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In addition to organizing objects in the hierarchy, Wwise also helps you streamline the organization of your sound, music, and motion objects using Switches. A Switch represents each alternative that exists for a particular element in game, and is used to help manage the corresponding objects for these alternatives. The alternatives that exist for these game elements are as varied as, for example, weather conditions or the weapon arsenal used by the main character. You would assign the alternative objects to a certain Switch and these objects will play based on the Switch that is active in the game.
The following list includes only a few of the many possible game situations or elements where Switches can simplify the task of managing the alternatives at runtime:
Game settings for rooms, ground surfaces, indoors/outdoors - you could create Switches for different ground surfaces like wood, grass, gravel, and so on.
Game characters - you could create Switches for the dialogue when a male or female character is speaking.
Weather conditions - you can create Switches for tempests, snow storms, gentle rain, or a sunny day.
Game atmospheres for evil or fairy worlds - you can create Switches for the different sounds associated with each world.
Weapons - you can create Switches for the different firing patterns of firearms in your game as well as lasers and swords.
For each of these examples you would create the Switch and then assign the corresponding objects. The objects that are assigned to a Switch are grouped into a Switch Container. When an Event or a Game Parameter value signals a change, the Switch Container verifies the Switch and the correct object is played.
Let's say you are creating a first person shooter game where the character can walk through a variety of different environments. Within each physical setting, you have different ground surfaces, such as concrete, grass, and dirt, which means that you will need different footstep sounds for each of these surfaces. In this case, you can create Switches for the different ground surfaces and then assign the different footstep sounds to the appropriate Switch. When the main character is walking on a concrete surface, the “concrete” Switch will become active and its corresponding sounds will play. If the character then moves from a concrete surface to a grassy surface the “grass” Switch will become active and its corresponding sounds will play.
The following illustration demonstrates how the active Switch determines which footstep sound is played.