Below are some examples of game and VR sound design projects. Also check my Youtube journal for frequent updates on work in progress. For linear media such as film, documentary and animation, visit sonogents.com/projects.
VR Game Audio Compilation
This video shows a compilation of some of the VR game projects I’ve been working on over the past two years. It includes a dynamic audio spline system for large ambient sound sources, a driving and adaptive collision system, and much more. As I haven’t exactly been sitting still recently, consider it a little tease for new content coming soon to this page.
Unity/Fabric – Viking Village
Unity/FMOD – Viking Village: Day 1
Today I felt like doing something different, and started working on a little Unity demo project, using FMOD as middleware and Steam Audio for spatialisation. On this first day I created and implemented footsteps, some foley, a simple music track and a couple of ambient sounds.
Another BattleTank Update including Unreal’s granular synthesizer
Watch the latest gameplay footage incl. fatter explosions and updated firing and damage sounds here.
Besides overall gameplay, this update shows a couple of new and updated sound systems. Ambient sound zones now adapt to in-game time of day and small groups of time-sensitive crickets have been added at several spots in the level. Next I’ve tweaked many driving and mechanic sounds, and added sweeteners such as rattles and rumbles to them.
Under the hood, performance has been significantly improved by refactoring UI components to update in an event based fashion and reworking inheritance and dependencies of military units and AI controllers.
Battle Tank Update: Driving Mechanics and much more
Another update of the Battle Tank project has arrived. Last week I’ve implemented more tank driving mechanic sounds, including auto-braking, landing/skidding and suspension. I also started iterating through some of the sounds, added more ambiences and some graphic effects and UI improvements, including a minimap.
For the next update I’ll improve performance and VR steering and tweak and/or replace some sounds that are already in the game. Also on the agenda are a collision system similar to the one in Building Escape (see below on this page), but with an extra friction component and more variation in ambience sounds. Finally I’ll start working on the dynamic sound mix.
As a quick recap I’m building this game in UE4 as part of an Unreal C++ development course on udemy.com. Unlike Building Escape (see below), for which I used Audiokinetic Wwise, I’m implementing the sound for this game purely in the Unreal editor, using Steam Audio for spatialiation.
Battle Tank Update: VR, Machine Guns and more…
Take a look at the first update video on the progress I made on this game. VR is now fully working, so this whole is showing off VR gameplay. Driving has become much smoother and easier to steer, and AI has become a bit smarter, more varied and more challenging. The sound is becoming more exciting, with added machine guns, voices, damage warnings, and some tweaks of the already implemented sounds. Besides updated non-VR gameplay, the next update will feature collision sounds, more exciting ambience, improved UI and much more, so stay stuned…
Battle Tank: UE4 native audio implementation and Steam Audio spatialisation
‘Battle Tank’ is the second game I’m developing in Unreal Engine 4 as part of an Unreal C++ course.
After building the basic game following the course curriculum, I expanded the level design and ennemy AI. I added various features, such as lasers to temporarily immobilise ennemy tanks, randomly respawning pick ups, and airplanes for additional over-the-head moving sound effects. Moreover I adapted the game for VR, and last but not least created the in-game sound.
I implemented the audio directly in the Unreal engine. This way I could use Steam Audio for (binaural) spatialisation, and embed the audio in the most direct and flexible way to develop responsive and immersive sound design. E.g., the tank movement sound system is driven (pun intended) by several distinct mechanisms, such as left and right engine thrusts, actual tank velocity and track roll. As I was able to test, rethink, debug and tweak the implementation alongside designing the actual sounds, setting this up was a matter of hours. However, working this out in tandem with a game developer might be a logistic nightmare and severe leak of resources, especially if we wouldn’t be in the same room during the entire process. The same applies to camera dependant sound composition of shells firing, consistent timing of recharging events during the sound design process, spatialisation and so on.
- Once again this shows benefits of having your sound designer or sound team handle the sound programming and implementation, wether you’re an independent developer or big budget studio. In the end it will free up precious time and resources to spend on discussing and tuning the actual sounds and the role they play in the game.
This video demonstrates the current state of the gameplay and audio implementation. It will be updated as the game and sound design progress.
Building Escape: exploring UE4 game development, Wwise integration, spatial audio and VR
‘Building Escape’ is part of an Unreal C++ game development course I’m currently taking.
After building the start of the game level and writing the first blocks of code, I integrated Wwise and started adding sound events to the game. I implemented footsteps for the player’s pawn and layed out ambience triggers and beds. Striving for a high level of immersion, I set up object interaction and collision taking into account object properties such as mass and velocity as well as surface materials. Although there’s quite some refining and iteration to do, the first results sound rather promising in my opinion.
Next, I hooked up my Oculus Rift to the game and set up the Touch thumbsticks to move around. Playing the game with a VR head tracking device called for true spatial audio. So, on top of the worldizing I had set up earlier, I looked at different audio spatialisation tools available and found Google’s Resonance Audio to be the best fit for my current scenario.
I hope you enjoy the video (don’t forget to put on your headphones!). If you do, stay tuned for regular updates, as this will be work in progress for a while… 😉
360° Video Demo
Above is an example of a soundtrack for a 360° video. The sound was created in Pro Tools using Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation and an Oculus Rift headset. In the video on the left you can hear the entire soundscape. The right one takes you through the different sound stems or layers that where designed to create a rich immersive experience. Video is courtesy of pond5.com.