I must confess that I'm not totally clear on how sound was implemented prior to the rewrite - it looks like FMOD was used, but FMOD Designer didn't exist yet. In short, its kind of like a hyper-focused IDE that allows sound designers to put together a tree of SFX events. The events can contain variations, multiple layers, and take parameters. For example, I anticipate being able to make a single "event" for the Silabrate in FMOD Designer. Then, at the beginning of a mission, the developer just has to create one instance of that FMOD event for each Silabrate on the battlefield. From there, FMOD takes care of 3d placement of the Silabrate, and the programer can use FMOD's API to tell the event when the Silabrate attacks, dies, etc.
I've created an FMOD project in the Assets SVN, and put all the currently available Stackless Iteration 3 SFX in there.
Here's where we hit a problem - to use FMOD Designer, you have to use its build process, and its proprietary output files. At present, it only supports PCM (uncompressed audio), ADPCM (a compressed format that I've never heard of before), and MP3. I built the project with each of these formats, and these were the sizes of the ouput:
PCM - 90 Meg
ADPCM - 25 Meg
MP3 (quality=50) - 10 Meg
In its orignal .ogg format, it was about 12 Meg total. As of May 2006, the developers of FMOD stated that there are no current plans to implement .ogg support in FMOD Designer's build:
I have no idea how they get away with including an MP3 encoder in a free download - do you only have to pay licensing on decoders? Anyway, I think we've already established that MP3 is not an option.
Like I said, I've never heard of ADPCM before, and the Wikipedia entry doesn't indicate whether it is lossy or lossless. In any case, it appers to be about twice as large as a high-quality .ogg.
So, are we willing to commit to using ADPCM instead of .ogg, in order to gain the flexibility offered by FMOD Designer? If we are, we should probably discuss the option getting rid of audio compression in the Assets SVN - I've heard that using multiple compression algorithms can yield some pretty awful results.
This seems like something we really need to discuss as a group.
As I mentioned in the Lounge, I'll be out of town for a week and a half starting Sunday (August 13), but don't wait on me to talk about this.
Note to Developers
I didn't upload an FMOD build to Assets - its very easy to do it yourself, though. You'll have to:
-Install FMOD Designer
-Open the project
-In the Events Tab->Project Properties Table (table in the upper right), change the Build Directory to wherever you like - its currently set for my machine.
-Select the Wave Banks Tab
-Currently, there's just one bank. You can change the Compression Type in the table (as I discussed above, the options are PCM, ADPCM, and MP3).
-The Build menu in the toolbar only has one item - select it, and the rest should be pretty obvious.
Edited by LfO, 10 August 2006 - 07:22 PM.