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Infinity Sounds v2 Alpha


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#1 skellytz

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:22 PM

Infinity Sounds
Version 2 Alpha
 
Contents
I. Introduction
II. Supported Platforms
III. Selected Mod Compatibility
IV. Requirements
V. Components
 
I. Introduction
In a nutshell, Infinity Sounds is a Baldur’s Gate II mod which aims to improve the sonic aspects of the game.

The new version of the mod is almost ready. I’ve decided to share an early alpha with those of you feeling adventurous this summer.
 
If you don’t mind trying out an unfinished mod, drop me a PM and I’ll send you the package.

Sorry, but there won’t be any public links at this time.

Warning: This alpha version includes tentative, unstable and unoptimized portions of the code. Skip it if you simply want to enjoy your next playthrough and don’t want to run into any issues forcing you to unbiff the game.

The new features currently lack proper documentation, so please make sure you read everything below (along with the linked content) if you want to try them out.

II. Supported Platforms
fully supported partially supported ⬤ unsupported
 
BG2+ToB
BGT
⬤ BGEE
BGEE+SoD
⬤ BG2EE

⬤ EET
⬤ TuTu

 

Note: BGEE and BG2EE support will depend on the developers' decision to fix these game engine bugs.

 
III. Selected Mod Compatibility
compatible unknown incompatible ⬤ unsupported

 

If possible, install Infinity Sounds dead last before biffing. In any case, try to install after any other mods which add or modify spells, items, creatures or 2DA soundsets.


The main compatibility issues come from mods which change the audio-related content (e.g., sound effects, ambients and soundsets).

 

TobEx Beta 26

Almateria's Restoration Project 8.2.8

BG1 Unfinished Business v14.1

Tweaks Anthology

 

I’ve included – but haven’t fully tested – compatibility checks in component "Restored & Tweaked BG1 Spell Casting Sound Effects" for the following mods:
BG2 Fixpack v11 beta 2
Spell Revisions v4 Beta 14

 

Read on if you plan on installing the latest LolFixer along with component "Restored & Tweaked Creature Idle Sounds."

LolFixer


Component "Restored & Tweaked BG1 Spell Casting Sound Effects" may or may not work with these mods:
Divine Remix
Lost Crossroads Spell Pack


All the other mods dealing with the audio-related content are question marks at this point.

IV. Requirements
Read this thread to familiarize yourself with some of the game issues this mod attempts to solve. At least check these out: post #1, post #9, post #23, post# 24, post #25, post #28, post #39.
 
Additional info on specific issues:

Missing idle ("existance") sounds

Disabled rare right-click selection sounds

Inconsistent generic spell casting sound effects

Install TobEx first as it’s a prerequisite for some of the components.

 

BG2 Fixpack restores and corrects a number of sound effects and soundsets. While the fixpack in itself isn't required, I don't duplicate any of its patches and sort of assume you'll probably have it installed.

V. Components

 

Restored BG1 Spell Casting Voices

This component replaces the default Latin spell recitation with the BG1 sinister and ritualistic incantations, including the infamous, [dark] 'Hadouken,' [intensifying] 'HAA-DOU-KEN!!!' [evil].

Note: All the restored sound files have been cleaned of audible compression artifacts or any degree of clipping.
 
Restored & Tweaked BG1 Spell Casting Sound Effects

First, this component disables the terribad 'explosive' sound effect accompanying some AoE spells, such as Web and Grease. Second, it restores all BG1 sound effects to the appropriate spells. And third, it brings more consistency to many spells which awkwardly use sound effects reserved for other spell casting schools. Notably, it patches spell expiration sound effects to match their respective schools.

 

In addition, the component corrects minor slips in spell casting schools and sound effect parameters, as well as restoring a few spell casting sound effects which were most probably disabled due to errors.

Highlights:
- restored all essential BG1 spell sound effects
- muted this horrible AoE "explosive" sound effect for spells that are better off without it
- corrected spell casting animations and sound effects

- corrected spell sound effect parameters
- more consistent generic spell casting sound effects

Restored BG1 Weapon Attack Sound Effects

A lot of the weapon swings and shots in BG2 sound much different than in the original game. Flails and ranged weapons are prime examples here. Specifically, crossbows miss their soundset alternatives, and bows lack the sound effect of drawing.

 

This component restores all the BG1 combat attack sounds. Included are modified bow draw and release sound effects which match the speed of the BG2 combat animations slightly better.


Restored BG1 Armor Hit Sound Effects

Much in a similar fashion as the above, this replaces the default combat hit sound effects with their BG1 counterparts. The former tend to be a bit more abrupt, while the latter have more emphasized thumps and that nice 'hollow' tinge.


Restored BG1 Armor Movement Sound Effects

These are barely audible rustles, tings and twangs as characters move around in armor. The BG1 variants are slightly less pronounced and more realistic.

 

Restored BG1 Interface Sound Effects

For the most part, these are very similar; however, some meticulous people may wish to restore the exact BG1 sound effects for the GUI and inventory management. The most noticeable difference is that the BG2 inventory variants have an additional rattle which many find annoying.


Restored BG1 Chunked Death Sound Effect

If you enable 'gore' in the game options, you will see a special death animation when the target's health points go well below zero; however, the related 'chunking' sound effect present in BG1 is missing in the sequel.

 

This component reintroduces the 'chunked death' sound effect to BG2. An alternative version is available to those of a more... sadistic inclination. Splatter!


Restored BG1 Gulp Sound Effect

BG2+ToB only

In BG2 people drink in awkward silence. This restores the memorable sound effect played when characters take a swig. Cheers!


Restored BG1 PC Soundsets (English)

BG2+ToB only

This component allows you to select the original BG1 soundsets for your characters.


