Shrike 'N' AssumedPseudonym's Superior Sounds (Alpha)

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Shrike
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Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:32 am


Shrike 'N'* AssumedPseudonym's "Superior" Sounds: Public Alpha
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*With an "en" sound not an "nnn" sound. It's very important.


AKA: 'SNAPSS'

SNAPSS is a sound overhaul mod for Transcendence. It replaces the sounds of almost all the weapons in the game, and also works for modded weapons that don't have their own custom sounds. It's a collaborative effort, with AP doing the transcendence lisp framework (and some sound normalisation and tweaks), and me doing the sounds themselves (they're heavily modified versions of stock sounds, to the extent that they're completely different). We're going into Alpha to try to get feedback on how we're doing, and what we need ti improve first. There's a lot we already know needs work, and this will be a long term project, but having extra opinions is very useful to us.

...And you can blame me for the name. As usual.


Your feedback on this mod is absolutely invaluable. Sound is a very subjective thing, so while we like some/most of our current lineup of audio (some are still placeholders) we fully expect that others will not. Feedback helps us improve the sounds, and prioritise extra features to add into SNAPSS. So if you try the mod (and I'd recommend it, obviously, because I helped make it....but also because it functions very well right now), do let us know how it works.

Download here from Dropbox
Requires Transcendence V.1.7 Alpha 1 or higher.

Known bugs/issues in V. 0.1.0 (Alpha 1a):
-Behaves differently on WINE to how it does on Win8.1. If you experience a bug, please include if you're using WINE.
-No repeating sounds on repeating weapons. This is an engine limitation in 1.7a1.
-Vanilla sounds not properly silenced on some configurations. This is an engine caching issue of some sort. May only occur on Linux with WINE.
-If SNAPSS is installed when running the game on Windows, the game will override the default sounds regardless of whether SNAPSS is selected for a game. This results in weapons being silenced if SNAPSS is not used for a particular savegame. Short of removing SNAPSS when you're not using it there's no way around this: It's an engine issue.
-Missiles that use sounds other than the standard missile launcher sound (eg. Strelkas) will not play the correct sound unless their missiles are manually added to SNAPSS. Currently the Strelka series have been worked around in this way, but there may be other weapons in CC/EP (or mods) that do not work correctly.
-Several placeholder sounds. Thermo, positron, exotic and heavy plasma in particular.
-You may have to adjust your ingame volume (or music volume) to get the balance right.
-Threshold for switching between snBlast1 and snBlast2 is set slightly too low. Will be fixed in Alpha 2.
-Gaian Demolition Cannon goes "HONK". This was a joke by AssumedPseudonym originally but I like it too much to take it out for now.
-There's an odd effect where I'm perceiving the weapon sounds getting louder after a few shots on some weapons.Let us know if you notice this as well and we can see if it's just a me thing or not




Hypothetical Frequently Asked Questions (Because no one's asked them yet because the mod isn't out while I'm writing this)
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Q: Why is "Superior" in quotation marks?
A:
Partly, because it's subjective. I'm a rookie at making and editing sound effects, so while the SNAPSS effects are more diverse than the vanilla audio, they may not be subjectively better. But the acronym wouldn't be as good without it. If you do want to select a different sound to play, just make it into an engine-compatible WAV, throw it in the SNAPSS resources directory, and either edit the XML to use it, or overwrite the file you don't like.

Mostly, it's because right now there's a bunch of placeholders and while they're better in that they exist, they're not yet up to the standard I want for the full release of SNAPSS. Making sounds is hard, so for these first few alphas there's going to be some rough stuff while I get feedback and improve on things.

Q: How does it work?
A:
If you want to see fully, read the code that AP's put into it. But here's the short version: This mod doesn't actually overwrite the weapons themselves. Instead it overrides the stock weapons sounds (except the missile launcher sound) with silent WAV files. It then chooses the correct sound to play out of the SNAPSS resources folder based on the damage type and damage of the weapon that's being fired, unless that weapon has a custom sound already, or is specified for a custom sound (currently that's the Ion9 and the GDC [Note: GDC sound is a joke/test of what's probably gonna be our debug sound in future versions]).

In addition to that, SNAPSS overrides snArmorHit1 with a slightly less ear-gouging WAV file. In future versions we may expand this into a proper system that uses different sounds for different weapons.....but that is a lot of extra work, so it won't be happening for a while if it does happen.


Q: How buggy is it?
A:
Not very, actually. The code that's there works perfectly...the problem is generally the engine not working correctly. As far as we know, no one's ever done this before....so we're in uncharted territory and that does mean we run into engine limitations and bugs that haven't cropped up before.

