#SounDoer# 游戏《Planet Coaster》Crowd Audio System 设计

@SounDoer:来自 AK Wwise、Gamasutra 和 Develop 的多篇系列文章,介绍了游戏《Planet Coaster》中 Crowd Audio System 的设计。
Planet Coaster – Crowd Management : Using Data to Generate Dynamic Crowd Audio (PART 1)
  1. Planet Coaster is a true ‘Triple A’ simulation game, built on Frontier’s own COBRA game development technology.
  2. The sheer number of guests to support and the need to manage sounds efficiently ruled out using an animation-frame triggered solution and a one-to-one relationship between guests and emitters. #游戏中NPC的数量之多决定了无法采用跟随动画触发的方式来添加声音。
  3. We took it as an opportunity to rethink the audio systems we had become so familiar with on our previous games and create something a little more forward-thinking with regards to emitter placement and making sure Wwise only does work that is audible to the player.
  4. What the soundscape of a theme park needs to do:
    – The soundscape (music, audio) had to be informed by the park build (in support of the user’s creativity).
    – The soundscape had to be dynamic, adaptive, and interactive.
    – The soundscape had to be diegetic unless a situation arises where the first two rules cannot be applied.
    – And any implementation we did in code or in Wwise needed to be able to scale.
  5. The same rules applied to crowds, and our guidelines demanded that we acknowledge:
    – Where our park guests are
    – How many park guests there are
    – What our park guests are currently doing
    For crowds, there would be no ‘magic bullet’ solution, as any hypothetical situation couldn’t be resolved to our satisfaction using just one system. To make matters more complex, our solutions would always have to take in quick camera movements from the player as they traverse colossal parks with a quick sweep. #根据玩家镜头的变化来改变声音的层次与细节。
  6. This thinking lead to an ordering of audio in dynamic foreground and background layers, where foreground sounds represent synced detail and background layers create a ‘virtual soundscape’ that doesn’t need close animation syncing but is still informed by what the current park contains.
  7. In the end, Planet Coaster’s crowd audio would combine two solutions to handle quick camera transitions, the scaling number of park guests, their distribution, and their currentbehaviors (their moods):
    – The Crowd Soundbox System creates a data-inform layer which roughly describes the density, location, and mood of the entire crowd in a ‘virtual soundscape’. In the ‘stage’ example, it is our background layer which dynamically scales to the camera position and is managed by a set amount of emitters.
    – The Close-Up Sounds System creates individually-synced emitters for foreground guests, and activates only when the camera is near enough to make out such detail.
Planet Coaster – Crowd Audio Highlights
Planet Coaster – Crowd Audio : The Crowd Soundbox System (PART 2)
  1. The crowd simulation grid is a fixed size and subdivided into cells. The time to scan through all the cells and find where guests are is also fixed. Since both values are fixed, the workload is distributed over multiple frames so the amount of work this system does is predictable, at the worthwhile cost of slightly increasing lag.
  2. For audio content, we ran various experiments using different crowd recordings and densities. Our goal was to recreate a crowd made from grain-like elements rather than using fixed loops. Audio designer Michael Maidment ran a lot of tests with coders Dan Murray and Jon Ashby, and from their experiments we decided that a crowd (around the camera) can be expressed by four emitters placed in the four directions of the compass. A fifth emitter is added to describe the crowd in the entire park. # Crowds 声音由围绕着 Camera 的四个声源点和一个计算整体区域声音的共五个 Emitter 组成。
  3. Assets 素材分类
    Size: Small, Medium, Large
    Diversity: Adult Male/Female, Teenage Male/Female, Child
  4. A Soundbox’s cycle starts by collecting data which it analyzes for relevant information such as crowd density, size, diversity, location, and behavior. Once the Soundbox has an understanding of what the clusters of crowds spread around in a park ‘look’ like, it can create and place emitters in approximate ‘correct’ locations around the camera. The Soundbox creates sounds from data, rather than the traditional way of deriving audio content from pre-placed emitters on game objects which means work can be distributed across frames, emitters can be pooled, and it circumvents the pitfalls of scaling.
  5. The Crowd Soundbox constantly iterates through three stages, distributing the workload over multiple frames. The more detailed the extraction and processing, the longer it takes to go through a cycle, though with a much more precise-sounding result. Extract >> Process >> Play
  6. The Soundbox solves a few interesting problems in audio:
    – It provides a framework for deriving context from available data.
    – It applies rule-sets through a single interface and can dynamically change these where needed.
    – Audio code no longer starts sounds based on triggers in the game code (which might have to be filtered afterwards).
    – It manages the amount of work in a more predictable way, regardless of the size of the crowd.
