EU4 - Development Diary - 27th of June 2017

EU4 - Development Diary - 27th of June 2017

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DDRJake

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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!
 

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BlackSunEmpire

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Nice diary guys! Sound is generally an under apricated element in gaming IMO. Great to see these improvements, I'm looking forwards to spam the hell out of it. :D
 

petertju

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interesting! Will we at a certain point get a sound for strengthening the government?
 

Trytols

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grandadmiralbob

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LOL@Jake and his sunshine. In the Lone Star Empire, the sun is always out. I hope all of you guys have a wonderful vacation. We'll all be sitting here waiting for 1.23, Tirol Rising.
 

LiberiusX

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lol I can't wait for podcat and wiz to remind the HOI4 and Stellaris communities that everyone is going on vacation for a month.

Need to run to the store and get some popcorn.
 

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lol I can't wait for podcat and wiz to remind the HOI4 and Stellaris communities that everyone is going on vacation for a month.

Need to run to the store and get some popcorn.
Ohh my, that is going to be hilarious.
 

Voidlord

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Ohh my, that is going to be hilarious.
Tell me about it.
There will be rage from the more vocal members.
"How dare they take holidays! How dare they go home! They should be working 24/7 till the game is at an arbitrary point that I decide is good enough, and all MY problems, nobody else's, are fixed!"
 

Seelensturm

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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.
 

correctamundo

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Peace and July shutdown are our most important traditions! :p Even though the july thing isn't nearly as total nowadays as when I was a kid.
 

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It would be nice to have the parliamentary debate sound not just for England but for every country with a parliament.
 

Wagonlitz

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Even though the july thing isn't nearly as total nowadays as when I was a kid.
It's the same here in Denmark.
The industrial vacation is slowly being replaced by people having their vacation at random times instead of all at the same time.
 

Ifreann

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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.
I was expecting cheers and jeers sampled from audio of PMQs. ;)
 

petertju

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Tell me about it.
There will be rage from the more vocal members.
"How dare they take holidays! How dare they go home! They should be working 24/7 till the game is at an arbitrary point that I decide is good enough, and all MY problems, nobody else's, are fixed!"
Whenever I check it out, I feel so happy with our little heaven here: 'Sound Design, that's jolly interesting' *sips tea* , 'a new project lead? tell me more about it!'.
 

DDRJake

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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.
Audio feedback is very important yet often overlooked in games. You may end up muting them after you have equipped yourself with an impressive amount of experience in the game, but we would never want to just not include them.

It would be nice to have the parliamentary debate sound not just for England but for every country with a parliament.
It is. England was given as an example.

What is that SE software you use?
Avid Pro Tools if I'm not mistaken. I'll double check on that.

So why not talk about it too? :)
Because teasing with content is what I live for.
 

Grand Historian

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May 13, 2014
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Sad as it is, the silver lining is that this is the perfect time for modders to get their work done.