Infinity: Battlescape has had its OpenAL audio engine switched to FMOD. I feel feedback regarding audio should have its own thread.
First off, I just want it be known that video games that I’ve found to be most immersive, were the ones with the best audio engines.
Video clips of audial immersion in video games:
- This Battlefield: Bad Company 2 trailer convinced me to buy it just with that audio engine alone.
- Half-Life 2 had been my previous most immersive game also due to its audio engine: https://youtu.be/MQt1jtDBNK4?t=244 (University of North Carolina audio mod)
- Elite Dangerous Capital Ship arrival.
Here are audio related features I think would be worth implementing that would increase Audial Immersion within Battlescape:
- Different sounds for different perspectives
- First-person (2D stereo sound)
- Sound generator ship module (3D mono sound) - Off when damaged or when ship is near or is dead
- Speed of sound
- Instant in space
- Variety in speed while within different atmospheres of planets
- Sound occlusion - obstructing objects decreases volume
- Recreated within Unity3D as a Video Demo:
- Equalizer (Implemented with v0.4.3.0)
- Low-pass filters
- Based on distances (High pitch disappears and bass remains)
Recreated within Unity3D as a Video Demo
- Doppler effect
- Degree always the same in space (Implemented with v0.4.3.0)
- Degree varies while within different atmospheres of planets
Recreated within Unity3D as a Video Demo
Extra sound suggestions:
- Explosion shockwave - the wave when getting hit by the dust from the wreck
- Breaking the sound barrier, depends on the atmosphere of the planet or moon
Regarding general Battlescape audio feedback.
- The switch has fixed the crackling within the game. Still feels that it happens sometimes.
- Non-GUI sounds should all have slightly varied pitch.
- The general low quality explosion sound has to be replaced!!! It is the only one being played on a damaged station. Worse, at the same pitch level.
- Because of the switch to FMOD, currently it is not possible to Mod the audio parts of the game as all audio files are within FMOD bank files.
Other than that. IMHO the potential of FMOD is not currently used in any manner.
Doppler and muffle have already been implemented and will be available in next week’s patch. I thought it was pretty clear that the switch to FMOD was the first step only, the technical integration, and that more would be coming.
Good to hear.
Another issue that I remember is that build-up explosion sounds all suddenly stop when a dead ship vanishes.
Hmm, interesting, I’ll have to investigate that, but I have a feeling you might be right here, I noticed myself some sounds strangely getting cut before the end.
Was confirmed, some sounds were attached to 3D objects and the destruction of the 3D object instantly stopped whatever sounds were attached to it. I’m now letting the sounds play until the end. Will be fixed in next patch.
As expected, just these two additions significantly increased my immersive experience. Crossing fingers for other mentioned features in my second post to be implemented.
I attempted to create mod an audio mod with FMOD. With a few tools it is possible to extract .bank files and recreate them in FMOD. But either the sequence also has to be the same or the GUIDs to even replace audio files.
A blank “master” FMOD project would help, post explaining it in FMOD Discourse forum with, coincidentally, another flying simulation game: https://qa.fmod.com/t/modding-tools-access-replacing-sound/13689/2
I think for modding you don’t have to replace / modify the current fmod project. Just create a new one, and modify the audio.xml to reference it. It is possible to add more .bank files in it. The only question is how the master bank works, as you’d have more than one, I haven’t investigate yet if that would be an issue.
For example, I recreated a near 1to1 clone of General.bank, with only a 10 kb difference. Battlescape crashes claiming of not finding the events, when I attempt to replace the original. (recreated on the right, indexes don’t match)
Bank files do not contain strings to the events just the used audio file names, Master Bank Strings has the events.
Even if I want to mod one audio category, I need to recreate the Master Bank that contains information for all banks.
 Attaching another Master Bank to Audio.xml causes a FMOD Error 28 crash (‘An error occurred that wasn’t supposed to. Contact support.’) even if event names and bank names don’t conflict with original.