Allacrost Demo Beta Testing

A discussion area for general design issues that staff would like detailed feedback on.

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gorzuate
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Postby gorzuate » Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:03 pm

Rain wrote:I agree with Josiah that the intro sfx and sword clink is very nice. I am listening to the pieces and it sounds like a lot of 'good' sound information is being lost from AIFF to OGG. For instance, only a portion of the treble information is getting through on the intro theme which is causing it to seem hollow and nasally...the other 2 mixes I have less issues with. (though they are far from perfect)


Do you feel the same way with the mp3s you post on the forum for us to listen to? Or is it just oggs that don't sound right (whether in-game or not)?
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Postby Roots » Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:54 pm

Technically sounds are supposed to be in .wav format, but for some reason the sword sfx are in .ogg format. :|
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Postby Rain » Sat Sep 23, 2006 1:11 am

gorzuate wrote:Do you feel the same way with the mp3s you post on the forum for us to listen to? Or is it just oggs that don't sound right (whether in-game or not)?


I just listened to the OGG and it sounds a helluva lot better than how it sounds implemented in the demo. It doesn't sound nearly as hollow... I am not sure why that is, though I am lead to believe that there may be some additional compression being done by the audio engine.
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Postby Roots » Sat Sep 23, 2006 1:30 am

Its probably because SDL_mixer isn't...that great of an audio library. Unfortunately that's all we've got right now as far as audio goes. We'll be using a different audio library in the future, which will hopefully eliminate the problems that you are hearing in the demo.
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Postby Rain » Sat Sep 23, 2006 1:38 am

Roots wrote:Its probably because SDL_mixer isn't...that great of an audio library. Unfortunately that's all we've got right now as far as audio goes. We'll be using a different audio library in the future, which will hopefully eliminate the problems that you are hearing in the demo.


Yea, I figured that might be the problem... I really just want the music to be represented properly so that it gets people interested in the demo. :) It just doesn't sound very professional right now though this issue isn't pressing enough be among our foremost concerns at the moment. Perhaps I am the only one noticing the downgrades in quality because I have become accustomed to the nuance and details of the sound while burning the midnight oil on many a night. :eyespin: :eyespin:
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Postby jsmith71 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:31 am

I didn't notice any loss of quality, myself... Though as you mentioned, that's probably because I didn't make the music and I'm not acquainted with how it originally sounded. I found I had the same issue with Lynn's Legacy when the music was first implemented; I thought it sounded like shit, but I guess no one else did and I eventually got used to it... :heh:

Anyway, using OGGs for sound effects shouldn't cause a noticeable loss in quality, unless it's on a very low setting. In Lynn's Legacy (sorry to use it as an example so much; it's just handy!) we used OGGs at very low quality, and while there was a drop in sound quality, the MASSIVE drop in size sort of negated that for us, since we were going for as small a package as possible. I think the main problem is that the in-game sound effects are just too quiet in this demo. The menu sounds seem fine though; I'd almost say they're a bit too loud.
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Postby Rain » Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:49 pm

Yea I hear you Josiah. Still if there is any pertinent audio data that is being left out, I can definitely hear it. I just hope we can get an audio engine going that keeps things relatively similarly sounding to the source.

A few things that are bugging me...

IMO, the 'encounter' SFX isn't working with the 'Confrontation' battle ogg very well. They are not melding at all. The sound quality is too different and they don't play off of each other very well because of it. I am wondering if it would be a better idea to include the encounter SFX with the confrontation music file (utilizing the battle tracks musical materials to aid in buildup) so there is less of a division between the quality of the sounds; In other words, maybe I can just include a newer version of 'confrontation' that includes a buildup at the very beginning to 'engage' the encounter instead of relying on a separate SFX track...does that make sense?

Also, I am not sure if it is a good idea for the musical track to reset back to the beginning after every battle. This could make the music get old faster in the listeners ears.

