Audio Middle Wares in a Programmer’s Perspective

Audio middle wares like FMod and Wwise are third party soft wares that let you implement audio in a much simpler fashion than hard-coding it into the game engine itself. In addition to being relatively simpler, they also give the user more advanced functionalities (like crossfading between sounds, dynamically changing pitch due to a game parameter, dynamically mixing the soundscape etc.) in an understandable user interface and without the need to code to get them. With this, the sound design of the game becomes what the sound designer wants and not what the programmer interprets from him so that the sound designer can take the actual ownership of the soundscape. The real attraction for the programmers in using middlewares is to achieve a bigger audio potential for the sound designer in a very time efficient way and in much more simpler code. If the game studio doesn’t have a dedicated audio tools programmer or a technical sound designer, middlewares become invaluable for the studio. There are stronger and weaker points of every audio middleware; but in this article my main focus will be Wwise as it is more directly applicable to the examples that I’m going to give.

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Interruptable Dialog System

Over the years of gaming one of the things that really bothered me and put me out of the game was the dialog not reacting to the environment and what’s happening. One particular example happened in the game Prince of Persia: Two Thrones as the prince and the dark prince continued talking while I was trying to fight enemies. It made me lose track of the conversation and that part of the story so I wanted to come up with a solution using the Wwise middleware and I’ve come up with this interruptable dialog system.

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Dynamic Ambience System

When I focused more on dynamic audio one of the things that I wanted to explore more is ambiences and how they change accordingly. To do that, I have developed an ambience system prototype that is relying less on the samples themselves and more on the diversity of variables and interaction of the RTPC’s. For this project I have categorized the city ambience into 5 categories...

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