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EU4 - Development Diary - 27th of June 2017

Good day all. This is likely to be the last dev diary you see from us in the EU4 team for about a month, as the team, the company and indeed the entire country shuts down for July as per Swedish tradition. Work is halted in favour of the customary search for what little rays of sunshine the skies see fit to bestow on these lands. As a Scot I find it confusing, as we long gave up hope of finding any.

Today I'll be handing the mic over to Sound Designer David to talk about a certain type of improvement we've been working on.


Hey there! I’m David, and have recently had the rare honor of working on a couple of sound improvements for EUIV. Yeah, you read that right: sound improvements. You might have noticed that such things don’t happen all too often in EUIV. Or maybe you haven’t noticed, after all, the sound in a game like EU is meant not to intrude too much, but rather to add some flavor to the gaming experience and give the world life.

In the case of the most recent sound additions, there were primarily a couple of interfaces that sorely needed new sound effects. When entering your country flag interface, you may have noticed that most of the tabs (e.g. Diplomacy, Economy, Trade etc.) all have their own unique sound effects that trigger when you click on them, but some, namely Court, Government, Subjects and Estate, all used the same sound effect. We very well can’t let that continue, can we?

As with creating any sound effect that is triggered when clicking on a button or opening an interface, the goal is for the user to receive a form of audible feedback cue, one that might relate to what the user is supposed to react to. If you receive an alert about something positive happening to you - you want to hear a sound that you perceive to be positive, and so on. With the “country tabs”, you might want an audible feedback cue that relates to the functions you want to access. When you click on the “government”-tab, you’d want to hear a sound that relates to a government body in action. In this case, arguing voices seemed appropriate, together with the sound of a pounding gavel requesting order in the room.

Another round of sound effects come with some of the the Factions interfaces. Depending on what kind of faction you are part of, (e.g. Revolutionary Republic, Parliaments etc.) you’d want a different kind of audible feedback cue, e.g. when playing a part of Coptic Blessings, you’d want to hear something that relates to the Copts and its culture, or what one would imagine the Coptic culture to “sound like”. This can be a very thin line to tread in order for the sound effect to feel “Coptic”, but not become stereotypical or comical. In this case, we settled for some group chanting, together with the sound of cymbals that are traditional in the Coptic musical culture, together with some background crowd noises to liven it up, and relate it more to a group of people.

The last sound addition I’d like to address in short is the sound for winning or losing a debate in the Parliament when you play as England. Previously there had been no audible cue for the player to react to, sometimes leading to a certain amount of confusion as to what just happened. So in order for things to make sense, you’d want a some audible feedback that relates to the subject matter that feels positive if you win, and negative if you lose. In these cases it felt appropriate to go for either applause, (which most of us probably would relate to a sense of achievement) or intense argument. This, together with the ring of a bell that either ascends or descends in tone will hopefully make you as a player react in the same way that your progress is heading.

EU4 ProTools.png


That’s all for me, I hope you found this somewhat interesting, and I hope you’ll enjoy (and happily get used to) the new sound additions to EUIV. Happy conquering!



Thanks David. Diversifying the interface sound effects we have is something that will be implemented in the next update. I've attached some of the ones mentioned by David so that people can get a wee preview.

We have begun work on v1.23 and we already have so much to talk about. Alas such diaries will have to wait for us to return from vacation. Similarly the EU4 Dev Clash is on hiatus until we return. I hope you too have a great Summer and we on the EU4 team all wish you the best!
 

Attachments

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  • revolutionary_republic_faction_interface.wav
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Last edited:

earlofbrigand

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This type of development diary, alongside unit graphics are amongst the worst. I'm probably alone in this, but I don't really care how the sounds are made - I'm more interested in finding out about game mechanics.

Mind you. At least Paradox have constant game development. You won't find this in many games.
 

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In the case of the most recent sound additions, there were primarily a couple of interfaces that sorely needed new sound effects. When entering your country flag interface, you may have noticed that most of the tabs (e.g. Diplomacy, Economy, Trade etc.) all have their own unique sound effects that trigger when you click on them, but some, namely Court, Government, Subjects and Estate, all used the same sound effect. We very well can’t let that continue, can we?

Is it just me or sound effects just don't make ANY sense in EU4.

