It just doesn't seem right that the game action pauses and the music doesn't. Certainly the ambient noises should shut down, so it only seemed logical that the music did too. To me pause means pause, including the music.

But I'll adapt it to be anything thats decided upon. I just noticed it that trying to take a phone call during a game meant I had to quit to get the music to stop!

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Keep in mind that there's a config option "pauseonfocusloss" that can be changed, so the game doesn't necessarily pause when it loses focus. Do you play in windowed mode? Try it, and switch from the game quickly to say, a chat window, and back, and listen to what happens :)

A few things that could address the specific example you mentioned:

1.) adding in-game volume controls with hotkeys [planned]

2.) transitioning to a quieter "menu music" on pause [planned?]

3.) fading music out completely on minimize, but not for a focus change in windowed mode (not sure the engine currently distinguishes these, which are fairly different use cases)

4.) speaker volume knob, or an OS volume control hotkey if available, many keyboards and laptops have shortcuts for this ;)

Sometimes there's a tendency to add an option for everything, but maybe time for muteonfocusloss or muteonpause in the config?

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