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Old 06-12-10, 11:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

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This is where EAX came into the picture. The devs could lay down a clean recording for voice and sound and leave it up to the level to call the effects, reverb and positioning. Now EAX is not so popular it's up to the devs to program the effects from scatch or use another middleware solution and they just aren't doing it anymore. But they also need to take gameplay into account, imagine the feedback from gamers if your couldn't hear team mates on a alpine level. .
Exactly. There are games that use environmental effects very well, and they usually use EAX.

The problem of sounds being too clear isn't just with voices and dialog. Guns, explosions, and ambient effects are generally too well defined to sound truly realistic. A gun sound should ideally just be a small explosion sound with some clattering of the weapon's action, and environmental effects should take care of all of the distant reverb and echos, as well as a sonic crack as the bullet travels. When games eventually do this, I promise the difference will be jaw dropping.

Look at how much real time computer graphics have changed, and then look at how little real time interactive sound has changed. We're still just recording (or totally fabricating) effects and tying them to events within a 3D space. I think the only significant change I've noticed since I first heard EAX 2.0 and Aureal A3D in Half-Life in 1999 was, coincidentally, when Half-Life 2 added the distant effects that made guns and explosions sound different as they got further away.

There is still much to be done in this area, and I think once a few games take the next big step and do it properly, we'll finally have games that trick our ears as well as our eyes.

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It's an interesting topic and one Redeemed will gladly will make an ass of himself over.
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Old 06-13-10, 04:07 AM   #14
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

With the way CPUs have developed, specially by going multicore, we dont really "need" EAX anymore.
I think doing it on CPU is fine today, and in doing so you have compatibility with every computer out there that may only have integrated sound.
And it should port to other platforms much easier.
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Old 06-13-10, 06:18 AM   #15
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

I'm not sure I see the point in having background effects recorded with the voice recording. That would severly limit how the samples could be used and adjusted.

That said most games still leave quite a lot to be desired as far as ambient sound goes especially when it comes to voices. I think most people just don't really notice though.
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Old 06-13-10, 09:27 AM   #16
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

Ok, I'll explain this a little better, because this could work quite well, actually.

Let's say the vocal audio tracks for inside Exhibition station are being recorded for all the people the player walks past. Instead of straight-up studio micing everyone in a sterile environment, they could stil use a studio-grad mic (albeit a less stationary one), and record them in a room with similar acoustic properties. ALSO: the recorded audio should be equalized in a way (and I don't know how else to explain this) so that when the player walks past or interacts, the volume level and projection are similar to real-life or a movie.

Th post-processing of the audio should deal with the volume adjustment, and the dynamic application of more effects on top of the vocal track for situations when, for example, you walk into an echo-y room in Exhibition Station but can still hear people talking in the other rooms.

... I've explained this best I can. I really dislike the flat-sounding dialogue tracks in a lot of modern games, and I'm hoping that somebody out there is working on some way to do it better.

Honestly I think BF:BC2 SP audio is a step in the right direction.
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Old 06-13-10, 11:15 AM   #17
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

Oh man... Eax is good but when I hear that name, first thing which comes up to my mind is crackling\loosing\buzzing sound problem in Fear...
But Eax4HD in doom3(after patching) made it 100000times better game. Have You people tried it? It becomes avaible after patching game to 1.3.
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Old 06-13-10, 12:12 PM   #18
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

They should put real-time effects on the voice tracks based on the environment. Sort of like how VSTi applies effects to instruments/tracks.

Example - High Winds/Nearby Chopper: Voice decibel level should be reduced and slightly muffled. Character should be yelling to compensate for the noise.
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Old 06-14-10, 12:30 PM   #19
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

If a voice over is supposed to sound like it is outside and dosn't, it has nothing to do with how they recorded it. It is completely and totally the sound editors fault. So many things are recorded in studios and frankly, there is no such thing as "sounds like it was recorded by a studio mic".. a studio mic isn't any good unless it records the sound so pure you don't even know it was recorded. What YOU are looking for is the background noise and acoustics of being outside. These could be missing for a number of reasons, in a game it is usually because for what ever reason, the game engine has determined not to apply the proper background ambient track and the proper effects (reverb and such) to sound that match where you are standing.
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Old 06-14-10, 04:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

I just want Smell-O-Vision. I want to smell my games, and I am not talking about the packaging.
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Old 08-18-10, 12:46 AM   #21
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

Kane and Lynch 2 audio is pretty much COMPLETELY what I'm talking about/lusting over in the OP. :drool:
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Old 08-18-10, 01:46 AM   #22
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

I find the gun sounds lack punch in K&L 2: DD. Especially when the devs are trying to emulate Michael Mann style shotouts. It really needs a War Tapes option like Bad Company 2. That would make me buy the game right now!
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Old 08-18-10, 07:57 AM   #23
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

hmm, not sure if this would work for one reason.

sound and special effects (wind etc...) need to be seperate.

How would it sound when you play a game and you are outside and then NPC talks and suddeny wind picks up (because wind would also be recorded with voice track) NPC stops talking and then suddenly wind cuts off.

Like I said voice and special effects need to be seperate, what they need to do is better filters, where special effects would make effect on voice.
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Old 08-18-10, 02:47 PM   #24
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Default Re: Observations on in-game character voices & sound

Exactly. This is the same conversion though less frustrating we had with Redeemed. With games you cannot create an audio track like a movie. It needs all sounds sitting there ready to be mixed together. On top of that, you need a way to apply the right environmental effects and positioning.

All of it possible, devs are just lazy when it comes to getting it right. Half-Life had some great audio when it came to hanging around in the giant tanks, silos, tunnels. Flash forward to Crysis, and it's pretty much the same sounds for inside and out.
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