EU4 - Development Diary - 19th of June 2018

EU4 - Development Diary - 19th of June 2018

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DDRJake

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Today's Dev Diary comes not from me, but from the auditor of audio: @Audiomancer

Note that while we're talking about "Audio in Dharma", the audio changes are part of the free 1.26 Mughals update

EU4 Dev Diary : Audio in Dharma Expansion


Hello! My name is Franco Freda and I’m a Sound Designer here at Paradox. Today we’re gonna talk about Dharma! EU4’s next expansion and one that I’m personally happy for.


With Dharma we decided to enhance the audio experience a little bit further. In a nutshell, the goal with the Audio in Dharma was to modernize its systems within the constraints of long life-cycle development such as the one from Europa Universalis. Same way that when you first tried EU4 you might have played it on a screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio and now you could be playing it on an ultra-wide display, the audio systems have come a long way in the last few years and therefore we realized some of the sounds could benefit from a wider dynamic range and also reproduce more complex layers.

Of course it’s not only about quality, but also about how can we give you better feedback on what’s going on in the game. Therefore if you listen carefully you will perceive that the audio is also more interactive and more balanced.


The overall loudness of the game has been raised to match industry standards of around -23 LUFS. This in short means, the game is louder and more comparable in volume to other existing titles that you might play regularly. Audio rebalancing, meaning, the mix of all audio elements (i.e. music, sound effects, ui) has been revisited to provide a more pleasant and consistent experience. You as a player still have the ability to alter the volumes of certain audio groups in the Audio tab inside Game Options of course, but predefined values have been established to ensure the initial default mix sounds as we planned it.


All music tracks across all DLC’s have been matched to the same volume to ensure there are no big leaps or drops in volume when randomizing across different songs or choosing your own favourites from the music player.


In terms of interactivity there has been one particular aspect that we know many of you have asked for in the past. And that is: Dynamic sound elements depending on technology and units.


This means that if you’re engaging in land combat and you happen to have artillery, you will hear cannons and mortars now and then, so that means that it will not only have an impact on the battle outcome but also a more coherent audio representation of the battle site. On the other hand, if you’re just starting and have not researched gunpowder weapons you will only hear swords and spears.


Same thing happens with Naval Combat. If a transport ship engages into battle, it will not be as equipped as a heavy ship with 50 cannons. Therefore in the first scenario, you will only probably hear swivel guns and muskets.


Lastly for combat, there’s also been upgrades to Siege. Sortie, Barrage and Wall Breach have their own representative sounds to feed your imagination on what your actions might have caused on the enemy stronghold.

Finally the last area we thought that would be nice to work on is Ambiences. Terrain differences have a big impact on the outcome of your combat, giving modifiers to certain units over others and so on. Now, whether you are in the desert or jungle, mountains or coast, the background sound will also change to represent these opportunities and threats.


All of the many elements mentioned above are integrated and triggered using a layered approach, to increase randomness and to ensure a more dynamic audio flow.


Most of these updates will be coming to you as a free update when Dharma launches, so that all of you have the chance to try them out!


This is all from me this time so I hope you enjoy these new additions as much as I’ve enjoyed working on them! Looking forward to your feedback!

############################

While I would have liked to elegantly embed audio into this dev diary, I cannot do so with WAVs, so a handful of audio samples are attached to this thread for your listening pleasure.
 

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Palando

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@DDRJake no hint for what the next dev diary will be about?
 

Celdur

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Yes!, more cannon sounds please! Cavalry charge too maybe? specially after routing an enemy army.
 

Chubbard

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That naval combat tier 1 sounds FIERCE :D

Overall looking forward to dynamic sounds. Will this be modable? I can already hear the Preussen gloria ..
 

Lithrus

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Hopefully every country wont have cannons when sieging a fort before theyve discovered gunpowder anymore?
 

Metroidkirby

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Lastly for combat, there’s also been upgrades to Siege. Sortie, Barrage and Wall Breach have their own representative sounds to feed your imagination on what your actions might have caused on the enemy stronghold.

YES.
 

grandadmiralbob

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Cool DD, as an audiophile with pretty good speaks, I can't wait to hear all the added/improved stuff.
@DDRJake What's next weeks DD on, and can we have some mission tree teasers? Taungu :)
 

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Today's Dev Diary comes not from me, but from the auditor of audio: @Audiomancer



Finally the last area we thought that would be nice to work on is Ambiences. Terrain differences have a big impact on the outcome of your combat, giving modifiers to certain units over others and so on. Now, whether you are in the desert or jungle, mountains or coast, the background sound will also change to represent these opportunities and threats.
Now this line is interesting. Please correct me if wrong. But there currently are no specific units that get a bonus from fighting on specific terrain? Like streltsy, Janissarys etc. The one exception being hordes. But those aren't certain units but a mechanic specific for Hordes. Is this a new feature or me reading in too much?
 

Mfupa

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It's purely audio.
Which units would this apply to I mean, are there any units that get a combat bonus depending on terrain except horde or if you've taken the terrain combat bonus in Age I?
 

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This will go a LONG way to add more depth and feeling to the game! Great job EU4 team!
 

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Hey!
Great changes.

I've actually been playing recently and thought about the issue of gun sounds during a melee battle.
Now if only you'd add two or three times as much music to the game and make it dependent on in-game date, with medieval music slowly giving way to classical music... ah. Why do things have limited budgets?

I've been working with sound designers professionally and know that it often is a thankless job. People usually only notice your work when you do it badly.
Or, as is the case with some aspects of game design or visual composition: if you do a good job people feel the product is good, but don't really know why.

So, Franco Freda, thanks. ;]
 

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Will gunfire sound effects be tied to specific tech levels or the presence of specific units? For example, the Indian tech group gets gunpowder infantry very early (tech 5 Indian Arquebusiers), Anatolian and Chinese get them at tech 9, and Muslim, Eastern, and Western get them at tech 12.