Dominique

Sounds : direction and intensity

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The only real weakness I find in this game relates to sounds, after hundreds of hours of play (not far from 700 h I think)

- You hear some hoof sounds muffled in the snow, you hear a growl but you can't really  know where the deer or the wolf are by sound only.

- Also the growling is as loud if the wolf is 50 m behind you or much closer.

Is it me and my hardware or is there some room for improvement for a future update ?

Dominique

 

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If you play with headphones or earbuds the directionality of the sounds becomes much more apparent. I actually find it annoying in some cases, for example by waterfalls, where small changes in direction lead to large changes in the sounds. So there’s definitely room for improvement. 

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Sound has always been bad in video games. It's almost always a volume difference instead of a sound delay even though I can't imagine a location based delay would be much more computationally intensive than a volume change. It's easier though. Easier to understand and people are used to it.

It would be neat to try to implement delay based sounds in TLD though.

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9 hours ago, Dr. S. said:

If you play with headphones or earbuds the directionality of the sounds becomes much more apparent. I actually find it annoying in some cases, for example by waterfalls, where small changes in direction lead to large changes in the sounds. So there’s definitely room for improvement. 

I play with headphones only. You are right, the waterfalls sound weird when you turn the head. But it is not a problem. Not knowing where the wolf growls by the sound of it, is a safety hazard 😉.

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5.1 surround sound.  Take an hour fine tuning the speakers and intensity, and you get some top notch directional audio.  You can tell left, right, front, back... the only negative is that the subwoofer is tied to the front channels only, so if you're facing a waterfall, SUPER loud.  Turn around, the waterfall turns into a kitchen faucet.

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I personally have no issues with the audio, and my head phones are cheap as can be.  I routinely keep the headset volume turned up just a little bit more than I normally would have them set, for the sole purpose of locating the pitter patter of little wolfy paws (so far it always works like a charm).  I've never had the difficulties you describe.

:coffee::fire:
My playstyle is very dependent on "evade and escape" tactics, unless I'm actively hunting.

Edited by ManicManiac
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15 minutes ago, ajb1978 said:

5.1 surround sound.  Take an hour fine tuning the speakers and intensity, and you get some top notch directional audio.  You can tell left, right, front, back... the only negative is that the subwoofer is tied to the front channels only, so if you're facing a waterfall, SUPER loud.  Turn around, the waterfall turns into a kitchen faucet.

Agreed. I have noticed this as well on my 5.1 Surround system. 

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17 hours ago, odizzido said:

It would be neat to try to implement delay based sounds in TLD though.

I just learned about delay based sounds this week, what a coincidence. 

The audio of TLD used to be top-notch; it was up there with Battlefield games. The audio is still really good and TLD now has more complex audio scenes but I feel like the sources and volumes have gotten fairly disorganized in the process of becoming more complex. 

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2 hours ago, ManicManiac said:

I personally have no issues with the audio, and my head phones are cheap as can be.  

Interesting... I have an old Corsair Vengeance 2100 headphones. The stereo sound works OK in other games or when I do the test in Windows but for the (virtual)  life of me, I can't say where a TLD growling  wolf  is around me before having a visual. 

I guess I will have to buy a surround headphone some day.

Anyway, thank you to all of you for sharing your experience.

 

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9 hours ago, Dominique said:

I guess I will have to buy a surround headphone some day.

Using surround sound on your headphones for a game is ill advised. Last time I tried that in TLD there's a constant "tube" sound and sources directly behind you are silent. 

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15 hours ago, MarrowStone said:

Using surround sound on your headphones for a game is ill advised. Last time I tried that in TLD there's a constant "tube" sound and sources directly behind you are silent. 

Aye. Surround sound is absolutely dependent on having more than two speakers; it really needs five. Personally, I think four full range speaks at FL FR BL BR would be better than having tops at those positions plus a sub, but maybe that's just me.

Edited by stratvox
speaker location specification

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@stratvox, yeah, surround sound features on headphones are mostly a gimmick. Games hardly support them anyways.

My headphones just happened have a "surround sound" feature and I was curious to experience it for myself. 

But yeah, @Dominique, don't buy a headset for the surround sound capabilities. Buy one that fits other more important criteria like price range, quality, and microphone if you dont have a standalone. 

delay based sounds would be really cool to see in videogames but probably take a lot of resources. 

Edited by MarrowStone

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On 11/26/2019 at 3:25 AM, odizzido said:

It's almost always a volume difference instead of a sound delay even though I can't imagine a location based delay would be much more computationally intensive than a volume change. It's easier though. Easier to understand and people are used to it.

The time it takes sound to travel from one ear to another is about 625 µ seconds. Let's assume the game ticks at around 25 times a second. That results in a tick timer of 40 milliseconds. That's 64 times slower than the sound interval to simulate delay based location. So to achieve what you propose the game would have to calculate the delay for the next 40 milliseconds of sound in advance and then play both channels at the appropriate offset based on the relative position of the camera, meaning 0µs if facing a sound source at 0° or 180°, and 625 µ for the left and right channel respectively when facing 90° or 270°. And all the angles inbetween. And for multiple sound sources at the same time. Yes, that is computationally intensive unless there is something in the hardware that does that job.

So I guess.... yeah, while that kind of feature would be awesome, it's a topic too big for a small development studio to tackle. It's probably even too big to take on for just an engine developer such as Unity. That's something that has to be done at the API level, meaning DirectX and co, most likely supported by actual signal processing hardware. Maybe modern multi core CPUs have the required horsepower for that kind of thing .... but it'd require an unproportional amount of CPU time. I've read some things about next gen consoles supporting something some people call "ray traced sound" which is done at the hardware level with a special DSP. Maybe if there's a pseudo standard for that we might actually see that on the PC at some point.

That being said @MarrowStone is right that the audio scenes have become a bit messy over time. But nevertheless I want to second

On 11/26/2019 at 4:21 PM, ManicManiac said:

I personally have no issues with the audio, and my head phones are cheap as can be.  I routinely keep the headset volume turned up just a little bit more than I normally would have them set, for the sole purpose of locating the pitter patter of little wolfy paws (so far it always works like a charm).  I've never had the difficulties you describe.

TLD is one of the very few games I actually need my ears for (the only other I can think of is Green Hell), which is a good indicator that audio cues acutally do work.

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Yeah you would have to find the angle, calculate the delay, then play the sound twice. I am certainly not a game dev but it doesn’t sound that hard. I am also not the person who would implement it so I am not going to spend much time finding out if I am wrong or not.

 

As to the game not ticking quickly enough, well everything is reactionary. I move the mouse and a whole bunch of stuff happens before I see the results on screen. Just because the game can’t capture my movements exactly doesn’t mean it’s terrible. 

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