Friday, January 27, 2023

EVE Has Sound, Uprising Edition

"As you know there is no sound in space, but when we were developing the capsules we found that people wanted to use as many of their senses as possible, thus we added the sound. By letting a computer create three dimensional sound we also add to the awareness you have while in battles, for instance."

Yesterday CCP published an article about the audio improvements the developers made to EVE Online in the Uprising expansion. Cynics might think CCP was trying to sell an album. Entirely not true. The music is free and available on Spotify. But the upgrade is more than just music.

First off, the sound crew did another turret sound effects upgrade. 

With the various turret types having clearly distinct sounds that can be easily identified and perceived, it’s possible for players to quickly identify which weapons are firing from any ship the camera is zoomed in on – even during large battles. The sounds that play as firepower pounds your ship will also give auditory clues to what type and size of weapon is targeting you, informing your next battlefield decision.

Back in October the developers introduced a new sound prioritization system that not only allows for better sound, but better CPU utilization as well. 

New soundscapes were added to hangers to allow players to hear the health of the Upwell structure in which they are docked.

When a hangar has full health, the status level is that of full power. Here you will hear a lot of activity in the hangar, both in terms of sound effects and voice announcements. As a hangar gets attacked and declines in health, the soundscape changes accordingly to the low power status by decreasing the activity and density of SFX and voice announcements. If eventually a hangar gets an even lower health status, it is sonically regarded as abandoned and there is only a vast but faint noise left in the now much less active hangar environment. In this way, the soundscapes change the vibe and energy inside the hangars from hubs of lively activity to desolate places of solitude, while letting the players intuitively understand a hangar’s health status at any given moment. As with the turrets, here the new updates add atmosphere and immersion, while also helping communicate information with pilots in a highly natural way.

Not only does EVE have sound, but Factional Warfare has a soundtrack. CCP has tried in the past to use music to enhance the mood in the game. For FW, they are trying to match the music even more closely to the tactical situation.

With the adaptive battlefield music, the aim is to strengthen the sense of purpose and belonging for the factions at war. There are seven possible ‘musical states’ that can occur interchangeably during a battlefield fight, with the music transitioning back and forth between these states in accordance with the score tracker UI. This also helps everyone keep track of what the current score is without having to look away to the UI.

Each of the four factions even has its own battle music.

At this point, I don't know how old "The Jovian Wet Grave" is. But I know the Jovian Directorate withdrew from the CONCORD Inner Circle, naming the Society of Conscious Thought its successor state back in March 2016, so I'm guessing much older. Perhaps even back to the beginning of the game in 2003. With the sound improvements in Uprising, we see game tech catching up to the lore.

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