As well as that, this is an alpha release. It's not feature-complete. Iocrym weapons for example use the stock sound, and the list of little stuff up above covers the known other problems. We don't have any fancy handling for armor and shield hits, and that sort of thing. So while it's not buggy, it's also not a finished, polished product.


Q: [Sound] is too loud/quiet/isn't very good!
A:
Report the problem here. There are quite a few placeholder sounds still in SNAPSS, and I'll try to replace the worst ones ASAP. They should at the very least work, and I've tried to make sure that if there's a volume problem it's because something is too quiet, not too loud.

You can also adjust your ingame volume balance using the function keys (I can't remember which ones), and it's probably in Settings.xml as well. Adjusting your system's volume and the music volume may help with any issues with sounds being too loud or too quiet.


Q: What is SNAPSS going to be eventually?
A:
Quite possibly "Obsolete because of changes to the base game". However before then it'd be cool if we got stuff like customised armor hit sounds for each damage type, plus all the annoying bugs fixed. I'd also like to redo a lot of the placeholder sounds that are in the current alpha. Time will tell though...it all depends on the availability of both myself and AP, whether we can get it sounding and feeling good.....and also whether George fixes some engine issues that have been delaying development.

There's also the possibility of talking to George about making this a registered mod. Currently I'm undecided on whether having this thing on Multiverse is a good thing.

Q: Can I modify these sounds and use them in my own mod?
A:
Yes. I'd personally prefer it if you didn't use the unmodified ones, but if you really want to then you can do that as well. Either way, please credit both myself and AssumedPseudonym. :)

Speaking of, all sounds in SNAPSS (right now) are heavily modified out of ingame sounds originally made (I presume) by George Moromisato. Except 'HONK', which sprang from the darkest depths of AssumedPseudonym's mind.
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Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:17 am

(Placeholder for if I need space for changelog later)
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Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:38 pm

Updated OP to make it more.....sane. I really shouldn't release content super late at night, huh?
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TheLoneWolf
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Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:56 am

Audacity?

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Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:39 pm

TheLoneWolf wrote:Audacity?
 That’s the audio software we’ve been using to poke at sound effects.
Shrike wrote:Speaking of, all sounds in SNAPSS (right now) are heavily modified out of ingame sounds originally made (I presume) by George Moromisato. Except 'HONK', which sprang from the darkest depths of AssumedPseudonym's mind.
 *Coughsputter!* I beg your pardon, that is a vanilla sound effect! …Well, mostly; it got put through the same processing as everything else when I put it through normalizing. George uses it as the sound for when your reactor is overloaded. Using it for the GDC was actually your idea, as I recall! “Darkest depths” indeed… hmpf… I’ll have you know that the darkest depths of my mind are offended by that! Offended, I say! They would have used a kazoo! …I’ll leave that up to you whether it’s better or worse… <.< >.> <.<;
 (Quick bit of history on HONK!: Back when I was experimenting with topology and what events fired when, the sound I used to test when system creation happened was the reactor overload sound. Iron Parrot, on IRC, commented that starting a new game honked while the systems were generating at the start of a new game. The term stuck.)
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Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:40 pm

Yup! Audacity is the best! I use it myself.

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Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:25 pm

AssumedPseudonym wrote:
TheLoneWolf wrote:Audacity?
 That’s the audio software we’ve been using to poke at sound effects.
Shrike wrote:Speaking of, all sounds in SNAPSS (right now) are heavily modified out of ingame sounds originally made (I presume) by George Moromisato. Except 'HONK', which sprang from the darkest depths of AssumedPseudonym's mind.
 *Coughsputter!* I beg your pardon, that is a vanilla sound effect! …Well, mostly; it got put through the same processing as everything else when I put it through normalizing. George uses it as the sound for when your reactor is overloaded. Using it for the GDC was actually your idea, as I recall! “Darkest depths” indeed… hmpf… I’ll have you know that the darkest depths of my mind are offended by that! Offended, I say! They would have used a kazoo! …I’ll leave that up to you whether it’s better or worse… <.< >.> <.<;
 (Quick bit of history on HONK!: Back when I was experimenting with topology and what events fired when, the sound I used to test when system creation happened was the reactor overload sound. Iron Parrot, on IRC, commented that starting a new game honked while the systems were generating at the start of a new game. The term stuck.)
Ah, yes. I've never actually overloaded a reactor since that got introduced.
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Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:50 am

Would it be possible to solve the repeating weapon problem by using XML functions to iterate through all weapon entities on universe creation and set their sound to the appropriate sound, rather than using <OnSystemWeaponFire>?

