SOUND with the SHMUP Creator

Ok, I wrote that this week I’ll work on the weapons. I lied, flatly.

Instead, I decided to stop using the openAL sound library, and to implement FMOD instead.
My concern with openAL was that users have to install the driver to be able to use it. I’d like people to be able to play a game created with the SHMUP Creator without any installation (if directX is allready installed, of course).
The other thing on my mind is that the Ogre3D wrapper that I was using was a little bit buggy and didn’t support any format at the exception of Ogg. Which is fine by me. But I wanted to offer more choices for the users, like mp3 or wav.
The switch was a breeze: in 2 days I had re-wrote most of the sound related code, and I must say I’m really happy with FMOD.

Other benefits:
It’s really easy to play repeatedly the same sound and it’s not cut by itself : FMOD takes care itself of the channel pooling, so it will find a free channel to play a new sound. You can also play a stereo sound in 3D, which was impossible with openAl and ogreOGG. There are a lot of things I’m not using yet, like doppler effects, reverbs, sound occlusion or Dsp. It’s really feature rich.
Basicaly, I’m really pleased by the way FMOD handles everything.
The other big thing for me choosing FMOD over Irrklang for example, was that FMOD is now free for indies. Cool stuff!

It’s a good opportunity to talk a little bit about what users can do with sound with the SHMUP Creator :
You can of course choose sound effects for explosions, bullets shots etc.
You can stream a different song for the start menu, the game over and every level.
There is also a Sound gameplay object: you can place them anywhere in the world and they will play a sound, in located in 3D or not.
It can also change the level music when it’s awake: for example, you can change the music when the camera is approaching a boss. Or you can play a sound when the player goes inside an area, or when a message appears on screen, like playing a siren sound when the message “WARNING! A huge battleship BULOSTUDIO is approaching fast” is zooming on screen.



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