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Thread: Steam Audio

  1. #1
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton

    Steam Audio

    Valve apparently announced this out of nowhere today.

    It's a toolkit that allows game devs to implement 3D positional audio, audio occlusion, reflection, propogation -- so basically mostly stuff that Thief could do almost 20 years ago, but after playing Fallout 4 for so many hours and having to get used to sounds that sound like should be in front me actually coming from the floor above or below (or outside, or behind me, or to my left), I'm kind of excited about this. The demo videos they show aren't mind-blowing, but that just shows where we're at these days. I miss the old days of A3D, and if this gets widely adopted, it could be a return to proper game audio.

    If there are games nowadays that have great audio engines, I'd like to hear about them!

  2. #2
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    I'm still surprised that no modern engine comes close to near-20-years-old Dark.

    I hope UE4 implement it. I want sound occlusion in more games.

    Edit: I see that the very bottom of the article states that it currently supports Unity, and UE4 is coming soon.
    Last edited by Nameless Voice; 23rd Feb 2017 at 19:46.

  3. #3
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Oh cool! I was working on a prototype for a first person stealth horror game a while back(before Stilt Fella even), and I was disappointed to see that proper Thief-style sound propagation wasn't possible in Unity. So this is very much appreciated. I might get back to that thing and try to implement this.

    Thanks Valve!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    If there are games nowadays that have great audio engines, I'd like to hear about them!
    I think Deus Ex Mankind Divided had proper propagation actually. I remember in the last bossfight when I was up in the high office I could hear the baddie clomping around down there and the sound didn't come from the direction of the enemy but from the open door to my side.

  4. #4
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Cool! I definitely agree with Nameless Voice - this is too much neglected in modern games, which is doubly annoying because there were games 20 years ago that did this better.

  5. #5
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Australia
    I was just thinking the other day about how little game audio has progressed in recent years. While graphics, physics and AI and other systems continue to evolve, sound has pretty much plateued since newer Windows systems spelled the death knell of EAX some years ago. It's a shame really given how strongly good audio enhances one's experience of a game, just as it does with other forms of art.

  6. #6
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton

    This demo, made by Impulsonic, which is the company Valve bought earlier this year and is basing this technology on, I think is a lot more impressive, better than what Thief or A3D ever did. Physics-based sound simulation is exciting and could potentially make games feel a lot more immersive.

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