Weapon sound revamp

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Shrike
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Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:53 am

So we've now got shiny new weapon effects. And they're gorgeous (I've just started playing around with them with modding). But the last 2-3 times I've tried introducing the game to new people, I'm always told one thing.

They hate the weapons sounds.

Maybe it's an excuse by boring people who don't actually want to try the game, but I'm starting to think they've got a point. We've only got, what, three sounds for all the guns in the game? And they date back probably a decade now. It'd be really awesome if, down the line in a future release, the sound design for the weapons ingame was reworked.

Current issues:

-Completely different weapons have the same sound (eg. Ion9 and light recoilless cannon)
-Burst-fire is apparently rather jarring (the mining laser in particular)
-Firing a gun a lot is an exercise in horrible repetitive noises (even the best sound effect isn't fun repeated over and over).

The former basically requires more sounds. The second...I'm not sure, but there's probably a way around it. For the final one, it might be worth looking into sound randomising....having the game engine alter the audio file so that each shot sounds slightly different to the one before it.
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Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:08 am

 I really wish I could offer more to this thread than just a simple “+1” — advice, an offer to do up some sound effects, anything — but I really don’t. So I guess just a “+1” will have to do.
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Shivan Hunter
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Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:44 am

AssumedPseudonym wrote: I really wish I could offer more to this thread than just a simple “+1” — advice, an offer to do up some sound effects, anything — but I really don’t. So I guess just a “+1” will have to do.
Same here. I've made some extremely crude sounds for game jam games with sfxr, but it's mostly only good for typical, cartoonish "pew pew" sounds which don't really fit Trans's aesthetic. One of the main things that would help is sfx for powerful weapons - I've gotten lucky and installed Ares Plasma Archcannons these past two games, and it uses the same sound as the dual laser I started with!
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Shrike
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Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:16 am

Shivan Hunter wrote:
AssumedPseudonym wrote: I really wish I could offer more to this thread than just a simple “+1” — advice, an offer to do up some sound effects, anything — but I really don’t. So I guess just a “+1” will have to do.
Same here. I've made some extremely crude sounds for game jam games with sfxr, but it's mostly only good for typical, cartoonish "pew pew" sounds which don't really fit Trans's aesthetic. One of the main things that would help is sfx for powerful weapons - I've gotten lucky and installed Ares Plasma Archcannons these past two games, and it uses the same sound as the dual laser I started with!
I too have worked with sfxr. Probably not the best tool for an APA sound. :P
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Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:51 am

Weapon sound revamp
Oh, yes, I definitely would love to have more sounds.

I played around with some open sfx and I have a bunch of them that I was happy with ... in Audacity. Tried them ingame, awful, just awful.
Too elaborate sounds are too invasive, they distract.
Too inconspicuous sounds are too plain, not worth to be applied to a group of weapons and make them sound less awesome than the actual weapon are.

It's not easy :P

However, we could start to make a list of weapons that would require new sounds:
- 1 sound / damagetype (eventually, following Shrike idea, multiple sounds to make it less boring firing repeatedly)
- 1 sound for each unique weapon. (Ion9, lamplighter, the Slicer)
- 1 sound for each highly particular weapon. (Oracus Harass power, Domina's shatter, Archcannons)

How many do we need ?

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Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:39 pm

Shrike wrote:They hate the weapons sounds.
I totally agree with this. Weapon sounds are REALLY lacking.
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Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:39 pm

Sound length and complexity is limited by repeating weapons. They start to sound really horrible if you try to do anything fancy. Any sound short and simple enough for the Arbalest is too wimpy for a ballista.

This means we can't just break down by type. We probably need multiple sounds per weapon in many cases.

I'd suggest the following sounds

Rockets: the current launcher sound is actually not horrible.

Laser: the current laser sound is about right for mining lasers and I don't know what else to do for lasers.

Coils: all energy weapons between particle and antimatter must use big switching relays and the switching rate has to rise as the particles accelerate so they should sound like a rising hum. This might be simple enough for lancers even when overlapped. I hope. Also suitable for coilguns in combination with other sounds.

Autocannons: something like the current kinetic sound for use on things like the Arbalest. Possibly replace with a real gunshot sound (Foley gunshots are too booming).

Railguns: makes a metal on metal sound, suitable for mid-range k/b/t weapons.

Short Reload: a 1/15 to 1/10 second thunk to append to the tail of physical weapons with fire rates greater than 6 unless they're particularly puny like the light recoilless.

Long Reload: a ~1/5 to 1/4 second kathunk sound to append to the tail of physical weapons when fire rate allows.

Short Cooling: a quickly fading hissing sound to append to the tail of energy weapons with fire rates greater than 6 unless they're particularly puny like the basic EI laser cannon family.

Long Cooling: a ~1/5 to 1/4 second liquid in pipes sound to append to the tail of energy weapons when the fire rate allows. This might also work as the primary sound for sufficiently slow firing plasma weapons.

Weird (multiple): gamey sounds for exotic weapons.

So for example the Arbalest would just play Autocannon. The recoilless cannon might play Autocannon Reload. The Flenser might play Coils Reload. The Ballista and howitzers might play Railgun Reload. The laser might just play Laser while the turbolaser plays Laser Cooling and the x-ray might play Autocannon+Laser Cooling+Reload since the description says it's detonating a small nuclear charge internally to pump the lasing medium. The Absolution Cannon would just play Weird.
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Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:49 pm

+1 @Atarlost's suggestions

The game needs new and more varied sounds.
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Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:21 am

Actually, the howitzers could easilly fit with a deep 'boom' sound. I don't think very many other types of weapons should have that particular sound, save for those such as the Ares Arch cannon and the likes.

I think basic lasers should sound more like the laser sounds we've grown accustomed to. 'Pew pew,' was it? :lol:

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Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:31 pm

Some noises from a long time ago.
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However, I don't think all of them are suitable for fast or repeating weapons as they're a bit long (even if they sound gorgeous), but some of them can be overlapped and not sound too bad. There are however no explosive type noises, they're all "exotic" barring the nondescript missile launch.
I'm not 100% sure you could use them for a release version of T even given the status of the game itself. Mods should be fine though.

Fusionfires + that^ plasma noise = happiness.

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Atarlost
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Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:10 pm

Any sounds need to be either licensed for Transcendence or under an unlicense that allows commercial use. MoO2 is neither.

There probably is suitable stuff under the right open license but possibly someone's going to have to go out with a good mic and record some sounds.
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Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:13 pm

I'll keep this brief, because I'm currently sleep-deprived and the squirrels keep telling me to go to bed*. Having spent about 15 minutes earlier today (well, technically yesterday) screwing around in Audacity with the existing handful of sounds in the game, I was able to modify two of them into very functional weapon sounds that better suited the new graphical effects. I'm a complete novice at this, so this bodes well for the ability for other modders with more experience to come up with other, better sounds even without having to record anything new.


The problem is that modifying these sounds into the game currently seems to require a full over-write of each weapon. Which is boring for the modder, pads out mod length and also increases the chances of mod-conflict.



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