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Topic: Setting up/Embeding Transition Cues for Adaptive Game Music

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  1. #1

    Setting up/Embeding Transition Cues for Adaptive Game Music

    Is anyone familiar with setting up flags or transition points in an audio track? In other words, indicating in the audio track where it will be appropraite for the music to change to the next track.

    I know this may seem totaly wacko, but if anyone understands me, your advice is desperatly needed!

    Best,

    Justin

  2. #2

    Re: Setting up/Embeding Transition Cues for Adaptive Game Music

    Hi, this is usually done in the audio engine via scripting, not so much in the file itself.

    Best bet is to come up with a consistent naming convention, chop your files into small sections and cal them via your script.

    For example, player is walking along exploring environment. An ambient theme is playing;

    amb_001, amb_002, amb_003 etc.

    Bad guy jumps out.

    "Nasty" music is called;

    nasty_004, nasty_005, etc. Bad guy runs away...

    Back to ambient;

    amb_006.....

    Hope this helps, not sure if this is what you mean.
    ---------------------------
    - SCA - Sound Studios -
    www.sca-soundstudios.com
    ---------------------------

  3. #3

    Re: Setting up/Embeding Transition Cues for Adaptive Game Music

    nasty


    you've been hangin with too many brits Scott

    Operation Mindcrime 2, in stores now.
    or go here...
    The Digital Bitphonic Orchestra
    -Ashif "Ash" Hakik

  4. #4

    Re: Setting up/Embeding Transition Cues for Adaptive Game Music

    Hehe. Well I still like my beer cold. Speaking of which, Im going to GDC and coming to visit you guys in L.A. next year. Hope you're in town King (with the beer on ice.)
    ---------------------------
    - SCA - Sound Studios -
    www.sca-soundstudios.com
    ---------------------------

  5. #5

    Re: Setting up/Embeding Transition Cues for Adaptive Game Music

    It really depends on how your adaptive music works. Is it segment based. Is it stream crossfaded based?

    If it's stream crossfade based you can store markers in VAG files. I don't know if other engines work like this but FMOD does. You can put the markers on the bar where your transitions can occur. You can multiplex the streams into the same resource file so you don't need to stream in 2 separate data streams. I think you can have quite a number of multiplexed streams to cross fade between.

    If you have specific transitions then you could do something like this:
    Stream 1: Low Intensity
    Stream 2: Transition Low to High
    Stream 3: Transition High to Low
    Stream 4: High Intensity.

    You can do this also by segmenting these up and coding the engine to play the next appropriate segment depending on level change.

    Or if you don't have specific transitions and just need to crossfade between levels then:
    Stream 1: Low Intensity
    Stream 2: Medium Intensity
    Stream 3: High Intensity

    Just crossfade between them. Set the crossfade to be length of 1/2 bar or 1 bar, or whatever.

    Look into VAG markers, you can place them in Sound Forge and just need your audio programmer to pick them up.
    Composer / Sound Designer / Audio Engineer
    GroovyAudio

  6. #6

    Re: Setting up/Embeding Transition Cues for Adaptive Game Music

    What he said. He's saved my "interactive butt" a few times.

    Yannis, can the PS2 handle all those streams though?
    ---------------------------
    - SCA - Sound Studios -
    www.sca-soundstudios.com
    ---------------------------

  7. #7

    Re: Setting up/Embeding Transition Cues for Adaptive Game Music

    Scott and Yanis,

    Thank you very very much! I think this will be of great help. The system I'm using is the Layer 1 > small Transition Layer > Layer 2 approach. So if I understand you correctly, there are two ways of handling this:

    1. Cut each layer into segments according to my desired transition points

    or

    2. Flag the transition points with VAG markers in sound forge..

    I wonder if this strategy will work equally well with Valve's Source Engine. From what I understand, Source has a slightly limited capacity to handle audio... This knowleged was gleaned from very casual reading of Valves wiki, so there is a strong likelyhood I am mistaken...

    -Justin

  8. #8

    Re: Setting up/Embeding Transition Cues for Adaptive Game Music

    PS2 can handle the streams. You may want to downsample the music to 32kHz rather than 44.1k to help with streaming.

    What will affect the streaming is buffers, how much other data is streaming (ie environments, maps, meshes..etc).

    With segments you audio programmer will have to handle buffering and making sure the segments are triggered without gaps, ie music streaming has first priority. People can wait a little for environment to load, but music with gaps sounds bloody awful!!
    Composer / Sound Designer / Audio Engineer
    GroovyAudio

  9. #9

    Re: Setting up/Embeding Transition Cues for Adaptive Game Music

    Then it seems as if cuting the audio into segments is the most difficult solution for the music coder. Now, I apologize for forgeting to mention that this game is a PC platform only using Valves Source engine. You refered to PS2 above, but does the same principle apply to the PC?

    Thank you again for your valuable advice...

    -Justin

  10. #10

    Re: Setting up/Embeding Transition Cues for Adaptive Game Music

    If Tim (Larkin) is around, he may be able to speak to this. I think he is working on some material for Valve, so he may be able to give you details specific to Source.

    Might be worth sending him a PM...

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