Audio in EVE Online
At CCP we're constantly striving to improve EVE. As the Audio Director my focus is obviously going to be on the sound and music matters within EVE. Given our desire for constant improvement, we felt we needed to completely upgrade the audio engine within EVE because we started to hit the limits of our old engine. We also wanted to have one stable audio engine for all future projects. After some research we chose to go the middleware route and Audiokinetic's Wwise was selected. Implementation of it began late in Q4 of 2008 and finished in the middle of Q1 of 2009.
In the process of replacing the audio engine we also did some well deserved changes on couple of the sounds within the game - the warping and jumping in particular. We also had many suggest that some of the turret sounds were too harsh. We decided to create new jumping sounds, new jumpgate-atmo sounds, new warping sounds, and couple of other additions. We then remixed many of the turret sounds to sound a bit softer, less harsh. We also created some new effect sounds to fit with the new graphical effects. What we were trying to accomplish was to have everything sound more subtle - more in line with the graphics.
We managed to finish the implementation before Apocrypha but were still left with couple of outstanding issues, such as:
- Some mixing errors like turrets fading too fast > we enlarged the fade-out distance quite a bit and now it's similar to what it was before Apocrypha. This is of course a very subjective matter and it seems people have very varying opinions. The argument of having the sounds stay with the ship regardless of camera position has never been part of the plan. However, it's an interesting idea and we have started looking at this idea from different angles - we will post some ideas here later.
- Clicking and popping sounds when going into the Map and back > this is fixed now and will be a part of our next patch.
We'll be adding some nice things to the audio experience in the near future, such as fully controllable/selectable warning sounds on shield, armor, and hull damage. We also plan to introduce interactive music with missions, a new jukebox (mp3) where players can choose any music they want from their hard drive. We'll also look at allowing people more control over individual sounds such as the inside station sound.
So, that's it for now. We will be sharing some more audio related info here in the weeks and months to come.
- CCP Baldur