It’s a nice post on game audio tools.
I’ll go ahead and say that I agree to totally disagree with that.
To me it’s a huge loss when tools are lost. We are not at war. There is no war. We build things. I repeat, we build games and game audio. The better toolset we have, the better teams can make cool stuff. The more we can share our tools, the better. The web industry shows it to us all the freaking time: a nifty WordPress –which is an open cms engine, right- plugin? 15 people show up on the website to make it better.
250,000 websites will use that stuff. Some will pay for extra features some will get the basic version. That’s awesome. That’s how game development should be if we want to thrive because development is hard. Reinventing the wheel is such a waste of time, we don’t need to have another audio engine that fades in/out audio streams which is why news of Fmod and Wwise going free for small projects is awesome. We need(ed) game audio tool standards and those two do a great job.
Starting from scratch without looking around is a mistake. First, to think that it hasn’t been done perfectly before you is kind of a dick move. And second, it is just smart to use the best tools available out there! It’s about creativity, not about how your tool looks like, how many files it can handle or how low you can get that CPU meter while manipulating complex reverb settings for a 3D room. Fmod designer has never been perfect but hell, how awesome it is to type a couple of lines of code, to have a sound designer doing his thing and tada, it works as best as it could while the focus on sound design aesthetic is maximum. I like it. I like it a lot. I like like it.
It’s very weird to me how game audio tries so hard to look “tech” as if we were jealous of 3D and its shaders. The microphone, that very simple and elegant technology mostly hasn’t evolved since its inception. It works perfectly, shitty ass electret mics can do miracles. Y’all know that any under $200 netbook can play 24bit/192KHz? Audio tech is awesomely low profile but we act like we have problems when we don’t. We have massive power. We lack smart tools.
A lot of games don’t have hundreds of sounds (outside voiceover). Hotline Miami has a very memorable game audio that doesn’t rely on HDR, 3D audio or 7.1 output. The need for game audio tools is not in the “more tech, more complexity” but in the “we should rethink the way it works today, was there a tool solving that?”. We don’t do that enough.
When we lose knowledge, tools, problems-which-were-solved-but-not-anymore-because-the-tool-is-dead, that’s bad for us. iMUSE did things that we can’t do with audio engines 15, 20 years later. That’s extremely bad for us. We feel the lack of audio flexibility in AAA games. We feel the weight of audio streams in mobile and mid-sized games.
I’ll go ahead and ask developers to release their audio tools, regardless. For The Love Of The Game, Yo. Let’s share and innovate.