Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This is what's wrong with games!

You want to know what's wrong with games?

Put on headphones. Click here and close your eyes.

WHY CAN'T WE HAVE NICE THINGS? I want that, not better skin tone on my monsters!

(I'm utterly convinced that the reason I hear the locations in this so much more strongly in the demo is because game sounds don't do microsecond delays: sound travels instantly in a game world. All you get is a flat volume differential.)

8 comments:

Isaac said...

It sounds, from listening to it, that it uses binaural recording to get the effect you're describing. I don't know if you could simulate it real time or not, but if you can...

Craig Perko said...

Yeah, it definitely uses two mics in the right place... but I have a hard time believing we can draw eight billion polygons and can't calculate a bit of sound diffusion/speed...

Jim said...

Binaural sound positioning only *really* works well if it's calibrated to your particular ear size and shape. I'm not sure what that would entail. Maybe it would be as simple as the interfaces some games have to adjust the brightness and contrast on your monitor. Or maybe it would have to ship with a pair of calipers.

Eric Poulton said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-related_transfer_function
This seems to be the most complicated part of simulating it in real time. I have no idea how complicated this would actually be though.

I'd be happy if they could decide between "things are loud when you're facing them," and "things are loud when your ears are facing them." Not to mention third person games where you're not sure whether sound is based on the character's position or the camera's position. Navigating by sound can be infuriating when it's so inconsistent from one game to another.

Craig Perko said...

There's certainly some tricky bits, but they can certainly do better than they do now. Right now, for example, if something is on my right it's 100% right ear, 0% left ear. That's not right! Even a rough GUESS as to the proper setup is better than that!

I would think that the "sound setup" screen could be "are you wearing headphones? No? Roughly how far apart are your speakers?"

Olick said...

At first I found it hard to believe I wasn't disturbing other people by listening to this.

Anonymous said...

This... is incredibly disturbing. I keep getting the heebie-jeebies every time that barber comes close in.

Craig Perko said...

Imagine a psychological horror game that used that sound technique...