The Technology of Killzone Shadow Fall #PS4

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MikeQuell
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The Technology of Killzone Shadow Fall #PS4

Post by MikeQuell » November 25th, 2013, 9:48 pm

Taken from Eurogamer.net, Guerrilla Games has recently shared a lot of their technology that went into their recently released title, Killzone Shadow Fall for the PlayStation 4. The below excerpt is focused on the audio tech for the game.

Source: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digit ... hadow-fall

The Technology of Killzone Shadow Fall

A key part of this is procedural generation of in-game assets - animation and audio are two systems that benefit from this the most. Killzone Shadow Fall has seen a radical change in how these game elements are handled; instead of bespoke high-level code being generated by programmers on direction from the creative element, a more low-level system has been created, allowing designers more access to raw game data. When they sculpt new assets, they are translated into raw, procedurally generated code executed on the PS4's x86 processors.

"On this project we've tried to move away from lots of work being done by the sound programmer and to a direction where if sound engineers have an idea for how a certain system is supposed to work they should be able to get something like that up and running by themselves," says senior tech programmer, Andreas Varga.

"Previously sound engineers were the guys who make these wave files, and the sound programmer would put them in the game and make them all work and connect everything together. Now we're moving to a point where everything is state-driven. We can do all of these things in a tool and the actual sound programming now happens at a lower level."

In essence, coders now create the tools that the designers use, rather than writing specific code based on an idea that may or may not work. Killzone Shadow Fall is a remarkable audio experience precisely because of this new workflow. A key example of this is how the sound of the player's gunshots are shaped by the player's current environment, just as they would be in real life.


"Everywhere in the game you have materials - walls, rocks, different things - that for geometry purposes are tagged with what material they are... We bounce the shock waves of the gun off every surface in the game, all the time."

One step beyond 'HDR' audio. Killzone Shadow Fall's surround audio system has commonalities with DICE's acclaimed surround sound set-up, but the addition of MADDER - Material Dependent Early Reflections - which shapes the sound of your gunfire according to the surrounding environment.
"Everywhere in the game you have materials - walls, rocks, different things - that for geometry purposes are tagged with what material they are," says lead sound designer, Lewis James. "Now in the real world, when you fire a gun, the sound is just a byproduct of what what's happening inside the gun. That's the only part of the actual event that games tend to care about normally - the sound of the shot.

"But there's all sorts of things happening - a pressure wave that comes out of the gun interacts with the surfaces it touches when it has sufficient force. So that's what we do. It's a system called MADDER - Material Dependent Early Reflections. We bounce the shockwaves of the gun off every surface in the game, all the time. That defines the sound. The point is that there should be no illusion that it's reverb - because it isn't. It's real-time reflections based on geometry."

MADDER is an excellent example of the new relationship between designers and programmers, illustrating how giving lower-level access opens the door to more raw creativity.

"For the first MADDER prototype we did, we only had one ray-cast so it would give us the closest wall, the material and the angle of that wall. So yeah, we tried it, it sounds amazing and no other game has something like this but actually we need it for all the different walls," says senior sound designer, Anton Woldhek.

Again, head over to Eurogamer.net to read the whole article.

Source: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digit ... hadow-fall

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Jonathan
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Re: The Technology of Killzone Shadow Fall #PS4

Post by Jonathan » December 1st, 2013, 5:32 pm

Pretty cool! Sounds like some sort of integrated convolution reverb - changing up the sound and really acting on those early reflections... I wonder if it goes as far as emulating gunshot distant reflections and echos as well?

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Re: The Technology of Killzone Shadow Fall #PS4

Post by deskinscraig » January 28th, 2014, 2:09 pm

Really excited about the future of game audio, and its because of technology, and collaboration like this!

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