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Posted by Daemonion on Oct 9th, 2012
Yes, damn it, I know this is posted out of order. Dev Diary 6 is still a WIP.
This dev diary can be summarized by the following question and picture: what does this sound like? Hm, like this, me thinks.
Ah, enter our old friend - white noise.
As I mentioned in an earlier video, white noise is needed in Shadow of Chernobyl to make the game world seem more alive and believable. Through the use of space restrictors and my ridiculous code to make them work properly, I can now designate any area of the game as a home to a specific sound once the player enters it.
My primary use for this feature is to give each building (but I will also be using it outside of buildings) an audible character that exists in the background to create a carefully constructed atmosphere. This serves two purposes - it prevents the game from ever being completely silent (as in complete digital silence), and it adds an incredible sense of immersion for the player. In other words, what you see is what you hear.
The code I wrote and mentioned above not only allows me to have buildings, bunkers, tunnels, caves, etc exhibit their own audible character (in sunny weather and stormy weather), but it also allows me to give each particular level a background ambiance (in sunny and stormy weather as well as day and night). So, each building will have two versions - a calm weather and a bad weather version (like I show with the bunker in this video) and each map will have a calm weather, bad weather, daytime and nighttime version. The Red Forest will sound completely different than Cordon, which will sound completely different than the Chernobyl NPP, and so on.
Honestly, this is the fun bit I have been trying to get to for over half a year. The old and Slavic X-Ray engine is cruel mistress, but I have almost all of my kinks worked out. The last big kink in my glorious master plan is writing a script to cross-fade (or at least fade) audio in Lua. If anyone can help with that, please contact me!
What does this all mean? In one sentence: dynamic and immersive audio not seen in any STALKER mod to date, Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky, Call of Pripyat or otherwise. This has never been done before, and you'll only see (hear?) it in LURK 1.2.
You know what also hasn't been done before? A complete, proprietary overhaul of STALKER's weapon audio using field recording. Guess who I got to spend time with last week? A full-auto AKS-74U.
Expect three more dev diaries by the end of October. Consider it my apology for being so damn busy these last few months.