0 A.D. Audio Development I signed on as Sound Designer for this Historical RTS currently in production at WildFireGames called 0 A.D. ("zero ay-dee") in March of 2005.
If this is your first time here, you can start at the beginning, and then work your way forward though the archive links. -------------------------------------------------------
Thursday, February 22, 2007
0 A.D. Game Trailer
A trailer has been posted showing an in-engine pan across a scripted land far away.
Music by Boris, and Sound Design by Carsten.

Lovely as ever!
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Still With Us?
Work carries on behind the scenes readying the sound system for 0.a.d.
In the meantime, a new cinematic trailer will be out shortly showcasing Carsten's mad sound design skills.

Stay tuned, true believers!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Programming Begins
Things are starting to come together in the programming department as the higher level workings of our audio engine are built upon the solid foundation of OpenAL.

Rather than blither blather about the in's and out of how this is done...something that I am more comfortable leaving in others hands...I'll point you to an old, but still relevant: OpenAL Sound and Music Programming

Covering the basics from Simple Static Sounds to Doppler Effects.

In other implementation related news, I've been doing alot of mock-ups with the FMOD designer tool, and while the projects dont exactly translate to's a good way to establish and experiment with parameters that can be translated.

Here's a mock up of some footsteps, you must have FMOD Designer installed to try this example out.
FMOD Footsteps SAMPLE Project

Let me know what you think!

Until next time,
Friday, June 02, 2006
Audio Tools - Redux
So I'm recovering from the ISACT limitations and trying to finalize features in our proposed audio tools.
I'm gonna try to boil down everything into easily understandable bullets.

Here are some things that have been identified as "must-have" features of the suggested audio tools:

1. OPENAL Parameter editing including:

2. Flexible selection of multiple files for OPENAL parameter editing in audio_class.xml & audio_group.xml.
3. Flexible selection of multiple files for adding to and defining audio groups in audio_group.xml.
4. Play lists with the ability to loop based on audio_class or audio_group.
5. Randomization: use order/use chance, assign weight of chance, prevent repeats (non-standard), add silence or define frequency (i.e. play every 15 seconds or randomly within range)
6. Animation sound attachment

We will be looking at integrating these tools into our robust editor ATLAS which is already handling a host over other tools that will aid in the communities further modifications of the game post release.

Until next time true believers!
Monday, May 22, 2006
ISACT - End Game
Word from Creative regarding the file loading issue in response to this:

Our game loads all its data from a single packed datafile, and
sometimes needs to do some processing (like decompression) after
reading it. ISACT only seems to provide interfaces like
LoadFile(szFileName), and automatically loads other files (like the
referenced Content/Sample Banks), which isn't flexible enough to work
in that situation. Is there any way to override its file
loading/reading code, so it calls functions that we provide to return
the file data instead of trying to load the file itself?

Currently the ISACT Engine loads all ISACT files directly from disc. However, the feature your programmers are requesting is quite a common request, so this is a high-priority on our "to do" list for ISACT updates.

And so it goes.
Not one to wait around, we'll be moving forward with previos plans for tool integration into our internally delevoped editor.

More to come, Hang in there!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
ISACT - Another Look
A coupla things clarified in the last weeks regarding ISACT...

OS compatability:
ISACT run-time libraries are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Microsoft's XBox 360. Only PC libraries are available for download; for all other run-time libraries, please contact your Developer Relations representative.
ISACT is free for licensing in PC games and other libraries with limited stipulations.

Anyone who wanted to develop the audio end would need to apply to Creative for use of the ISAC/IPS tool. (i.e. fax to the company with your reasons and intent)

Programming team concerns:
It looks like there might be other problems with integrating their run-time code into our game - in particular, I can't see any way to alter the way they load data from files, but we have to do that in order to handle files in archives (and also mods).

This is the main problem, looks like. Most of the benefit from our loading system comes from packaging files into archives. Since the ISACT interface only allows loading from a conventional OS file, we would have to make sure all audio files are not stored in archives. This would be possible, but quite an annoyance and loss in efficiency. (wrt our system)

Still looking into ways around this discovery, jury still out.

Reasons to continue consideration:

  • Fully developed toolset

  • "Plug and Play" with OpenAL and EAX

  • Free License

  • Toolset available to modders. (although can't ship with it)

Detriments: (and possibly the buzz kill)

  • Loading data from files/ handling files in archives.

In the good news department, 0 A.D. has hired on our first dedicated Audio programmer!
We are looking forward to the experience and expertise he'll be bringing to the team, with a extra special nod to the audio development.

Expect to hear more soon!
Friday, April 21, 2006
Midway Post Summary & Round Up
From the Beginning in Chronological Order:

0 A.D. Audio Development - An Introduction to this Delevopment Log
So it Begins - Preliminary discussion
Getting the Ball Rolling - String to pull together threads
Sound Doc v.01 - A first peak at the soon to be sprawling spreadsheet
OpenAL Primer - A quick intro to some functionality
Readable OpenAL Specifications - Like it says
Sound Doc v.03 - The next step with decisions
Q & A - Questions on Design
Audio Implementation - Priority & Intensity A discussion on scaling sounds
Tools & Preliminary XML - A look at the potenial for tools
XML Strategy - Deeper down the rabbit hole
Interface Sounds - A look at interface audio feedback
0 A.D. Audio Summary - A bulleted list of target audio features
Programming Ambient Sound - Topics related to integration
GDC 2006 Wrap Up - Carsten wins big and we both bag a great experience
ISACT Integration - A discussion on ISACT for implementation

Alternatly you can work backwards from here, there or anywhere.

Thanks for visiting!
Cheers to the future!