Defining positioning

The positioning and propagation of sounds, music, and motion play a key role in engaging players and immersing them in your game; therefore, it is important to understand how to deal with the many types of sounds and motion effects that you will have in your game.

A typical game will have a combination of the following types of sounds and motion effects:

  • Localized ambient sounds - Where the sound emitter remains in one location. For example, localized ambient sounds can include a large machine or fountain.

  • Non-localized ambient sounds - Where the sound emitter moves, but is not attached to a particular game object. For example, non-localized ambient sounds can include ambient bird or insect sounds.

  • Mobile object sounds - Where the sound emitter moves with a particular game object. For example, mobile object sounds can include any sound triggered by a game character, animal, and so on, such as a barking dog or a shouting guard.

  • Game interface sounds - Where the sound is associated with a particular game interface element or other item that maintains a fixed position on the screen. For example, game interface sounds can include parts of a Heads-Up Display (HUD), menu sounds (buttons, navigation), or the gun in a first-person shooter game.

Wwise has a powerful and flexible toolset for positioning that will allow you to deal with each of these sound types in a way that will create the experience gamers are expecting.

Positioning - example (part 1)

Let's say you are creating a first-person stealth game. At one point in the game, a group of special agents must travel to a remote volcanic island where terrorists are holding one of your agency's operatives. This mission is very dangerous so the agents must work as a team and stay close together. As the agents sneak through the enemy's jungle base, they experience the following sounds and motion:

  • The main character's footsteps

  • The torches that light up the enemy's jungle base

  • A group of terrorists talking in a hut

  • A mosquito buzzing overhead

  • The updates received from headquarters

  • The whispered communication between special agents on this mission

  • The detonation of explosives used to destroy the base after the mission has been successfully completed

  • The constant rumbling of the island's volcano

  • The enveloping final eruption of the volcano

  • The interactive music

Each of these sounds will require a different treatment in terms of positioning and propagation. The following sections discuss how the positioning for each of these types of sounds can be managed in Wwise, and Positioning - example (part 2) provides a summary.

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