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Listen! Do you smell something?
April 8th 2008, 02:18 CEST by TreeFrog

Swelling orchestral scores in games have been on the up-and-up for years now, but how many can you think of that really paid attention to their sound effects? The only one that springs to my mind is S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - despite its many and varied failures it was atmospheric as all hell, partly due to the appropriate and restrained creepy background noises.

This fellow shows how serious developers can get about SFX if they're willing to put in the time. Could this be a way for games to differentiate themselves, given the increasing commoditisation of graphics? Do enough people have speaker setups that would allow them to appreciate that level of detail? Or are we sentenced to FOOTSTEP_ON_CONCRETE_2 for eternity?
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#1 by yotsuya
2008-04-08 02:32:36
Sound effects? Deus Ex.
#2 by TreeFrog
2008-04-08 02:36:06
Never did get round to playing that. Does it stand the test of time, or would it seem a bit anachronistic now?
#3 by CheesyPoof
2008-04-08 02:38:58
It's pure distilled awesome still.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#4 by TreeFrog
2008-04-08 02:59:35
It goes on the list then. could be a while yet, I've got Oblivion GOTY staring at me from a shelf.

Also, yay topic! I feel validated.

I'm playing Morrowind at the moment, and as much as I'm enjoying it, the world feels awfully sterile. It's not like there's nothing going on, but the FX are sorely lacking.
#5 by gaggle
2008-04-08 03:02:04
I guess gabe is back? Thanks(gabe.com).


From reviews and descriptions I understand that Uncharted features fancy 7.1 digital audio and whatnot, supposedly makes for a pretty gosh darned swell experience. If you got the equipment. Which, of course, is the rub. I don't know if I represent an ordinary user, but I certainly don't have a sophisticated surround setup. I can do stereo, and that's about where the party stops.

"the accusations are such nonsense that I have found it difficult to treat them with the contempt that they deserve." - Clarke
#6 by Chunkstyle
2008-04-08 04:03:28
Morrowind?  Bleh.

Game Developers: Don't forget the zombie monkeys.
#7 by Chunkstyle
2008-04-08 04:06:41
On topic, I rarely pay attention to sound in games, other than voice acting.

Game Developers: Don't forget the zombie monkeys.
#8 by Ergo
2008-04-08 04:09:35
All three Thief games stand out for me in the sound design dept. More recently, Oblivion.

Invention is the Green Goblin of Necessary Lemonade.

--Flowers
#9 by gaggle
2008-04-08 04:13:38
#7 by Chunkstyle
On topic, I rarely pay attention to sound in games, other than voice acting.

What about movies? Same, different, hm?

"the accusations are such nonsense that I have found it difficult to treat them with the contempt that they deserve." - Clarke
#10 by Chunkstyle
2008-04-08 06:40:36
Movies are completely different, I pay attention to the sounds and love a good sound effect.

Game Developers: Don't forget the zombie monkeys.
#11 by CheesyPoof
2008-04-08 06:49:05
I liked the 3d sound in HL when I had my old MX300 card. Ah, those were the days. I still only have a 4.1 on my PC, but I don't know that surround sound is used as effectively as it was back then. Such as it is I don't even bother to turn on my receiver with the 360 and listen via the TV speakers.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#12 by Squeaky
2008-04-08 08:00:15
#8 by Ergo

All three Thief games stand out for me in the sound design dept. More recently, Oblivion.

Oh god yes. The Cradle has the best sound design I've ever experienced in a video game. The sound in that creeped me out so much that it took me a couple of weeks to finish that level (blah blah, pansy whatever). The fact that there wasn't even a single enemy in the first part of the level is really a testament to great sound design.

#13 by Ergo
2008-04-08 08:16:35
Oh, agreed completely. The Cradle is one of the best designed levels of any video game, ever, both visually and aurally. The game is worth playing just for that level alone.

Invention is the Green Goblin of Necessary Lemonade.

--Flowers
#14 by lwf
2008-04-08 08:29:46
I too had an mx300 and four speakers, it was awesome. Eventually I got too lazy to set up all the speakers. I guess sound it's that important.

When you look at all the observations, calculations, and analysis that has gone into astrology, religion and mysticism make astrology look like an exact science. Wii.
#15 by TreeFrog
2008-04-08 11:06:49
Vista breaking DirectSound 3D and EAX didin't really do much for the promotion of surround setups for PCs. It's sad - a game is a far more natural place for surround sound than a film (since you have control of the POV), but I haven't played many games that make decent use of it.
#16 by None-1a
2008-04-08 13:05:53
Vista's biggest problem for surround sound wasn't breaking DirectSound 3D and EAX, it's that no API was released to fully use the new sound engine until recently. Doing environmental effects with custom software DSPs rather then through EAX has the nice advantage of not needing a $100 sound card to get the full experiance (remember creative has a nasty habit of not really including hardware effect support on their cheaper cards). Now that Xaudio2 has finally shown up we should be seeing some games useing it before too long.
#17 by McBain
2008-04-08 13:06:36
stuff white people like

#18 by lwf
2008-04-08 13:26:29
Racist.

