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Audio - Occlusion effect / Wave tracing

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:54 pm
by AndreaColombo

I've just purchased Ghost of a Tale and started my journey alongside Tilo.

Besides looking amazing, this game also sounds really good—something of a rarity for games in this day and age. I love how Seith bothered with proper environmental audio, which really adds to the game's atmosphere and helps immersion.

A weak spot, however, is in the game's positional audio. While the game does have positional audio simulation (I'm playing with headphones, by the way), it appears to be missing occlusion effects entirely. When rats walk away from Tilo and there start to be walls between them, their footsteps still sound as loud and clear as when they're close.

This is not just a matter of realism and overall aural pleasure, but also a matter of practicality—especially in a game like GoaT which heavily relies on stealth. When Tilo's hiding and has limited visibility on what happens outside of his hideout, there's no way to tell whether a patrolling rat is getting closer or walking farther; if they are far down the corridor or close to the hallway leading to the room you're in.

It would be downright amazing if this game could feature full-blown wave tracing, but I realize this might be out of scope for the project. However, the simple addition of proper audio occlusion would, in my opinion, go a long way.


Re: Audio - Occlusion effect / Wave tracing

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:33 am
by AndreaColombo
Hello again.

I've just run into another example of where the game would greatly benefit from wave tracing.

When Silas tasks you with retrieving the Skappbeetels who escaped, he instructs you to keep an ear out for the particular noise they make. Basically an aural-cue-based fetch quest. I'm going around looking for the Skappbeetles, but the only aural cue I get is that their sound gets louder as I draw nearer; once I'm the loudest spot, positional audio doesn't really help me pinpoint their location for it is not precise enough.

In this case sound is once again not just for our listening pleasure, but an important gameplay element. Good HRTF with wave tracing would benefit GoaT greatly, in my opinion.

Re: Audio - Occlusion effect / Wave tracing

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:16 pm
by korin
This is a great suggestion and an excellent description for an issue that I also noticed, but couldn't put into words.

It would also be great if the game supported surround sound. I'm playing with a 5.1 speaker setup rather than headphones, and one thing I've noticed is that while environmental sounds such as a crackling fireplace get louder when Tilo looks at them, the sound doesn't appear to move spatially when he turns. So as the character turns to the right, the sound rapidly becomes fainter, but it does not move to my left. When the fire is to the character's back, I can hardly hear it, even though it is no further away that it was before.

For a game that relies on sneaking and detecting, (and with a character who likely has excellent hearing!) it would be a huge improvement to be able to "hear" where sounds are coming from.