As noted last week, we’ve been a little hamstrung by the Russian May holidays (over a week off, you lucky Russians!) and as such improvements and fixes to the client-side zombies we were testing last week will predominantly be on next week’s menu.
Client ownership should be the last largescale technical hurdle the guys face, and details on what’s being done and why can be found here.
As such, this week’s Thursdoid will be a Noiseworks SFX special – which will be of relief to those who aren’t interested in MP, but of irritation to those who are. Our apologies to anyone put out, but hopefully you’ll still share our enthusiasm for some of the cool stuff that’s being laid out below.
As we’ve mentioned before, Noiseworks are operating separately from the main team – with only occasional requests for us to put new hooks into the game where there weren’t any previously. None of this is slowing anything else down, so don’t fret on that account. Our thanks to Michael and Matteo from Noiseworks for their help with this week’s blog.
Right now in the game versions you’re playing there are around 72 different sounds available for an individual footstep.
When the Noiseworks overhaul is merged in there will be 3044.
Why so many? Well.. the game will take into account what surface you (or your friends) are walking on.
There are ten main surface types: Concrete, Grass, Gravel, Puddle, Snow, Wood, Carpet, Dirt, Sand, Ceramic and another surface category that’s essentially ‘footsteps heard upstairs’.
On top of this the new sound system will also take into account what sort of shoes you are wearing – if any. There are different sounds for each surface dependent on whether you are barefoot, wearing boots, or wearing more standard sneakers/shoes.
Then on top of *this* each footwear type has been recorded in four different performances: a Sneak footstep, a Walk footstep, a Run footstep, and a Sprint footstep.
And in amongst all of the above? Well there’s also dry and wet versions for external sounds that depend on the RainIntensity values, and likewise surface modifiers for walking on glass and through puddles.
When you mix it all in with the rest of the SFX (like additional water drop impact details on harder surfaces like concrete) then it truly is, as the kids are told we say, ‘immersive af’.
Here’s a vid!
Please note this is ALL work in progress, being heard without the full soundscape, will have volumes balanced, has an occasional audible ‘double footstep’ bug that will need a fix etc. etc.
We previously shared an ambiance video in which the natural world of Kentucky can be heard in amongst the various weather and world effects. What we didn’t say, though, was what was being heard and how.
Here it is reposted in all its glory.
Essentially here we have a range of different mammals and bird species, all residents of Kentucky, that can be heard through the world. Their unseen location is completely dynamic, and spawned around the player randomly.
Each species sound has a different chance of playing that’s based on when you’d hear them in real life – so it depends on the season, the time of day and which ‘map zone area’ you are in: forest, deep forest, town, vegetation/field, close to water etc.
On top of this each different map zone has different ‘insect noise’ sound beds that depends on the time of day, while there are also random birds that will be heard in particular randomly assigned trees that are appropriate to your location.
Right now animals and bird sounds will start to peter out when the weather changes, or the wind picks up – and in future we would like the noise of gunfire (for example) to prompt noises of birds taking flight.
(Beyond this too, we would clearly like these sounds attached to real/seen birds and beasts – but we’re clearly not at this point yet.)
Right now Noiseworks have sourced around 70% of the bird/beast noises we need (some might be harder to find than others) but hooks are already present for all of ‘em.
Here’s the current bird list so you can get an idea of the breadth we’re aiming for: Wild Turkey, Grebe, Pigeon, Cuckoo, Sandhill Crane, Gull, Loon, Heron, Hawk, Eagle, Owl, Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Kingbird, Shrike, Vireo, Bluejay, Lark, Swallow, Nuthatch, Winter Wren, Kinglet, Thrush, Catbird, Mockingbird, Sparrow, Grosbeak, Longspur, Bunting, Oriole, Warbler, Quail, Crow and Raven.
Next, we go over to Noiseworks’ Sound Designer Matteo Lupieri for the lowdown on how weather ties to the new soundscape.
“The weather system was an interesting one to work on!” explains Matteo. “We needed to take into consideration that as weather intensity changes with more wind and more rain, the whole world surrounding the player should be heard to react.”
“So when in a forest, the rustle of grass and trees can be heard increasing with wind intensity – and raindrops hitting the canopy will get louder and busier as the rain gets heavier. You will also hear trees creaking, and branches snapping and falling during storms.”
“We’ve also thought of the equivalent sounds in urban areas – so in towns you’ll hear metal signs squeaking and creaking more and more based on the wind intensity. Similarly, lakes and rivers will get agitated and start to form audible waves with stronger and stronger winds”.
Next time we do a Noiseworks update we can inform on the current car noises (which we haven’t heard ourselves yet), the zed noises themselves (which we are being very annoying and prima-donnaish about) and the situational music revamp (which amaze-o Zach Beever is back in touch about and supplying original multitracks for).
It’s all super exciting and, we hope, interesting enough to warrant a blog while Yuri and Andrei are off on their Russian holidays.
This week’s Zeddy Mercury from TM_Monkey on Reddit. A changelist of all IWBUMS patches since the 41 beta was released can be found here. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless dev blogs for info. The Centralized Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send you update notifications once builds get released. We also live on Twitter right here! Our Discord is open for chat and hijinks too!