When you look at all the observations, calculations, and analysis that has gone into astrology, religion and mysticism make astrology look like an exact science. Wii.
#19 by TreeFrog
2008-04-08 15:26:38
Do licensable engines like Source have their own sound engines, or is that separate? if it's integrated, licensors like Valve will have a bit of incentive to write Xaudio2 code, and there's a better chance of existing Source-based games getting their 3D sound back on Vista.
#20 by Matt Perkins
2008-04-08 17:31:01
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Know what game has great sound and it uses it really well to immerse you into the experience? CoD4.

Also, while not really a sound effect, I love the random voices in Company, especially the expansion. Going to capture a gas depot as the Brits? The company commander tells one of the asshats not to smoke a cig next to the god damn fuel tank! Just little touches like that make the game feel more alive to me.

"Thug means never having to say you're sorry." - UTurn
#21 by jjohnsen
2008-04-08 18:05:38
http://www.johnsenclan.com
I agree with COD 4, great sound and I was only playing on stereo.  Bioshock was also very immersive even in stereo.

#22 by Fugazi(werking)
2008-04-08 18:06:37
Both of those games sound great with headphones.

#23 by Shadarr
2008-04-08 19:52:18
shadarr@gmail.com http://digital-luddite.com
Racist.

You misspelled seen it.

Witnesses in the house heard Jones say "why did you pee on me Pooh Bear?" A few moments later, the witness heard the son say "Mama you done stabbed me."
#24 by Matt Perkins
2008-04-08 20:17:44
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Bioshock had good sound, but it started to sound all the same a few hours in. Not enough variation.

"Thug means never having to say you're sorry." - UTurn
#25 by yotsuya
2008-04-08 20:18:21
Didn't he post that before?
#26 by CheesyPoof
2008-04-08 20:23:52
Squeaky posted it, IIRC.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#27 by Shadarr
2008-04-08 21:13:10
shadarr@gmail.com http://digital-luddite.com
It might've been me.  I definitely saw it on qt3 and then talked about it here, but I don't remember whether I did the original link.

Witnesses in the house heard Jones say "why did you pee on me Pooh Bear?" A few moments later, the witness heard the son say "Mama you done stabbed me."
#28 by Greg
2008-04-08 21:28:38
I've definitely seen it here or (gasp) in IRC, because I don't read qt3 except when someone posts link that usually is drama-filled.

|^^^^^^^^^^^^ |||__
|  こんにちは              | ||'|"\,__.
|_..._...______===|=||_|__|...,]
(@)'(@)"""*|(@)*(@)*****(@)
#29 by Squeaky
2008-04-08 21:29:54
If only there were some sort of tool, a search function, a sifter to find this crap?

#30 by Squeaky
2008-04-08 21:31:53
Thanks, Jibble!

#31 by Matt Perkins
2008-04-08 21:34:26
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Isn't that like the 3rd or 4th time we've had linked just here? Maybe I'm thinking of IRC too. It has some funny stuff, but a fair amount of it seems like filler.

"Thug means never having to say you're sorry." - UTurn
#32 by CheesyPoof
2008-04-08 21:39:40
Squeaky, Shadarr, meh. An S named Canadian, they all look the same, I can't tell them apart.

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#33 by Shadarr
2008-04-08 21:49:13
shadarr@gmail.com http://digital-luddite.com
Squeaky, Shadarr, meh. An S named Canadian, they all look the same, I can't tell them apart.

Cunt you, fuck!

Witnesses in the house heard Jones say "why did you pee on me Pooh Bear?" A few moments later, the witness heard the son say "Mama you done stabbed me."
#34 by CheesyPoof
2008-04-08 22:08:54
Don't you have a job stocking shelves that you have to get to?

<Hugin_len> Basically, cheesy doesn't have awful taste in music, he's simply very white.
#35 by lwf
2008-04-08 22:10:06
Shadarr is the one who makes six figures but lives on a shoestring budget.

When you look at all the observations, calculations, and analysis that has gone into astrology, religion and mysticism make astrology look like an exact science. Wii.
#36 by TreeFrog
2008-04-08 22:25:25
You got your Canadians in my game audio topic!
#37 by None-1a
2008-04-08 22:46:24
#19 by TreeFrog
Do licensable engines like Source have their own sound engines, or is that separate?


Most turn key engines should have sound, which likely means things like Source, Unreal, and Crysis should come with something. Granted licensing the engine alone probably won't be the prime motivator for using xaudio2 rather it'll be the cross platform with the 360 thing that'll push it. I'd imagine quite a few cross platform developers and engines will want to stick with Microsoft APIs when doing 360 games rather then try spliting between xaudio2 and OpenAL or attempting to use OpenAL on the 360.
#38 by Shadarr
2008-04-08 22:55:05
shadarr@gmail.com http://digital-luddite.com
Shadarr is the one who makes six figures but lives on a shoestring budget.

