Audio modding

Discussion in 'Mod Discussions' started by cdrkf, August 6, 2015.

  1. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    @jables I think it would be really helpful to have a discussion with the modders on this......

    What I've gleaned from your recent 'ask jables' is that audio modding (client side) should be possible, without modders needing the main project file (which uber isn't willing to share, understandably imo).

    However, what I'm hearing in various mod threads is currently there is no way to replace or otherwise change sounds in PA at all (which doesn't line up with your comments).

    So that leads me to think that either-
    1: there is a method that the mod community isn't aware of or

    2: there is something required on the mod api side of things (i use that term loosely in this context), that will enable basic sound swapping without requiring the audio project file?

    I think clarifying this would be good for everyone :)
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  2. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    I'm pretty sure audio modding is possible, but you need to replace existing audio files. There's no way to add NEW sounds for use with other units with much more diversity.

    We either need the original FMOD project file or Uber needs to change their audio paths to allow for multiple sets of FEV files.

    Currently the paths point to one FEV file, and the paths are hard coded. If the paths were broadened, then we could point to multiple FEV files, and then more FSB files. It's like a tree with roots above the ground where it can't get more water and nutrients.

    EDIT: Take this with half a grain of salt because I only looked at this for ~ 15 minutes.
    Last edited: August 6, 2015
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  3. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    So in that case it would be possible to create a client mod that had new sounds?
  4. jables

    jables Uber Employee

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    I'd guess @KillerKiwiJuice was right above, but as I stated in the 3 questions, I'd have to talk to engineering to be sure. I do know heavy mods for audio requires full fmod project, which isn't going to be shared out for reasons that were decided way back before I started.
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  5. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    Yep. Although I'd have to extract the ENTIRE sound directory with an edited sound file instead of just a single file.

    I can try to do it later, but i'd need to learn how to use FMOD first.
  6. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    I totally understand that you guys can't give away the project file (it's been ~3 years anyway!).

    Although there is another way to do it, and that is to remove the really harsh paths to sound files. Eg, the Dox death sound:
    Code:
    "audio_cue": "/SE/Death/Bot"
    Here, "SE" is a branch in the .fev file. An example of widening the path would be:
    Code:
    "audio_cue": "/pa/audio/<new_.fev_sound_file>/SE/Death/Bot"
    This way we could specify a new .fev sound file instead of being forced to use the default one.

    That is all resting on the case, that a multiple .fev sound files are even supported. I have no idea about that part.
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  7. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    That seems fair enough, @KillerKiwiJuice if you can get even a simple change to work I think that would be superb ground work for other mods as well as the legion project and things like GA :)

    @jables if you get opportunity to dig a little on this at some point I'm sure it would be appreciated. Perhaps there are some small changes that could make custom audio a bit easier without the need for the project file?
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  8. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    Well I'm 99% sure I can change stuff but I can only change the vanilla sounds. I can't add new ones.
  9. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    Well that would be a great start and look at it this way, PA has lots of sounds, so you could probably repurpose a few less important fx and use them in the mod (im assuming you can pick and choose from the existing set in the unit blueprints easily enough?).

    I know it isn't totally ideal, however think of it like colour compressed bitmaps- with a customised 256 pallet you can get an image to look almost uncompressed, I'm assuming it's the same case here. We have a fixed number of sounds to work with but they can all be changed around and used for whatever?
  10. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    Well there's not very many sounds in the .FEV master branch. There's lots more sounds in the individual .FSB that are unused, but they're not accessible.

    There's really not too much we can switch around, there's pretty much a unique sound for every unit.
  11. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    Here's a thought... If the sound system works the way it appears to, maybe uber could include an index of unused sounds (e.g. 'custom1' to 'custom20') in the relevant file.

    That way modders could add in a new sound and attach it to one of the unused slots to avoid interfering with the vanilla sound set? I would think (possibly wrong ofc) that this would be a relatively minor addition (as no actual sounds required!) And would alleviate the limitation somewhat?l...
  12. dom314

    dom314 Post Master General

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    The problem is that changing the sounds' data won't be enough in most cases. The sound effects like '/SE/Death/Bot' are actually sound events, not just a particular wav file or something. The event includes meta-data like how that sound attenuates with distance or camera view frustum, or how many instances of the sound can be playing at once etc. The result is that a lot of sound effects are not suitable to be used as for whatever purpose you would like.
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  13. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    Well that still doesn't totally preclude the concept of Uber providing some blank audio events / triggers, especially if they can allow some degree of control of the settings as you describe... there must be a way to make this possible that doesn't entail giving away the project file or vast amount of engine work...?

    I think if we can work out a set of simple capabilities that would give the modding community something worthwhile (if not totally ideal) there's a chance @jables might be able to squeeze it in. If it's too complicated / costly though it won't happen. This is why I'm keen for someone to see exactly what is currently possible, what the limitations are, and what the minimum effort improvements would be to make it awesome / useful...
  14. exterminans

    exterminans Post Master General

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    Still curious what that reasons could possibly be.

    • It can't be "protecting" the tracks used as sources as they can easily be extracted.
    • It can't be protecting the filter chains, at least not for the usual excuse of protecting against finding of patent violations.
    • You are not using any of the fmod plugins with more restrictive licenses.


    It can't be license issues. Unless of course someone made a terrible deal when licensing the source tracks.

    Wait, that's it, isn't it? Someone made the stupid, STUPID mistake of purchasing ready made sound assets which are under a license which doesn't permit you to distribute them in raw format?

    And thereby fucked up the original goal of making the game fully accessible to modders?

    @jables If that's really the case, please have a talk with your engineers once again. Find a way of distributing the fmod project, with audio sources excluded.

    If it means that the community has to assemble their very own open source audio pack: Perfectly fine.

    But we DO NEED the project with all event and parameter definitions, or that becomes an absolute nightmare to reverse engineer. An you really don't want that to happen, or you will ultimately see the fmod project discompiled either way, with all the ugly implications.
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