You are previewing Game Audio Implementation, 2nd Edition.
O'Reilly logo
Game Audio Implementation, 2nd Edition

Book Description

Better use of audio makes for a better game. Whether you’re a sound designer, composer, or game designer, you are responsible for the audio experience. Go beyond one-shot sound effects or music loops and embrace the future of interactive sound with this practical course in game audio, complete with a powerful companion website.

The Game Audio Tutorial 2nd Edition provides you with a unique tutorial game level built with Unreal© Development Kit. Each section of the text links to an area of the game level, which allows you to experience the principles in action before applying them yourself with more than fifty practical exercises. The 2nd edition is fully updated to reflect the UDK additions and is organized in two parts; Part 1 being easy and accessible, and Part 2 being geared towards the more advanced topics.

The Game Audio Tutorial website also offers:

  • A free sound library with hundreds of FX to get you started
  • An up-to-date online bibliography with links to the latest articles and discussions
  • Over twenty tutorial videos to talk you through key techniques step by step

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Introduction
  7. Approaches to the Book
  8. 00 Loading Sequence: Quick Start
    1. Setting up the Demo Projects
    2. Navigation of the Game World
      1. Version Control and Auto-saves
      2. Looking and Moving
        1. Views
        2. Bookmarks
        3. Moving/Looking
      3. In-game Actors: Finding and Changing Your First Sound
    3. Navigating the Assets and the Content Browser
      1. Filtering Results
    4. Navigating the Game System: Blueprints
    5. Preparing Assets for Import
      1. Editing
      2. Sample Rates and File Formats
      3. Looping
    6. Importing Assets
      1. Folder Structures and Naming Conventions
    7. Conclusion
  9. 01 Sound Part A: Ambience and Environment
    1. Introduction
    2. Ambience
      1. Types of Sound
      2. Area Loops
      3. Source Loops
        1. Filter over Distance
        2. Area Loops and Source Loops: Attention to Detail
      4. Sound Cues
        1. Adding Sounds to Sound Cues
      5. Source One-shots
        1. Polyphonic or Overlapping One-shots
      6. Player-oriented One-shots
      7. One-shots: Sourcing and Masking
      8. Embedding Source Sounds into Game Actor Blueprints
      9. Ambience Recap: An Artist’s Approach
    3. Occlusion Issues
      1. Triggers and Switching Ambience
    4. Reverb
    5. Triggering Sounds with Key or Controller Input
      1. Trigger Use Events
    6. Conclusion
  10. 02 Sound Part B: Procedural Sound Design
    1. Introduction
    2. Sample Rates and Audio Compression
      1. Sample Rates Revisited
      2. Audio File Compression
    3. Sequenced Variation
      1. Time-based Variation
        1. Asynchronous Loops
        2. Random Time: Blocks
        3. Random Time: Fragments
        4. Controlling Random Events: Clusters of Activity
      2. Concatenation
        1. Concatenation for Variation in Loops
        2. Layered Concatenation
        3. Concatenation for a Chain of Events
        4. Concatenate Sample Rates
      3. Multiple Start Points
    4. Layered Variation
      1. Simple Random Combinations
      2. Random Combinations with Individualized Pitch and Delays
      3. Deconstructing a Sound for Procedural Use
      4. Scalability
    5. Modulation/Modifiers for Variation
      1. Pitch
        1. Reuse Sounds for Different Sized Sources
        2. Transformative Reuse
        3. Pitch Envelopes
      2. Volume
        1. One-shot Volume Envelopes
        2. Looping Volume Envelopes
      3. Oscillation
      4. Wavetables
    6. Parameterization = Interactivity
      1. Swapping out Sounds with -Branch-
      2. Parameters to Pitch with <Set Pitch Multiplier>