That's a fair distortion.

You got your Canadians in my game audio topic!

Game audio is of no interest to Canadians since we can barely hear anything over the constant blizzard anyway.

Witnesses in the house heard Jones say "why did you pee on me Pooh Bear?" A few moments later, the witness heard the son say "Mama you done stabbed me."
#39 by FoRmaT
2008-04-08 22:56:11
Speaking of Blizzard, I'm having hopes StarCraft 2 might restore some of my interest in RTS games.

"Action stars of two decades ago shot .44 bullets out of their cocks. Honestly, if me and Charles Bronson were in the same room I'd kill myself just to make sure he didn't hurt me."
#40 by Shadarr
2008-04-08 22:57:54
shadarr@gmail.com http://digital-luddite.com
I thought that about Rise of Nations.  I was wrong.

Witnesses in the house heard Jones say "why did you pee on me Pooh Bear?" A few moments later, the witness heard the son say "Mama you done stabbed me."
#41 by FoRmaT
2008-04-08 23:09:25
The last three RTS games I got to try were:

C&C 3: very pretty. Fun and easy enough even for me. I love C&C's FMV sequences!

Supreme Commander: played for like two minutes because it ran at about three FPS on my AMD64 3200+ with a 6800 Ultra. Very unpretty when zoomed out. Not going to upgrade for a frigging RTS game, dammit! Even Crysis ran ok on this thing!

Maelstrom: Played on the first level for about five minutes. Seemed very, very atmospheric and a bit eery. Pretty graphics. Chugged a bit on my system too, though.

I guess I don't really need many more RTS games besides C&C titles. There wasn't a single one of them that I played and didn't enjoy. The most notable exeption is Total Annihilation. I like Emperor - Battle for Dune quite a lot, too, but I guess that's to be expected, considering it's a Westwood (R.I.P.) game.

"Action stars of two decades ago shot .44 bullets out of their cocks. Honestly, if me and Charles Bronson were in the same room I'd kill myself just to make sure he didn't hurt me."
#42 by jjohnsen
2008-04-08 23:48:18
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Is C& C pretty simple?  I'm sick of buying RTS's and only being able to play half the campaign because I'm so bad at it.

#43 by Fugazi(werking)
2008-04-08 23:51:25
C&C 3 is really straightforward. I am having quite a bit of fun with it and the expansion and I am not a crazy ass RTS guy. I like the Mechapede!

#44 by FoRmaT
2008-04-08 23:58:50
jj, yes it's easy to pick up. You might want to check out Ground Control 2 also, which I remember being lovely, too.

"Action stars of two decades ago shot .44 bullets out of their cocks. Honestly, if me and Charles Bronson were in the same room I'd kill myself just to make sure he didn't hurt me."
#45 by Squeaky
2008-04-09 08:40:48
Dawn of War: Dark Crusade is one of the best RTS games evar.

#46 by Matt Perkins
2008-04-09 17:16:54
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
If you don't like RTSes, C&C 3 is for you. It's a pure tank rush game...more of an action game than a strategy game.


If you're looking for good squad based strategy, I'd suggest Company of Heroes. It's good shit.

"Thug means never having to say you're sorry." - UTurn
#47 by Matt Perkins
2008-04-09 17:20:06
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Squeaky (#45):
Dawn of War: Dark Crusade is one of the best RTS games evar.

I'd have to disagree, having played DoW before they fucked the game up with patches. If you look at the game pre-patched and what they did with it by the time Dark Crusade came out it becomes extremely obvious not only does Relic have no real idea how to balance a game, they don't really know what they want from the game long term when they release it. By the time Dark Crusade came around they had drastically altered the way the game was played...instead of it being like Age of Mythology:Titans, it became more generic RTS.

That's being kinda harsh on Relic, but I'm a bit fanboish about their games and the original had such promise before they patched most of it out.

"Thug means never having to say you're sorry." - UTurn
#48 by FoRmaT
2008-04-09 17:50:24
Matt,

up to what patch can you safely go without fucking it up?

"Action stars of two decades ago shot .44 bullets out of their cocks. Honestly, if me and Charles Bronson were in the same room I'd kill myself just to make sure he didn't hurt me."
#49 by jjohnsen
2008-04-09 17:51:04
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Company of Heroes is another one I loved but wasn't great at.  I got about 1/3 of the way through before not having a chance.  If C&c 3 is tank rush, it's probably more my style.

#50 by FoRmaT
2008-04-09 17:59:40
Just like me with the Commandos series. I've got all of them, I love them, but I think the farthest I only ever got was game one, mission two. I get nervous and fuck everything up while playing those games.

"Action stars of two decades ago shot .44 bullets out of their cocks. Honestly, if me and Charles Bronson were in the same room I'd kill myself just to make sure he didn't hurt me."
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