Division of Tasks Between Designer and Programmer

As you have probably already figured out, Wwise takes an approach to sound design and integration that is different from that of other sound engines. More control is given to the sound designer, which means repetitive and time consuming tasks often handled by developers are reduced to a minimum, letting both sound designers and developers concentrate on more interesting, creative work. Most dependencies have been eliminated so that each group can focus on their core competencies and work together more efficiently. Wwise recognizes two distinct roles with specific tasks for each: sound designer and audio programmer.

Sound Designer Responsibilities

The sound designer is responsible for:

  • Creating audio hierarchies and behaviors.

  • Creating audio Events.

  • Integrating audio Events into your world building application.

  • Setting sound properties and sources.

  • Defining sound positioning (3D).

  • Determining audio signal routing and mixing aspects for all sounds.

  • Assigning real time parameter controls and game States.

  • Defining effect property sets for the various environments in your game.

  • Defining volume and LPF obstruction and occlusion properties.

  • SoundBank management and optimization.

  • Customizing multiple platforms.

  • Performing language localization.

Audio Programmer Responsibilities

The audio programmer is responsible for:

  • Integrating the Wwise sound engine into the game engine.

  • Integrating audio Events using code.

  • Registering game objects that emit the sounds in your game.

  • Calling AK::SoundEngine::PostEvent() methods to trigger Events that contain one or several audio actions.

  • Manage the loading and unloading of SoundBanks as specified by the Sound Designer or by the game using the SoundBanks definition file and File Packager Utility.

  • Setting the positions of 3D game objects in relation to the listener's coordinate system.

  • Triggering State and Switch changes and updating real time parameter controls.

  • Setting the percentage of each environmental effect that is applied to the sounds in your game.

  • Calculating obstruction and occlusion values for each game object in relation to the listener.

  • Managing memory resources, including loading and unloading of SoundBanks, handling streaming, registering of plug-ins, and so on.

  • Writing source and effect plug-ins. The sound engine's plug-in architecture allows game developers to expand Wwise's functionality to meet their specific game requirements.

  • Integrating the Wwise Authoring API into your development tools.

Project Planning

At the beginning of the project, audio programmers and sound designers should meet to discuss the various resources that will be allocated for the audio of the game title. These resources include, but are not limited to memory, disk space, number of streams, and size of SoundBanks.

Based on game design and technological constraints, the designer and developer must work together to decide:

  • How Events will be integrated and triggered by the game engine.

  • Project Hierarchy and Work Unit organization for Workgroups.

  • Player perspective and Listener positioning.

  • Soundbank loading/ unloading strategy.

  • Music integration and special needs for interactive music.

  • Which Game Parameters should be used as Real Time Parameter Controls (RTPC).

  • Which global elements of the game can drive the Mix and State mechanisms.

  • Which sound structures need a Switch mechanism.

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