Damian Kastbauer has sent a lot of good information about audio implementation on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Conan, with detailed videos and info about the technical aspects and process he used on that games.
He directed a presentation at Austin Game Developers Conference with David Collins, on the physics sounds and systems implemented on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. You can download the presentation slides, and if you want to go more deep… check this fantastic article by Jesse Harlin on Game Developer giving a great overview of the Physics sound where he outlines each of the systems, and some of the challenges we faced. Damian shared several videos showing the process with different types of sounds, environments, etc.
For the uninitiated, Conan is a brutal hack and slash combat game that combines scalable abilities upgrades with strategized battle interactions. You can get an overview of the gameplay in this article: Edge Review – Conan
I’m attempting an overview of the melee specific weapon system we implemented using FMOD Designer and other Nihilistic proprietary in-house tools. Throughout the process, the overarching goal was to add diversity and brutality to what is the main focus of the game. The use of content level variation, pitch and volume randomization, and elemental layering allowed us tomake the sounds of combat non-repetitive over the course of the game.
In the system that we built, weapons were able to perform the following actions:
- Blocked Break
- Blocked Heavy
- Blocked Light
- Hit Heavy
- Hit Light
In a game so heavily focused on combat where you spend each level mowing down enemies from start to finish, we knew that we had to make a combat system that reflected the core gameplay objective of giving the player diversity while making the sound varied enough to prevent fatigue.
Hit’s are defined as actions that impact an NPC and cause damage, and we were tracking both Light and Heavy hits.
We used a game parameter for surface type that was passed from the games collision detection to FMOD in order to track what surface was being impacted. The FMOD Event that was triggered was based on the weapon type being used by either the player or NPC and whether the hit was Heavy or Light or Deflected, it then received it’s material type parameter and jumped to it’s correct position within the FMOD event where it then layered the impact sound depending on weapon and material type.
Check the rest of the article at LostChocolateLab (Damian’s Blog)
There are a lot of videos showing the audio implementation process on Conan too, let’s see: