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First-person shooter. (2002-2006) Wikipedia, . Retrieved April 12, 2006, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-person_shooter  
Last edited by: sirfragalot 15 May 2006 12:46:23 Europe/Copenhagen
      A first-person shooter (FPS) is a combat computer or video game genre, which is characterized by the player’s on-screen view of the game simulating that of the character or First Person view.
Gray Matter Studios, & id Software. (2001). Return to Castle Wolfenstein. [Computer Game]. Activision.  
Last edited by: sirfragalot 06 Mar 2006 08:11:27 Europe/Copenhagen
      "you are U.S. Army Ranger B.J. Blazkowicz ... You are about to embark on a journey deep into the heart of the Third Reich"
id Software. (2004). Doom 3. [Computer Game]. Activision.  
Last edited by: sirfragalot 06 Mar 2006 08:14:42 Europe/Copenhagen
      "You are a marine ... Only you stand between Hell and Earth"
      "incredible graphics, and revolutionary technology combine to draw you into the most frightening and gripping first person gaming experience ever created"
id Software. (1999). Quake III Arena. [Computer Game]. Activision.  
Last edited by: sirfragalot 06 Mar 2006 08:08:53 Europe/Copenhagen
      "you lunge onto a stage of harrowing landscapes and veiled abysses"
Klem, M. September 21 Urban Terror audio (1). (to: M. Grimshaw). [Email]  
Added by: sirfragalot 10 Feb 2006 14:41:44 Europe/Copenhagen
      |> Also attached is my first look through the audio files
for Urban Terror
|> 3.7. I make some points in there that I wouldn't mind
you checking and
|> correcting if necessary.

/sound/urban_terror/tehdrunkpilot.wav
This file was actually put in there on purpose as an easter-egg which may only be found by poking through the pk3.

Q3A does only support up to 22khz wav's. I believe the 44k ones in there were accidental or possibly experimental.

"Sounds/ Contains one folder sinni/ with eight sounds. This may be an error in the packaging."

This was, in fact, accidental misnaming of a folder by Sinni. I think :)

The reason some files are 11k-8bit is because if it was a rather long sound
that was mainly in the background and would not be forefront to the player,
I saved them as 11k-8bit to conserve space as UrT is only available through
internet download at the time of this writing plus memory constraints of the
game engine.

|> 1/ I'm pretty certain there are more than one character
each for female
|> and male (although for some reason, when I launch 3.7, I
can no longer
|> find the character menu...?). So, why use the same actor
and actress
|> for the voices?

Simple. Memory allocation. This was always an internal issue tossed back
and forth. We always wanted more actors for different characters, however,
the coders let us know very quickly that memory was the real issue here.

|> 2/ Why the range of sample rates, bit depths etc.?

Depends on what type of file it is. Mostly low rates to conserve space (we
always had to work with memory conservation in mind). The gun sound and most other sounds that would be heard a lot were done at 22k-16 bit where
applicable.

|> 3/ Are the weapon sounds (inc. bomb, smokegrenades etc.)
authentic
|> recordings?

Most of them are. Some of them came out of Bryan Watkin's personal library
in his Hollywood Studio. He works for Warner Bros.

|> 4/ For each weapon, why are there a number of different
sounds for
|> the same action(s)?

For the firing sounds, there is one for regular, one for outdoor, and one for underwater. Some had silencer versions. The loading sounds were made to be heard from the enemy's perspective, but I don't think those ever made it into the code. The majority of any duplicated sounds were usually for experimental purposes and left in, or were actually used.

|> 5/ What constraints do you work under in terms of sound
design?

Access to certain sounds which had to be improvised or retrived elsewhere. The lack of a high speed internet connection made for some interesting
times.

|> 6/ Were you given a sound design brief?

Nothing really formal, we would just discuss in IRC or ICQ what sort of things we needed and one idea would lead into others.

|> 7/ Were you able to work with the mod team programmers,
modellers
|> and graphic designers from the conception of the mod or
did you enter
|> the picture later once the game had been designed and get
left to 'bolt-
|> on' sound to a finished product?

If I remember correctly, I came in when things started to really begin. There was already a small base of the mod, but it was really only a few weapon tweaks and things that BotKiller had done. After I got on and we got some new coders and modellers, things started to really change. So the end product was actually put together by everyone at the same time.

|> 8/ Are you or have you been the only sound designer?

There was another before I got on, Preacher. He wasn't on much longer after
I came on there. I think he had some other things to do.

|> 9// What other sound design work have you done?

I wrote the music score for an old Apogee game called Wacky Wheels. I worked very closely, mostly over the phone and email (only had BBS's back then), with Jim Dose on that game. He is currently working as a programmer with id Software and did much of the coding on Doom 3.

Hope that is informative enough for you. Let me know if you need any clarification on anything thus far.

