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Weakest link in TDM?


Deadlove

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Don't get me wrong, I think TDM is the most grand thing since sliced bread when it comes to a true spiritual successor for Thief, but there are things that spoil this for me.

 

Not to be a downer, but I'm curious the community's perspective on things in TDM that need improvement to hold the grand element of suspension of disbelief (VERY IMPORTANT). Maybe I should've named the thread "best improvement for TDM" or whatever...I think it would be helpful for areas of the game we find distracting, cheesy, or take away from the experience.

 

Personally, I find the sound in TDM to be sub-par with most things, and it destroys the immersion. And this is relative to the original Thief as well, because anyone who lived it knows it can easily be said that it was NOT the graphics that made Thief a success. The graphics that Thief came with were actually a bit poor in comparison to other games of the time. Again, I will state that the sound design was a key part to at least my own immersion success into the game.

 

I understand that we are all just die-hard Thief fans that are giving life to a niche market because we love to play this way, but I want to help get the sounds beefed up. When I step in a puddle of water on the street it sounds like someone running their hand in water from a bathtub or sink. Total boner kill.

 

The voice acting is more so than not forced and a bit pathetic sounding. Sorry guys, I just have to call it as I see it. Some dynamic processing can work wonders on some of these issues. Others, I think may need total overhaul. For example, I also think the zombies sound terrible. Weapon sounds are all okay as far as I can tell so far. Surface sounds that the player steps on are okay, but I think need touch up.

 

This is all just my humble little opinion...and I'm not throwing stones without suggesting help, as I am a bit of an audiophile and have lots of gear to help out in the sound department. This is also why I think my mind plays into the audio part, as I'm a music/audio/sound person moreso than anything else. So if there's a way I can get my hands on some of the raw audio assets I can try out some EQing and compression and whatnot, and then see what the board thinks of it. If nothing else, it can be used in custom made missions...again, I'm not well educated on how to do this. I can create / fix up sounds, but don't know how to get them into the program.

 

There's a whole bunch more, but this was just what I could quickly remember off the top of my head for a forum post without taking notes and getting into a work mode, etc.

 

Other member opinions on the least satisfying part of TDM or comments on the sounds as I started with?

Edited by Deadlove
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For me, the sound is mostly great. There are some awesome music tracks and environmental sounds. For example, the clock and city sounds are awesome. I do agree though about the puddle splashing sound not being too great. I love the current zombie sounds though. They don't sound human, they sound animalistic. I think this is better than having some guy going around saying "uhhhhhhhhh".

 

Funnily enough, I was watching a documentary the other day and I distinctly heard the sound of the TDM guards drawing a sword during the show. It made me chuckle.

Edited by lost_soul

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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Here and there I do find audio to be a bit lacking but I also find as the mod moves forward more and more things that are lower quality are being replaced with higher quality things so yeah it's definitely an issue of time/resources which considering this is a community created free game of course it's going to have areas lacking.

 

With that said perhaps you could provide some better audio and maybe they could integrate it into the next update (i'm not a team member so I don't know that process) but when it comes to sounds you really don't like it would be nice to hear what you could do to improve it :)

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Like I said, if I could get access to the raw assets then I'd be able to tweak them. A lot of what we have just requires audio post-processing to give it extra "umph" so it jumps out at the player moreso.

 

Then I could post some results and see what people think comparing the old version and new version.

 

Starting from scratch with sounds is always a bit more tedious, and also requires more time than pre-existing sounds.

 

I don't know how many sounds were created by the team, lifted from another source medium (like a free sound effects CD), or what have you. Also, the making of sounds by several different authors on several different rigs leaves the door wide open for lack of continuity.

 

One thing that bugs me about the FM's is the lack of ambience in the environment. If I turn off the music, then there are plenty of holes of dead space. I'd encourage other players to do the same and check out how the game plays with no music/ambient volume.

 

Even on Thief, when I turn off the music, there's still enough of ambience from the world changing with the player location that there isn't silence. Nowhere in the world is it really dead silent like that, there are always ambient sounds of a building, nature, surroundings; once they are gone it really kills the immersion.

