CubeSounds Prototype

published Wednesday, 13 April 2011, 00:00 by Kenneth

One thing which has always annoyed me in many games is the fact that sounds are originating from a single point. While realistic in itself it often doesn't sound realistic... So why not fix it?...

Point Sound Source

In real life sounds usually originate from a single point like a trumpet, a mouth, the beak of a bird or the various parts in a car-engine.

But when you listen to a highway or other "linear" sound-sources you don't hear the individual cars and it's even more impossible to hear the individual parts in the car-engines.

Game engines usually only gives you point-sourced sounds to work with, so to create for instance a river, you need to do something like I did in the Unity example below. I've placed a number of point sound-sources in the middle of the river with some spacing. Notice how the sound is "uneven" when you walk from one point-sound to another, and you never really feel like you are standing in the river.

Point-Sourced Sounds Example
This example is a bit exaggerated to prove my point (yup - that's how I do things ;-).

Linear, Cubic or other Sound Sources

So I've made a simple prototype to emulate linear sound-sources (in this case it's actually a loooong cube, but it can also be other geometrical shapes).

This way I can make a river sound more "realistic" by letting the sound of the river "follow" the character along the edge of the river and when you walk into the river I gently slide the sound from mono to stereo, so it sounds like you are surrounded by the river instead of using mono/point-sounds like in the first example...

And all of this by using only one stereo sound-source instead of multiple mono sound-sources like I did in the first example.

Cube-Sourced Sounds Prototype
This gives a more realistic experience of the river

And it was actually made with very few lines of code in Unity (all power to Unity!!!).

 

Cheers,
Kenneth


Comments

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3 years, 8 months ago

I approve *thumbs up* :D

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3 years, 8 months ago

Eargasm!

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3 years, 8 months ago

It's amazing stuff like this that makes you guys so awesome.

Keep this stuff comin'.

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3 years, 8 months ago

Seems like a nice innovative way to add some realism and the effects are clearly quite substantial. Good job!

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3 years, 8 months ago

Nice work your idea really makes a difference.

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3 years, 8 months ago

Test it on headphones, 2.0 and 4.1 sound systems. Everywhere i feel difference and like Split_Second says: "Eargasm!" :D

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3 years, 8 months ago

The sky is rendered in Vue ;D
Love the examples. My knowledge on sound in games are very limited. This is really interesting.
I begin to more consciously listen to the sound in games. I already have some games that feature rivers/beaches that I want to check out again and see how the sound works there.

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3 years, 8 months ago

Very nice. My PC's 5.1 surround came to life compared to the point sourced example.

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3 years, 8 months ago

so in fact the proper solution is simple as well as elegant. I really miss any sort of doppler effect in games(yes there are many racers without it) and combining it with the lame approach would show how bad the games really are. Just make sure the game has good sounds, loudness and reverbs to match.

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3 years, 8 months ago

There is a real difference!

If all the little things in I.M. are like this, then we will get one of the greatest games of all time.

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3 years, 8 months ago

I'm going to have to get me some 4.1 headphones now...

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3 years, 8 months ago

Cool ! ...

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3 years, 8 months ago

You guys are geniuses. I really, really wish I had enough to offer that I could work with you guys.

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3 years, 8 months ago

this is gonna be the best sounding game ever made. and whit the fun from bullseye and runing man. its gonna be a great game..... if its ever et dune.. keep up the good work :)

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3 years, 8 months ago

Get "Failed to load Unity.dll". Anyone know what the problem may be?

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3 years, 8 months ago

holi £"%"£$" this sounds awesome on my surround headset taking about immersive its almost like i have a fountain in my room XD

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3 years, 8 months ago

cant her with my 7.1 headset any difference between the 2 examples

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3 years, 8 months ago

Very nice cant wait to see this in IM.

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3 years, 8 months ago

Well, I have a Fubar IV headphone amplifier with Sennheiser HD650 headphones and there's a clear difference between those 2 examples. In other words, the 2nd one is far better. IM is going to have the best sound design ever :-)

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3 years, 8 months ago

TOTALLY BRILLIANT!

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3 years, 8 months ago

Clap Clap Clap Very good I am so impressed by that :D

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3 years, 8 months ago

It's nice you're letting the community have such an insight in your work. And of course the examples are well given, too.
I also like the way you present that, using the Unity Web Player instead of just posting videos or samples.

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3 years, 8 months ago

Very well done. Your solution is simple, elegant, and by what I see, may use less resources, and certainly less sound sources, but with greater effect. This goes toward better immersion, and a better product while making it a bit lighter on the machine.

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3 years, 8 months ago

I can't get the demo's to work. When I hit play they just vanish

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3 years, 8 months ago

Glad to see that you guys are caring about sound.

5 bucks for ingenuity.

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3 years, 8 months ago

Praetorian guard: What browser do you have?

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3 years, 8 months ago

Aha! Jumping reveals your secret! very cunning sir;)

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3 years, 8 months ago

ClaymoreMD: Firefox 4

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3 years, 8 months ago

@preatorianguard
Well there's your problem right there.
Stop using Firefox Beta, Unity support is bugged.
Use 3.6

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3 years, 8 months ago

@Split_Second Firfox 4 is not any more in beta. And it works fine for me.

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3 years, 8 months ago

Very interesting. I never would have thought about moving sound sources!

Also Firefox4 worked fine for me, and it was released in late March, so no longer Beta.

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3 years, 8 months ago

great work; simple and powerfull.

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3 years, 8 months ago

Well it doesn't work for me. Even tried uninstalling Unity and at that point I get the prompt to install Unity again when I try to play them. But the second its done installing it just "blanks" again >_<

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3 years, 8 months ago

If you got problems with Unity, just try out all the different browser. 1 of them will probably work.

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3 years, 8 months ago

Nice work :)

Keep it coming!

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3 years, 8 months ago

I like it, kudos to you. :D

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3 years, 8 months ago

Really cool!

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3 years, 8 months ago

Magnifico.

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3 years, 7 months ago

this is pretty good

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3 years, 4 months ago

I loved everything within the tests and the previews, like The Vault, Bullseye, and Running Man. I can tell this game is going to be great, I'm interested in game design also, what I do is create the basic map in 3D Game Studio and models in 3D Studio Max, and then move them into Unity, it works most effective. Photoshop CS5 Extended is good for making textures and sky boxes, also if you use 3D Studio Max to create a model working with Photoshops' 3D abilities it works most affective for creating stuff quickly, but with minimal glitches, then you just work all the physics and stuff out. 3D Studio Max is also great for creating foliage, using stuff like that allows you to create good 3D games pretty quickly then all you have to do is work out the physics and programming in Unity.

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