  7. We decided against mood audio and made the distinction that a happy crowd would be lively and any type of problem in the park would be expressed as a tendency for the crowd to be quiet to prompt player investigation. Congestion and queuing are standard expectations in coaster parks, and we found upon visiting parks for research that people tend to be louder in queues, often due to the close proximity of loud rides. #根据 Crowds 的状态来对声音进行分类
  8. To place the emitters in the right position, the Soundbox calculates the center of mass for the crowd size with the cardinal points. #Emitter 声源 Positioning 计算公式
  9. Calculating Spread
Planet Coaster – Crowd Movement
Planet Coaster – Crowd Audio : Additional Layers (PART 3)
  1. The crowd Soundbox is the perfect tool to create an impression of guests around the camera, but in order to deal with rapid camera transitions or extreme close-ups, we needed two additional layers that can be added or dropped when necessary:
    Background Layer – The Soundbox is an optimization which uses a ‘distance limited area’ for data gathering. Thus, at the distant end of the visual range, it cannot describe crowds as they are beyond the analyzed range. A very simple, volume driven background loop (which sits quiet in the mix) adds a sense of ‘presence’ to the entire park.
    Close-up Layer – The close-up system uses a Soundbox that is optimized to look for individual guests and what they are currently doing. This Soundbox finds the immediate cells around the camera and distributes ten emitters around those guests which are closest. The Soundbox then tracks their positions and monitors when guests switch between animations.
  2. We wondered: what if the guests in Planet Coaster occasionally reacted to audio in the park, rather than the other way around? Wwise has a solution for this problem in marker callbacks which Frontier traditionally uses for syncing subtitles. Whenever we want the crowd to react to mascot audio, we place a marker in the .wav files. Wwise then informs the game when a marker is hit so our audio code can play specific animations on nearby guests. Guests will look behind them when a mascot behind them makes a loud noise, which is more satisfying than the random animations when observing a crowd. #在 Wav 文件中添加 Markers,用于触发相应的动画。
  3. When it comes to footsteps, we felt comfortable enough to leave them out as it would have required a complex and possibly expensive animation-informed trigger solution. A generic ‘foley’ layer is used instead (a sort of shuffling of clothes, bags and bodies). As a benefit of keeping foley separate, we can rebalance the mix in enclosed spaces. In these spaces we increase the amount of foley while decreasing the volume of the crowd layers which creates a “hollow” feel. We also add early reflection and reverb which is controlled from real-time obstruction/collusion detection.
  4. “Contextual mixing, is definitely the future of games, because we have no hope in these huge games of being able to realize every single thing, entity, emitter that exists in the game. We have to think what is important to the player.” – Jim Croft, Edge Magazine November 2016
  5. In this transition, the audio programmer is a sound-designer’s most important creative ally. Together, they can design the systems which are needed to create a dynamic and pleasing interactive mix. Wwise has allowed our designers and programmers to move away from the ‘trigger sound’ relationship, creating space in the production schedule to work on systems like the soundbox. Wwise offers a solid basis for implementation and quality so that the audio department can address systems-design or further integration with other departments.
Planet Coaster – Community Stream: Audio Special (w/ Matthew Florianz and Jon Ashby)
Dev Diary #4: The Sound of Planet Coaster
#SounDoer# Watson Wu 录制游乐园声音素材
Game Design Deep Dive: Creating Believable Crowds in Planet Coaster
采访了 Frontier Developments 的 Principal Programmer Owen McCarthy 有关游戏中 Crowds 系统的设计。
Game Design Deep Dive: Creating a new language for Planet Coaster
  1. 采访了 Frontier Developments 的 Senior Audio Designer James Stant 有关游戏中新语言 Planco 的设计。
  2. Planco utilizes English grammar and alphabet characters and effectively adopts a word-for-word replacement system. New words are typically created using one of three approaches: word association, onomatopoeia or bearing a similarity to an existing language (or a combination of any of these). The Planco glossary currently contains over 7,000 unique words and continues to grow on a daily basis.
  3. Beginning with only a blank slate, knowing where to start can be intimidating. One aspect that eased this process was that we were creating a contemporary language for humans. Not for an alien race from across the galaxy and not for a prehistoric tribe centuries ago, but for modern day people.
    Using English grammar/alphabet characters offered a familiar foundation to start with, with the appeal of being able to substitute a sentence word by word.
  4. The intention was that as conversations layer together, happy crowds gel together to remain unassuming, while unhappy crowds attract the attention of the player with piercing and penetrative sounds.
  5. The Official Planco Dictionary https://www.planetcoaster.com/en/learn-planco
Planet Coaster Planco
Interview: Designing the audio for Planet Coaster
SounDoer– Focus On Sound Design