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- Additional Crowd variation(Whistles, horns, etc.)
- Extra Crowd noise
- Added wind sounds based on speed of player
- Trigger pressure for braking
- Extra braking sound file
- Modulation of various sounds to add more variation
The stretch from alpha to beta has mainly consisted of user testing and some changes based on said testing. Michael, Shane and Ronan focused on the formal testing process while I made changes based firstly on advice from feedback from the review panel and then from issues raised in both the formal and informal testing. These changes were mostly minor modifications to what already exists.
After the last presentation and meeting with members of the panel and the team we felt that on one run of the game the sounds were very similar to what would be heard at a run in a regular Downhill run at a competitive event. However, the only problems that seemed to exist were the lack of wind that would add to the immersion and make the game sound more realistic, and the somewhat repetitive nature of the sounds.
Firstly I began to modify the crowd sound cues to have more variation by adding in some more whistles, horns and bells, adding an extra randomiser in the sound cue extending the length of the sounds and making them activate slightly earlier.
Next I addressed the issue of the repetitive braking. I added an extra sound file for the braking sound cue and added a constant modulator and randomiser to make sure that it was different every time that the player brakes. I also adjusted the activation so that the volume was based off the braking speed as well as pressure sensitivity of the trigger. That way the loudest of braking sounds are only heard when the player brakes hard while going fast.
With the success of the modulation of the braking I also added this to the wind sound that I added based on the players speed and some more of the crowd sounds which allows the overall soundscape to have a lot more variation.
- Alpha Presentation
This week all we did was present the game to the review panel. There were a few problems with slides not working properly and the clicker not working all of the time but apart from that everyone put in a good performance I feel.
There were very few complaints about the game. One was about the notification sound that plays when the split time appears, this was an oversight on my part as I had put the sound in as a test and forgot to replace it before the submission. Otherwise the response seemed to be fairly positive.
- Presentation Slides
- Presentation Preparation
This week there was nothing more that I needed to add to the alpha version of the game as I had ensured I had all I needed to include in last week to allow the others to finish their tasks, as well as being away for the end of last week and the beginning of this week. For that reason all I had to do for this week was compile a list of what I had done so far, and what I plan on doing going forward to beta. I also decided what I wanted to talk about for the presentation.
As a team we discussed how we would go about the presentation and who would be doing what for it.
- New Bike Sounds
- Bike sounds varying with speed
- Additional terrain sound collisions
- Volume Rebalancing
The tasks chosen this week were chosen for 2 reasons. I needed to get all of my work for the release done this week as I am going away next week as well as the fact that most of the work coincided with a Sound Implementation CA that is due this weekend.
I began the weeks work by working on the terrain changes. I began working on this while in the room with the rest of the team as I wanted to bounce ideas off them. I experimented with using transparent BSP objects as it would mould better to the track than just using trigger boxes and it would also mean that there wasn't a massive amount of boxes on the level. I chose the gravel as the base because most people would be trying their best to stay within the track and it would mean the least switching, so I lined the grass along the start of the track with boxes as well as the end to represent a grass change. There was also terrain changes on the rock garden and jump as well as the start platform.
Next was the recording of additional bike sounds, this was done as part of my sound implementation CA and I wanted to have varying bike speed sounds. the recording was done partly with a Blue Yeti Microphone and my mobile phone. The sounds recorded included braking, pedalling and multiple terrain types.
After the recording I had to do some editing to take out background noise as well as a high pass filter to eliminate as much wind from the sounds as possible.
After the processing of the sounds was finished I proceeded to implementing the sounds into the game. Most of the changes came in the Hover bike, using the enum that I had put in the game before for the terrains to select which sound to play. The Bike changes were implemented by having 3 speed cues, which are selected based on the bikes speed between 3 ranges, (0-500), (500-1000) and (1000+) with the masx speed of the bike coming in at around 1550.
- Track-side crowd sounds
- Bug fix: Start sounds
This week I had much less to do than last week. the reason for this is that most of the work that I have left to do requires access to the game level which has to be rationed out among most of the group so I felt with the work being done this week by others in the group and the hours I had I would only be able to dedicate 6-7 hours to the game at the weekend which is the slot in which I normally have access to the level. For this reason I decided to implement the track-side crowds. This included the crowds at the start of the race as well as a few crowd pockets around the main obstacles.
These sounds stem currently from 3 different audio files which vary in amount of people duration and enthusiasm. I expect to add much more variation as well as dialogue into the crowds in a future release. The crowds are activated by trigger volumes placed on the track before they come up and are attenuated so that they fade out based on how far away you are so if someone is travelling slowly they will hear the crowd for longer and someone going very fast will cease to hear them quicker.
This work was fairly simple the main difficulty was in tweaking the attenuation of each to make sure the sounds weren't heard too far away or faded too soon.
The bug fix mentioned above was discovered just before the proof of concept whereby if a player was to hold the trigger to start the bike before the starter went, the sound of pedalling wouldn't start until after the player had pressed the brake for the first time. I fixed this by putting in a boolean that checks if the trigger is held before the starter and if it is an event fires which starts the sound.