Just a few thoughts!
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Postby Roots » Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:53 pm

In response to Rain:

#1: I agree that (right now) the encounter SFX do not meld well with the Confrontation track

#2: I do not agree that the encounter sound should be included in the confrontation track itself, because I would prefer that we have more than one encounter sound to keep things from getting monotonous

#3: When our audio engine is in a more mature state, it will be easier to meld the sfx and music together

#4: When our audio engine is in a more mature state, we will be able to loop tracks in a more customized fashion, but until then we are stuck with either loop to beginning or no loop at all.


:)
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Postby Rain » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:51 am

Roots wrote:In response to Rain:

#1: I agree that (right now) the encounter SFX do not meld well with the Confrontation track

#2: I do not agree that the encounter sound should be included in the confrontation track itself, because I would prefer that we have more than one encounter sound to keep things from getting monotonous

#3: When our audio engine is in a more mature state, it will be easier to meld the sfx and music together

#4: When our audio engine is in a more mature state, we will be able to loop tracks in a more customized fashion, but until then we are stuck with either loop to beginning or no loop at all.


:)


1) Okay, thats something we can discuss in the sound department. :)

2) Just for reference and for personal study, can you name an RPG that has an 'encounter sound'?

3) Really? Interesting! How would this work? At any rate, I look forward to it.

4) Sounds good.

Thanks
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Postby gorzuate » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:01 am

Good news! It seems the OSX package works on x86 machines too :D :approve:
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Postby Jetryl » Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:15 am

Good news!
THE OS X PACKAGE WORKS FOR ME, NOW! :D

I just played allacrost for the first time ever! Hell yeah! :bow:



Gripes - ~/release/allacrost_demo_osx_0.1.0.zip

• The rate of random battles is absurd - I can't even talk to anyone, they happen so often. Apparently, this has been fixed, but no one's made a release with this in it, yet.
gorzuate wrote:Random battles do happen a lot in this demo, this has been fixed in Subversion. Also if you leave the computer for a while I would recommend pausing the game.

:devil: Fortunately, being the programmer-type, I can just edit "desert_cave.lua", and set the following to make those annoying battles go by-bye. Hint, hint - others can do this too.

Code: Select all

random_encounters = -1
encounter_rate = 1000

Laila wrote:Did you know that you can toggle off random encounters by pressing the swap key? (default: A)

Gosh, thanks laila. You're so helpful. :heh:

• The black line shows up for me, occasionally, but it's pretty intermittent, and doesn't interfere with anything. A visual defect, but not a show-stopper.

• Claudius did completely disappear when I talked to Marcus (the long dialogue with the "I am your father!" Vader joke). I had to cancel out of the game and restart. Not a big issue for the tech demo, but will be for any real "non-tech-demo" release.


Good things:
• Performance is smooth as silk! God, if only wesnoth was remotely like this (granted, wesnoth ain't bad, but you here are reaping the rewards of using OpenGL). I have a decent system, though it's getting long in the tooth - namely, I have a Dual 1.3ghz G4 (think of a 1.6-2.0 ghz P4, and you get a ballpark idea of the speed), with a Radeon 9600.

This means anyone with a decent system from the last several years should be able to run this fine, so long as their graphics card is correctly configured. (And the latter is required for basically any 3d game, so it's their fault if it's not.)

• Though Rain probably has legitimate complaints about the audio, nothing sounds bad about it. It's possible that it could sound notably better, but as far as I can tell it sounds decent to me. Anyone who plays it will be quite impressed with the music.

• The title effect is very well done. (Thanks, Viljami!)

• Many transitions between dialogs and such, sound/behave pretty polished for a tech demo.

• Everything was considerably more functional than I expected it to be - especially battle mode.


:approve: Way to freaking go, gentlemen (and ladies)! The future of this thing is looking up.
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Postby visage » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:06 pm

Well, thank god for prophile. I thought the PPC build would run on x86 (or else Apple would have a LOT of software to port).
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Postby Roots » Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:00 pm

If all goes well by the end of the day today, we'll be making our first public release. :) Thanks to everyone who helped us identify the issues that you encountered. This was the first of more to come. :D
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