-Mark Klem
Klem, M. September 21 Urban Terror audio (2). (to: M. Grimshaw). [Email]  
Added by: sirfragalot 10 Feb 2006 14:43:31 Europe/Copenhagen
      As far as I know, they are from his collection and he had full knowledge about the use of them in UrT, in fact, he offered them to me to help out on
the project.

|> -----Original Message-----
|> From: Mark Grimshaw [mailto:mark@sirfragalot.com]
|> Sent: Monday, September 20, 2004 1:48 PM
|> To: Bar-B-Q
|> Subject: RE: Urban Terror audio
|>
|>
|> Hi Mark,
|>
|> Thanks for the prompt reply. I'll digest this over the
next few
|> days then
|> come up with further questions. Just one for now. Since
I hope to
|> publish some articles on this, I'm assuming the use of
Bryan Watkin's
|> audio library is above board/copyright cleared and that I
can mention
|> that you use it. No offense, but I don't want to get SID
into
|> trouble if
|> there's been inadvertent copying of sound files.
|>
|> Mark.
|>
Klem, M. November 12 Urban Terror audio (3). (to: M. Grimshaw). [Email]  
Added by: sirfragalot 10 Feb 2006 14:45:44 Europe/Copenhagen
      Here you are, sir...

|> Hi Mark,
|>
|> Some further questions mainly to do with the audio
specifics of the
|> Q3A engine and Urban Terror coding constraints. Some of
them ask
|> for
|> confirmation to answers I already know (or think I
know...).
|>
|> Many of your previous answers deal with memory
constraints imposed
|> on
|> your sound design. I understand the quake 3 engine
handles sound up
|> to 22.05kHz, mono/stereo, 8/16 bit combinations of those
formats
|> affecting the final size of the sound file.
Additionally, I
|> understand the memory constraints imposed by download
bandwidth.
|>
|> What are the memory constraints imposed by the engine?

I really have no idea, you would need to ask one of the coders about this.

|> How many simultaneous audio channnels can it handle?

I am thinking no more than 16 at once. Maybe even less. We have had problems with sound drop-outs. Like if a gun sound is sustained and more sounds enter the buffer, you may hear sounds on a particular channel cut out completely. Very irritation. For this very reason, guns with a fast rate of fire had to have their firing sounds kept very short in length. The MP5K for example.

|> I don't believe there is any capacity for real time DSP -
can you
|> confirm this?

None to my knowledge.

|> Can you confirm that every sound in Urban Terror is a sample and is
|> not real-time synthesised?

That is correct. No real-time sysnthesis going on.

|> Are there any audio constraints imposed by the Urban
Terror mod
|> above those imposed by the game engine and download
requirements?

Not at all.

|> Software mixdown or hardware mixdown (I haven't seen any
option for
|> this as in other later games so I'm assuming software
mixdown)?

I would assume software, though not 100% sure.

|> As mentioned before, I'm pretty certain previous version
of UrT had a
|> range of characters to be chosen by the players. In 3.7
I can't
|> access that facility from the menu. Was this (and their
sounds)
|> removed due to memory constraints?

I am unaware of what happened to them if it was already in the game in earlier versions. I know we spoke many times early in development about the possibilities of having a few totally different sets of voices to use for different characters. Many with foreign accents. This was never going to happen due to the memory constraints and large download size.
Klem, M. December 15 Urban Terror audio (4). (to: M. Grimshaw). [Email]  
Added by: sirfragalot 10 Feb 2006 14:50:00 Europe/Copenhagen
      >> In one of your earlier emails, you gave the following response when I was
>> asking about specific sound samples:

"For the firing sounds, there is one for regular, one for outdoor, and one for underwater. Some had silencer versions. The loading sounds were made to be heard from the enemy's perspective, but I don't think those ever made it into the code. The majority of any duplicated sounds were usually for experimental purposes and left in, or were actually used."

>> Listening to the sounds in sound/weapons/spas/ I'm assuming the ones
>> labelled cock.wav, cockout.wav, shellin.wav, clipin.wav, clipout.wav are the
>> loading sounds you're referring to for that particular weapon. The major
>> difference between those and the sounds of the SPAS firing are that they
>> don't have reverberation added and are very dry. If those are the loading
>> sounds you're referring to, what is it about them that makes them designed to >> be heard from the enemy's perspective?

The cocking sounds are assumed to not be loud enough to cause any reverberation.
It's not really about design. It was going to have the loading sounds audible from about maybe 10 feet away to the enemy's ears.

>> Still on the SPAS (my favourite weapon), the firing sound spas.wav has less
>> reverb than spas_out.wav but still has some. I'm curious why spas_out.wav
>> has so much reverberation if it's intended for outdoor use as my
>> understanding of acoustics is that open field sound, while it may have
>> distant echoes, has little if any reverberation. My question really, is what >> where the design considerations when adding DSP to these two sounds?
>> Depending on the answer you give it will hopefully lead on to other questions >> about designing for authenticity of sounds and sound use or design for the
>> creation of an illusion of reality with sounds adjusted to audience/player
>> expectations (conditioned by Hollywood sound etc.).

The problem is that there is one sound to be used for outdoor environments. Outdoor environments have several different scenarios. Flat, open fields, valleys through mountains, outside but next to a wall. So the target here was to make a sound to be used universally outdoors. A generic outdoors effect that may or may not work well for all scenarios. Not having full access to the game's engine code makes it impossible to make a different sound for all situations.
Taylor, L. N. (2003) When seams fall apart: Video game space and the player. Game Studies, 3(2) . Retrieved March 15, 2006, http://gamestudies.org/0302/taylor/  
Added by: sirfragalot 15 Mar 2006 11:32:53 Europe/Copenhagen
      "The very attempt to bring a player into the game space through the screen by means of a first-person point-of-view is, ironically, inconsistent because the first-person point-of-view assumes that the player herself can be caught into the structure of the game and can then be incorporated into the game space. In this way first-person perspective assumes that by enveloping the player as the player into the game space, the player becomes part of the structure of the game space"
      "first-person games posit that the player can assume the perceptions of the player-character and then merge with the player-character through the limited perceptual apparatus afforded by first-person games"
      "This is how most first-person point-of-view games operate, by allowing the player to function on the space, but not within the space"
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