      3. Parameter-based Crossfades with -Crossfade by Param-
      4. Using User-defined Curves
    7. Monitoring Memory and Level Streaming Approaches
      1. Asset Checking
      2. Memory Checking
        1. Level Streaming
      3. Sound Streaming
    8. Conclusion
  11. 03 Music Part A: Quick Start
    1. Introduction
    2. Interactive Music Principles
    3. Playlists
    4. Level Music, Loops, and Decay Tails
      1. Decay Tails
        1. Loop with Integrated Decay
      2. Play Then Loop
      3. Looping Manually
    5. Stingers/Ornamental Forms
    6. Simple Parallel Forms
    7. Simple Transitional Forms
    8. Conclusion
  12. 04 Music Part B: Basics and Parallel Forms
    1. Introduction
    2. Music Basics
      1. Source Music
      2. One-shots
      3. Music for Timed Events
      4. Ornamental Forms/Stingers
    3. Parallel Forms
      1. Switching or Fading Layers (Parallel Forms for Orientation)
      2. Using Variables to Determine Volume (Parallel Forms for Proximity)
        1. Linear Variables to Volume
        2. Curves to Volume
      3. Mix Automation for Parallel Layers
    4. Conclusion
  13. 05 Music Part C: Transitional Forms
    1. Introduction
    2. Clunky Transitions
      1. Nasty
      2. Crossfades (and When to Use Them)
      3. Masking Transitions
    3. Musical Transitions
      1. Working with Chunks: Measure-based Transitions
        1. Decay Tails Revisited
        2. Controlling a Switch
      2. Transitioning on Measure in Longer Pieces
        1. Pre-syncs or Ramps
      3. Aligned Transitions
      4. Putting It Together
    4. A Musical Conclusion
  14. 06 Dialogue
    1. Introduction
    2. Randomization
      1. Better than Random? Randomize without Replacement
    3. Dialogue for Advice
      1. Timed Help Advice
      2. Triggered Advice
    4. Dialogue Interrupts
      1. Bad/Better/Better-er
    5. Conditions and Dialogue Choices
      1. Simple Conditions and Dialogue Choices
      2. Counts to Dialogue Choices
      3. Tracking Multiple Actions or Inventory for Dialogue Choice
        1. Conditions to Sound Cue Branching Choices
    6. Branching Dialogue
    7. Characters, Contexts, and Dialogue Choices
    8. Localization or Localisation?
    9. Conclusion
  15. 07 Making It Real
    1. Introduction
    2. Sound Propagation
      1. Reverb: Advanced
        1. Nested Reverbs and Prioritization
        2. Reverb: Prebake
      2. Spatialization
        1. Sound Source Types
        2. Directional and Diffuse Sources
      3. Distance Attenuation and Detail over Distance
        1. Filter over Distance
        2. Detail over Distance
      4. Occlusion, Obstruction, and Exclusions
        1. Occlusion
        2. Ambient Zones
        3. Prioritization of Zones
        4. Obstructions and Exclusions
        5. Dynamic Occlusion
    3. Moving Objects and Moving Sounds
      1. Sounds That Move
        1. Moving Sound Sources with Matinee
        2. Creating Movement
      2. Moving Objects That Make Sound
        1. Rotating Doors
        2. Open/Opening Loops
        3. Matinee Events for Mechanical Systems
        4. Matinee Sound Track
    4. Physics
      1. Speed of Sound
      2. Doppler
        1. Doppler: Faking It
      3. Collisions
        1. Simple Object Collisions
        2. Velocity to Collision Sounds
        3. Sliding, Rolling, and Scraping
        4. Physics-based Collisions: Cascading Physics
    5. Prioritization: Number of Voices Control
    6. Animations
      1. Footsteps 01: Anim Notifies
      2. Footsteps 02: Surfaces
      3. Footsteps 03: Creep/Walk/Run
      4. Footsteps 04: Foley or Weapon Carrying Layers
      5. Footsteps 05: Other Notes
    7. Cameras and Cutscenes
    8. Cameras and the Listener
      1. Separating the Camera and Listener Position
    9. Conclusion
  16. 08 Making It Good
    1. Introduction
    2. Mixing
