//Audio Implementation Greats 6

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The action genre and it's focus on weapons heavy gameplay requires that we do some critical thinking about how to best represent the bone crushing sound and impact of violence. For a game centered around the bashing of skulls, demanding hours of hacking and slashing, the repetitveness of sound can be an immersion killer. Equipped with creative solutions and armed with tools and resources we are in a good place during this generation to make every swing and hit count.

Fable 2 - Conan
-The Way of Layered Weapon Sound

Fable2 In a talk given by Kristofer Mellroth at GDC 2009 titled: The Audio of FABLE 2: Large Scale Collaboration for Next Gen Games, the weapon system for Fable2 was outlined to illustrate the decisions that were made regarding content, and implementation. The basic building blocks of melee and ranged weapon combat were abstrated at the content level and recombined at runtime using a constantly shifting set of source material controlled by gameplay variables.

In Fable 2 there were 7 types of melee weapons with 5 levels of sound interaction: Swipe, Strike, Scrape, Ring, Block, and Flourish.

Swipe the sound of the melee weapon swinging through the air.

Strike the muted hit of the weapon striking any object.

Scrape the sound of the weapon scraping as it passes through an object.

Ring the pleasant ring of a weapon that has struck cleanly.

Block a dissonant clang of the weapon as it collides with another weapon.

Flourish a special longer, sweetened version of the weapon swipe to convey the sense of a move with greater power.

Sound for these different actions were combined and randomized according to type with weighting and some with the potiential to not play when triggered.
For instance when the Player connected a hit on an NPC the game would play a Swipe, followed by a combination of Strike, Scrape, Ring in order to arrive at a coherent impact.

Also see Video: New Fable 2 Developer Diary Talks Audio Article: The Sound Design of Fable 2: How We Scaled to Beat the Clock

Also seen in Conan Conan We did something similar with the impacts and deflection for the 9 weapons and 8 melee types used in the X360/PS3 title Conan for Nihilistic Software.

Weapons were able to perform the folloing actions:

Blocked Break
Blocked Heavy
Blocked Light
Hit Heavy
Hit Light

In a game so heavily focused on combat where you spend each level mowing down enemies from start to finish, we knew that we had to make a combat system that reflected the core gameplay objective of giving the player diversity while making the sound varied enough to prevent fatigue.

Hit's are defined as actions that impact an NPC and cause damage, and we were tracking both Light and Heavy hits.

We used a game parameter for surface type that was passed from the games collision detection to FMOD in order to track what surface was being impacted. The FMOD Event that was triggered was based on the weapon type being used by either the player or NPC and whether the hit was Heavy or Light or Deflected, it then received it's material type parameter and jumped to it's correct position within the FMOD event where it then layered the impact sound depending on weapon and material type.

For a Hit Light or Heavy we layered the following things where applicable:

Base Layer (Weapon type specific)

-Axe Dull Heavy - - - -
-Axe Dull Light - - - -
-Axe Metal Heavy - - - -
-Axe Metal Light - - - -
-Axe Solid Heavy - - - -
-Axe Solid Light - - - -
-Sword Dull Heavy - - - -
-Sword Dull Light - - - -
-Sword Metal Heavy - - - -
-Sword Metal Light - - - -
-Sword Solid Heavy - - - -
-Sword Solid Light - - - -
-Sword Wood Heavy - - - -
-Sword Wood Light - - - -

Hit Accent (Material Specific)

-Flesh Heavy
-Flesh Light

Hit (Thud) Actor Specific

-Flesh Boss Specific
Hit Ringoff (Weapon type specific)

Hit Blood level

-Blood Splash Small
-Blood Splash Medium
-Blood Splash Large
-Blood Splat Small
-Blood Splat Medium
-Blood Splat Large

Hit Special Ringoff (Weapon specific)

-Used for special Conan ringoff



Piling up the above elemental content into an audio middleware tool where everything is recombined at runtime the effects of different weapons and material hit's randomized when trigered sound like this:

Combined Weapon Hit Impacts

-Axe Light Flesh
-Axe Heavy Flesh
-Axe Heavy Stone
-Axe Heavy Armor
-Sword Light Flesh
-Sword Heavy Flesh
-Sword Special Flesh
-Sword Light Stone

Conan For non-damage causing hit's usually specifically involving weapon interaction with the environment, we used a different Event for deflections.

Similar to the Hit system outlined above, we layered the following things when a weapon type deflected off a surface:

Base Layer (Weapon type specific) -Axe Dull Heavy/Light -Axe Metal Heavy/Light -Axe Solid Heavy/Light -Sword Dull Heavy/Light -Sword Metal Heavy/Light -Sword Solid Heavy/Light -Sword Wood Heavy/Light

Deflect Accent (Material Specific)
-Cloth Rip

Deflect LFE

Deflect Additional
-Used for extra heavyness

This turned out to be extra brutal when dual wielding.

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