Problem | Is there any sound indication | Conclusion

Army is being annihilated? | Nope | Who cares
Fleet is being annihilated? | Nope | Even less important
Ticking disaster | Nope | You can always curtail or bird the save
Truce close to end | Nope | This game is about farming, who cares about arch-rival declaring

Solved problems | Is there any sound indication | Conclusion
At the end of the month you get tax income | Yes | Taxes and death are inevitable
You clicked conversion tab | Yes | You need to know what you have clicked in case you are wasted
You clicked battle in progress | Yes | You need to know that you clicked army not a province behind it
You zoomed in a coastal area | Yes | Paradox appreciates seagulls

My personal opinion.

All the sounds in EU4 are something that was designed with Windows 95 all together. When you click you hear a sound of clicking, difference is, in Windows it was actually delivering some value for people who's sigh is impaired, many other people just muted ui sounds. In EU4 it's like in old days win95, lets show the world we can play sound.
 

Axe99

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Cheers for the DD David/DDR Jake :). The sound design in the latest crop of Paradox games is generally excellent and much appreciated - at least for me, it helps reinforce what's going on, provide more information and make the game more enjoyable - keep up the good work :D. Also, have a great break, looking forward to hearing more about 1.23 in August :).


So Hearts of Iron has Errordawg and EU4 has DDR Jake's Teasecow? :p.
 

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I play all Paradox games maybe a few hours with audio, but the following 1000 hours are always muted. Sounds from opening menues and other actions can be as nice as you create them, if I hear them repeatedly they become annoying very quickly. And EU4 has a lot of repeated actions. In my opinion sound effects should be restricted to emphasize important things, not every click you do somewhere.

I love the sound of a core finishing.

And hate the sound of someone attacking me...
 

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Cool but hasn't applause been banned in the UK house of parliament since nearly time immemorial? I thought they had to make a different weird noise to show approval like 'hear yea'?

Don't know about the ban but the sound doesn't necessarily refer to applause in chamber but rather in another room or even elsewhere outside the parliament building after the debate is concluded and voted upon. I'm sure Members of Parliament would burst into applause at a pub when the glorious victory in a legendary parliament debate was announced. Unless you didn't voted for it. ;)
 

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@Chief of Staff
Maybe so but for some reason it just still rubs me the wrong way knowing you arn't supposed to clap in parliment.

They say some kinda weird hear yea type thing instead. Sounds more like a groan these days. That wouldn't work for other nations using parliments but maybe some clapless cheering could be an alternative?
 

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Who had cows? Old MacDonald. MacDonald = Scotland. Has @DDRJake finally won and gotten an entire expansion based on Scotland? May the gods have mercy on us all
 

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Have a nice summer vacation, Paradox! We have plenty of sun down here in the sunny Grand Duchy of South Carolina; I spend summers hiding from it. (The insane heat and the even more insane humidity and the freaking ridiculous mosquitoes. On the other hand, everything is air conditioned.)
 

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The last sound addition I’d like to address in short is the sound for winning or losing a debate in the Parliament when you play as England. Previously there had been no audible cue for the player to react to, sometimes leading to a certain amount of confusion as to what just happened. So in order for things to make sense, you’d want a some audible feedback that relates to the subject matter that feels positive if you win, and negative if you lose. In these cases it felt appropriate to go for either applause, (which most of us probably would relate to a sense of achievement) or intense argument. This, together with the ring of a bell that either ascends or descends in tone will hopefully make you as a player react in the same way that your progress is heading.
Useless but amusing bit of trivia: for the UK parliament, at least, applauding - as in clapping - has been a no-no for some considerable time. I'm honestly not sure if it goes back as far as early EU era, but since at least the 18th century the accepted "celebration" or signal of agreement has been to wave/shake order papers and say "hear, hear!"

Just some useless trivia :D
 

Zephyrum

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Ten bucks on someone's going to make a mod that replaces all sound effects with "Moo" after this thread.

If nobody does it, I'll start questioning the quality of our modders. You had one job! :mad:
 

Grand Historian

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Ten bucks on someone's going to make a mod that replaces all sound effects with "Moo" after this thread.

If nobody does it, I'll start questioning the quality of our modders. You had one job! :mad:

@Dakkadakka127?
 

TheRedRedcoat

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While you're at it, make it so opening the parliament tab doesn't make the same sound as when you open the Holy See tab
 

Beagá

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When you will put fart sound for "The king embarasses the court" event? King Eric Cartman demands it. Respect his authoritha
 

Steel_atlas

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This type of development diary, alongside unit graphics are amongst the worst. I'm probably alone in this, but I don't really care how the sounds are made - I'm more interested in finding out about game mechanics.

Mind you. At least Paradox have constant game development. You won't find this in many games.

Sounds are great but they dont effect my enjoyment as much as Ottoman and Russian doomstacks traipsing around northern germany.