      1. General Mixing Principles
        1. Reference Levels
      2. Sound Classes and Sound Mixes: The Unreal Engine Mixing System
        1. Sound Class Properties
    3. The Roles and Functions of Game Audio
      1. The I.N.F.O.R.M. Model
      2. Instruction
        1. Sound Mix: Triggered Ducking
        2. Sound Mix: Triggered EQ
        3. Passive/Automatic Mix Changes
        4. Sound Mix: Base Sound Mix and Mix Modifiers
      3. Notification
        1. Character State
        2. NPC State
        3. Object State
        4. Game State
      4. Feedback
        1. Pickups
        2. HUD Interactions
      5. Orientation
        1. Navigate
        2. Attract
        3. Repel
      6. Rhythm-action
      7. Mechanic
        1. Recall/Learn
        2. Decoy
        3. Mask
    4. Testing the Mix
    5. Conclusion: Audio Concepting
  17. 09 Advanced: Weapons
    1. Introduction
    2. System
    3. One-shot, Retriggered, or Loop?
      1. One-shot
      2. Retriggered
      3. Retriggered with Tail
      4. Loop with Tail
      5. Looping Beam Weapons
    4. Projectiles
    5. Feedback
    6. Environment and Distance Elements
      1. Environment Layers
      2. Distance Layers
    7. Bullets
      1. Impacts
      2. Casings
      3. Whizzbys
    8. Conclusion
  18. 10 Advanced: Vehicles
    1. Introduction
    2. Simple Velocity to Pitch
    3. Crossfading Elements
    4. Pitch Curves for Automatic Gears
    5. Smooth Operator
    6. Surface/Tire Layers
      1. Skids
    7. Additional Elements
      1. Engage/Disengage
      2. Turbo Dump
      3. Impact and Damage Layer
      4. Wind Layer
      5. Engine Load/Stress Layer
      6. Car Body Movement or Suspension Layer
    8. Vehicle Cameras
    9. Conclusion
  19. 11 Advanced: Sports Dialogue and Crowds
    1. Introduction
    2. Crowd Systems
      1. Randomized Crowd
      2. Crowd Excitement Levels
    3. Commentary
      1. Color Commentary
      2. Concatenated Dialogue for Play-by-play Commentary
      3. Considerations for Concatenated Dialogue
    4. Dialogue Queues
    5. Conclusion
  20. 12 Advanced: Music
    1. Introduction
    2. Harmonically and Rhythmically Aware Stingers
      1. Harmonically Appropriate Stingers
      2. Rhythmically-synched Stingers
    3. Sequenced Melodies
      1. Play for Proximity
      2. Chained Melodic Pickups
    4. Algorithmic or Procedural Forms
      1. Generative Combinations
      2. Granular Note-level Sequences
        1. Using Random Seeds
    5. Rhythm-action
      1. Graphically Led
      2. Call and Response
    6. Conclusion
  21. Conclusion
  22. Appendix A: Core Concepts
    1. Key and Gamepad Inputs
    2. Events and Triggers
    3. Manipulating Actors
    4. Referencing In-game Actors within Blueprints
    5. Variables, Parameters, Numbers, and Arrays
    6. Transforming and Constraining Variables and Parameters
      1. Reading through Curves
    7. Evaluating Variables and Parameters
    8. Routing Decisions and Events
      1. Custom Events
    9. Controlling Audio Components
    10. Sound Cue Nodes
    11. Console Commands
    12. Others
      1. Matinee
      2. Attaching Actors to other Actors
      3. Timeline
      4. Audio Finished
      5. Timer
  23. Appendix B: Blueprint Primer
    1. Navigating, Creating and Connecting
    2. Events and the Programming Paradigm
    3. Compiling Blueprints
    4. Actor Blueprints
    5. Structures
    6. The Graph Action Menu
    7. Creating Nodes between Existing Connections
    8. Finding Things in Blueprints
    9. Communicating between Blueprints
      1. Casting
    10. Event Dispatcher
    11. Getting References to Spawned Actors
  24. Appendix C: Testing, Troubleshooting, and Good Practice
    1. Watching Blueprints
      1. Print String
    2. Auto-Save Recovery
    3. Organizing and Commenting
    4. Working in Separate Audio-only Levels
    5. Tips for Slow Running
  25. Index