A bit of a mixed bag today, with a slight attack of emails and a certain amount of distraction, managed to create a few things before my Thursday was exhausted. Watch out for two new model packs to hit the TGC store, which brings our grand total to 76! Now that's a lot of model packs!!
Sound Test Alpha
As the AI work continued, there was also the increasing importance of sound files which will form a key part of the Reloaded revamp and it had to be right. Before today we relied on mapping sound files over hastily produced videos to get an impression of the final product, but it really wasn't the same as playing the game and getting a feel. The only true way was to create a prototype which could trigger off the actual weapon animations and stage the sound effects at the appropriate frame to see what the actual in-game audio would sound like.
It only took a few hours but the result was pretty useful and I was able to compare the new sounds being produced side by side with the classic sounds from the original product and the sounds we inherited from continual modding efforts since the last classic update.
I must say the new 'fire' sound is first rate, and really transforms the audio quality of the new product, and I have send the sound test prototype to my fellow team members to get their reaction on where we are. I found a combination of classic sounds, new sounds and even newer unheard sounds worked a treat, though the goal is to entirely replace the classic sound bank so we're not quite there yet. The strategy is to work on one weapon so it's triple AAA, and once we're convinced it's unbeatable, we'll move on. The weapon we're testing against, you might have guessed, is the Remington Rifle, which packs a serious single shot punch, especially when your target is appraised through the extremely handy zoom scope! Other sound effects include putting the weapon away, retrieving it, zooming in and out, reloading and finally firing. I am undecided whether to add additional features such as splitting the reload into open, bullet-load and close, clip in, clip out, melee butt hit, dry fire and a few other ideas I had. The current census is that these are surplus to requirements and a basic set of weapon sounds will suffice for V1, which is probably true enough.
Not much AI happened today, which is a pity as I was also planning to look closer an Occlusion which is an issue that needs looking closer at before too long. LOD rendering will help, but when you have an entire universe to hide, you really need top draw occlusion technology to bring back your engine performance!
I'm happy to tick off one more prototype for today, but finishing the AI combat and solving the occlusion question will be a good result for Monday. In the meantime, adding the rest of the character animation actions and grafting them into the main AI proto will be a champion ambition for Friday!