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Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:21 am

 It might be, but I haven’t mucked about with the XML functions enough to really test it. I may investigate that possibility at some point.
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Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:34 am

Updated known issues with a caching bug affecting the game on windows systems. Unknown whether it affects WINE users. The bug is engine-based: the game reads SNAPSS telling it to override the default sounds (snLaserCannon and snRecoillessCannon, also snArmorhit1 but it's harder to notice) regardless of whether or not the mod is selected for a savegame. Thus if you're running a game with SNAPSS disabled, the game will replace the stock sounds with silent WAVs, but not play the new sounds. There's no fix for this that we can implement. If you really need to play a game without SNAPSS, you'll have to uninstall the mod to get the vanilla sounds back.

....not that anyone would want to do that, hopefully. :P
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Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:57 am

Could hardly hear the Quianlong and Lamplighters

IM90 is good. ATC is excellent

Gaian Demo Cannon sounds like a clown squeezing his rubber horn. Would be much better as a "raspberry" :P .

Prefer the old lancer cannon sound

Fusionfire isn't abrupt enough for my liking.

Hanzo is good.

Omni xray is cool

RK15 has a good initial 'snap' to it.

Laser is good. dual, FF, omni

TM7 is good too.

A lot of them sound somewhat muffled. Not sharp or distinct.

Many sound poor at slow fire rates but good when repeating quickly.

Hope that helps.

EDIT: I loaded another mod into the same Extensions folder and had no sound for weapons effects. SNAPSS wasn't selected. I suspect but don't know for sure that SNAPSS was still doing something. Deleting SNAPSS returned normal game sounds.
EDIT AGAIN: Windows.

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Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:41 pm

relanat wrote: Prefer the old lancer cannon sound
This is an engine bug/limitation right now. The stock "sound" is actually just snLaserCannon...but it plays every time the gun fires a shot and thus overlaps into something quite nice. With the current engine restrictions we can only trigger a sound every burst. When/if that gets fixed we'll look at repeating weapons more closely. The alternative would be a hard-coded override + a whole bunch of custom sounds....but that's a lot of work for something we hope we can just get fixed by George + it wouldn't work for any CC, EP or modded weapons.
relanat wrote:
A lot of them sound somewhat muffled. Not sharp or distinct.

Many sound poor at slow fire rates but good when repeating quickly.
I'll see what I can do. There's some sounds (eg. Laser 3 ) that were incorrectly set to a low volume before exporting. Those are easy to fix. The rest....are mostly placeholders. We're in alpha, after all. :P

And the fire-rate thing is probably the engine overlapping them. Sometimes it does good things when it does that, sometimes it does very bad things (snArmorhit1 notably falling into the latter).
relanat wrote: EDIT: I loaded another mod into the same Extensions folder and had no sound for weapons effects. SNAPSS wasn't selected. I suspect but don't know for sure that SNAPSS was still doing something. Deleting SNAPSS returned normal game sounds.
EDIT AGAIN: Windows.
That's a known bug with the game engine. because of a caching problem, SNAPSS always overrides the vanilla sounds, but doesn't replace them unless it's selected. We've poked George about this so hopefully he looks at it some time.
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Thu May 05, 2016 9:09 am

Updated to Alpha 1a

No technical changes, but updated some sounds to make them nicer. Ion1, Plasma1, Positron1, Positron2 and Exotic1 have all been made a bit nicer. This is the version that will be on the stream tomorrow. Download link on the OP has been updated, and feedback on the changes is welcome. No version number change because 1: I forgot and 2: This hasn't actually changed the mod, just the resources bundled with it.

All known issues for Alpha 1 are still present in Alpha 1a. We can't fix these until the game engine is updated.
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TheLoneWolf
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Fri May 27, 2016 12:10 pm

Two words:
ZE PENTIENTS
I'd like the Dark Acid cannon to sound sinister and spooky!

And howz the progress going?

You gotta use that HONK for Trans Annuals!

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Sat May 28, 2016 5:54 am

Shrike wrote:All known issues for Alpha 1 are still present in Alpha 1a. We can't fix these until the game engine is updated.
Actually, I'm pretty sure it could be done by modifying the XML in <OnGlobalTypesCreated>. I could give it a shot if you don't mind sticking another N in there.

The only downsides I see would be that weapons created using typCreate wouldn't be affected and modifying a weapon's XML in other ways wouldn't change its sound. The first problem could be addressed by setting some data on the weapon type when its sound is changed and having an <OnSystemWeaponFire> event check whether it's set. The first shot a new weapon fired would use the default sound, but after that it would be adjusted. The second problem can't be fixed in a way that avoids the existing bugs, but other modders could unset the data so the sound would be recalculated.

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