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So if someone can point me to how to pull the sounds and work on them, or if someone can supply me with a set of existing sounds to work on, that would be of great help.

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IMO the lockpicking system should be improved. As it is now, i find it a bit boring. But that's not just limited to TDM, actually in most games the lockpicking is boring. Best implementation i've seen so far was in Fallout 3, but i'm not sure if something like that is even possible with the TDM engine. A video example of it:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXGErjv2E_I

 

What do you think of that?

Edited by chk772
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Ok, fair enough. Each to its like, what i consider boring, other people may like. :) Still interested what people would think of an implementation like the one in the video though. I find it upright great, and also much more skillful than basically "remembering when the sound stopped". Althought it won't happen i would think it would be a great addition to a Thief game, as lockpicking should be one of the basic and main skills of a thief .

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IMO the lockpicking system should be improved

 

That's one of the most consistently praised things about TDM, right up to the recent Mod of the Year article in PC Gamer.

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I think the lock picking system is great because there is no minigame its all just listening for the sounds and getting timing right. But its all personal preference of course ;)

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Until we get environmental reverb (or any kind of reverb for that matter), TDM sounds will never sound as good as Thief.

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I can convert the ogg to WAV and then back to ogg. It's not a big deal, and it would be a good start to at least give the community some ideas. The amount of loss in frequency would be minimal, if even noticeable.

 

However, if someone could get me hooked up with WAV files, then I would be in heaven, as this would require no conversion.

 

I highly doubt that much of the TDM sounds were recorded initially with a bit resolution higher than 16-bit anyway.

 

I agree with the reverb Springheel. How can we get reverb into the TDM engine to reflect environments and give the sounds depth of field?

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Serpentine was apparently working on something that would allow everyone to experience reverb, but that was month ago and I have no sense that it's anywhere near completion.

 

If you post the sound files you want to improve, I may have the .wavs.

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I can convert the ogg to WAV and then back to ogg. It's not a big deal, and it would be a good start to at least give the community some ideas. The amount of loss in frequency would be minimal, if even noticeable.

Oh boy... Reencoding lossy encoded audio is the worst idea anyone could ever have!! If you decode a vorbis ogg to wav, the quantization noise is still contained within the wav. This is VERY problematic because audio encoders are based on psycho acoustic models that make sure quantization noise lies below the apparent perception threshold i.e. the masking threshold and having quantization noise as input (when reencoding) completely messes this procedure up.

 

But well, lacking background knowledge never prevented any artist from doing his work, right? ;-P

 

I generally agree though, that some of the sounds could do with some more love...

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I can convert the ogg to WAV and then back to ogg. It's not a big deal, and it would be a good start to at least give the community some ideas. The amount of loss in frequency would be minimal, if even noticeable.

 

However, if someone could get me hooked up with WAV files, then I would be in heaven, as this would require no conversion.

 

I highly doubt that much of the TDM sounds were recorded initially with a bit resolution higher than 16-bit anyway.

 

I agree with the reverb Springheel. How can we get reverb into the TDM engine to reflect environments and give the sounds depth of field?

 

If you have a creative card with EAX4 support then reverb and all other EAX effects are already possible on idtech 4 and on TDM, i already tried that, but, FM developers would have to implement EAX on their missions manually and unfortunately theres no easy tool to implement or tweak for that matter the environment effects, plus EAX4 is exclusive to Creative (EAX 5 can be simulated by Asus cards but not EAX 4) so all other sound cards would not work with it because of that there's no incentive to make a custom tool.

 

The only way to implement EAX effects on TDM for everybody would be to replace the idtech 4 closed OpenAL driver with OpenALsoft that has EFX support, a open replacement to EAX effects that works on software (CPU).

Edited by HMart
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Most mappers don't have cards with EAX support, I suspect, so they aren't likely to include a feature when they can't test

the result.

 

 

Besides, aren't people, even with compatible cards, having to turn EAX off to avoid crashes?

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