I'm new to this side of things. I am an experienced audio engineer, analogue and digital. I know MIDI extensively, and understand most of the concepts that would be presented to me in a game engine's audio section. I would like to work for a game developer doing sound design. Before applying I would like to gain a better understanding of game engines similar to Unreal Engine 3 (the only one I've done research on and watched some demos of), where I as the designer have control over many of the perameters of the DSP i.e- don't need a programmer to code for me. So, basically, I'm looking to understand the workflow and terminology that would exist in most if not all of the newer game engines, hands on. If there are any open source options that present a very strong audio component for me to learn, please let me know. I'm not afraid of very technical stuff, just trying to avoid coding much, if I can.
Thanks in advance!
Sound doesn't tend to be overly stressed in open source engines. One thing you might want to check out is irrKlang. It's a sound library developed for the irrlicht engine but can be added to any engine.
Well, I would recommend you look at sound libraries, specifically:
- XAudio2 (as the DirectSound replacement on Windows/XNA platforms)
These are "independent" libraries that are commonly used in game development. Lots of game engines either don't have it, plug one of the above in, or use their own "home-brew" sound management. In the latter case, an overview of the above should get you going...
The sound libraries listed above are definitely great, but if you want to avoid too much coding, you're going to need a good engine to work with. The problem with just picking up FMOD is that you have to implement everything with C++. This is obviously a big task. I am currently working with the engine Panda3D, and it has DSP that you can configure, 3D positional sound, etc. It really works great once you get the hang of it, and you only need to script in Python, which is really easy compared to C++.
If your engine includes an audio engine, then you would do well to investigate that.
As a composer, I would highly recommend exploring FMOD or even Wwise--I am happy to work on projects exploiting the interactive audio capabilities of those API/libraries...
DirectSound and OpenAL pretty much cover all the basic gaming audio development you'll ever need. 3D positional sound, velocity, doppler, and distance fading are included with those APIs. It really is limited though because sound is much more than just playing back a wave file. You'll want to get into EAX if you're into the hardcore DSP effects. Newer versions of EAX open up a lot of cool possibilities and it's all hardware accelerated. I'm only aware of Creative's library for accessing EAX hardware, but there may exist engines out there that are much more higher level. I would avoid working with any software DSP engine though. XAudio 2 was interesting at one time, but all their docs kept bringing up "Software DSP" which is a big no-no in my opinion. If I'm working on a synthesizer, sure, but not with a high performance real-time game.
Limited software DSP isn't the end of the world--plus, working with EAX basically REQUIRES the end-user to have an EAX compatible hardware device.
You can also have your sound man do a lot of pre-processing. DSP is good if you want to limit your sound footprint, but it can all be pre-processed as well.
But things like reverb, simple occlusion, simple frequency filtering, that should all be considered reasonable by today's standards.