Restored BG1 Base Sound Channel Volume Levels
Not to be confused with the volume sliders in the game options. More info at the IESDP.
 
Restored & Tweaked Creature Soundsets (WIP)
Requires mod TobEx component "Enable Animation Attack Sounds"
 
Highlights:
- restored BG1 monster and animal soundsets

- restored and tweaked BG1 non-joinable NPC soundsets
- solutions to the issues discussed in this thread
- restored never-heard-before monster attack sounds and never-seen-before animations

- monster attack sounds properly synchronized with animations
- over 5000 lines of code to restore, correct and tweak creature soundsets
 
Additional Creature Idle Sounds (WIP)
Requires component "Restored & Tweaked Creature Soundsets"
 
Idle (AKA "existance") sounds for some creatures without proper audio files. These are typically from the creatures' SELECT_COMMON pool.

 

This early version gives additional idle sounds to only a handful of creatures.
 
Restored & Tweaked Creature Idle Sounds (WIP)
Requires component "Restored & Tweaked Creature Soundsets"
 
Highlights:
- solution to the issues discussed here
- existance sound delay matching BG1
- customizable existance sound delay (default, per creature and per animation)

 

Compatibility: This component is currently incompatible with LolFixer. Let me know if you're up for some TP2 editing, and we'll get it running.

 

Restored BG1 Rare Right-Click Selection Sounds
Requires component "Restored & Tweaked Creature Soundsets"; BGT only
 
Highlights:
- solution to an issue discussed here
- SELECT_RARE moved to SELECT_COMMON for BG1 non-joinable NPCs
 
Restored & Tweaked BG1 Ambient Sound Effects (WIP)
BGT only
 
Highlights:
- restored horse ambients in appropriate BG1 areas
- restored rooster crow in appropriate BG1 areas
- attenuated loud BG1 main area day/night ambients
 
Muted Reputation Loss Sound Effect

You can now choose to disable the default sound effect which blares out when you lose reputation points.


Muted Tooltip Paper Sound Effect

Some people quickly get fed up with the paper-like sound played when tooltips roll out on the screen. Burn it. Now.


Muted Level Up Sound Effect
I think you get it.

 

Go ahead and ask me for more component details if you have any trouble reading the TP2, understanding what things do or how they work ;)


Edited by skellytz, 19 July 2017 - 11:31 AM.


#2 skellytz

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 05:48 PM

Please understand this isn't a proper readme yet. Certain things still need a lot of work and might change upon the first beta version. I'll do my best to throw you more info if you'd like to give this a go.

 

Until then ;)


Edited by skellytz, 15 July 2017 - 09:16 AM.


#3 temnix

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:48 AM

Say, Skellytz, have you removed the animation sounds from INI files? You know how it is: creatures have sounds from their CRE files, but also every animation has in-built sounds called on by its INI file. Both play and don't always overlap, so ogres cry twice when they die etc. And Silence doesn't do anything for the sounds in the INIs. The thing to do is to go through all of the INIs and delete the sound references, and that's what I've been doing. But while I was at it, I also made some changes and additions to body fall thumps, custom footsteps etc. There was just no point to doubling the work by making two separate mods, one without the additions and the other with. The reason I went to work on quieting down animations in the first place was that I needed zombies raised with my Animate Dead to only use their new, spell-added groaning sounds, and INIs played their old voice-overs alongside. I'm going to include this sound component with the Animate Dead mod as an option, but in case players don't like the body falls and other small additions there I would like to be able to recommend them another mod that silences the INIs. Does yours do this?


Edited by temnix, 14 August 2017 - 08:49 AM.


#4 skellytz

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:59 AM

I'm leaning towards 2DA (BG2, BGT) and INI soundsets (BGEE, BG2EE), so if anything, I typically remove a select few entries from CRE soundsets (e.g., attack sounds)

 

Now, I know it would be cool to just use CRE soundsets for everything to allow for individual creature customization; however, the benefits of 2DA/INI soundsets outweight the issues stemming from the animation system limitations. Without going into details, the in-CRE soundset is now considered obsolete and it just isn't worth focusing on. I doubt Beamdog will fix any of the issues with CRE soundsets I mentioned in my bug reports.

 

To answer your question: no, I haven't removed sounds from 2DA/INI soundsets (with the exception of a few animations that had incorrect or misplaced sounds).

 

I'll also have to take a look at the overlapping issue you mentioned. As far as I'm aware, in the original games only attack sounds from both 2DA/INI and CRE soundsets play simultanously; the engine prioritzes in-CRE soundsets for everything else. Maybe it's different now in BGEE? If you have them, see if you can reproduce the issue on the original platforms.



#5 Miloch

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 12:57 PM

I doubt Beamdog will fix any of the issues with CRE soundsets I mentioned in my bug reports.

Out of curiosity, what bugs? CRE soundsets are still useful for textual sound clips and those the INI/2DA files don't address (humanoid SELECT sounds etc.). But as you say, the INIs are preferable for most generic purposes.

 

There was an ancient bug in the 2DAs where only the first and last sounds in a series would play, but I'm pretty sure ToBEx fixed that. I'd assumed EE did with the INIs too (I recall mentioning it at the time certainly), but I thought I saw some report where this wasn't fixed?

 

For what it's worth, Tutu actually blanked the 2DAs and put the sounds on all the CREs (not the best solution; I think BGT went the other way). I guess the idea was that would be closest to vanilla BG1 behavior (which had no animation 2DAs).


Infinity Engine Contributions
Aurora * BG1 NPC * BG1 Fixpack * Haiass * Infinity Animations * Level 1 NPCs * P5Tweaks
PnP Free Action * Thrown Hammers * Unique Containers * BG:EE * BGII:EE * IWD:EE
================================================================
Player & Modder Resources
BAM Batcher * Creature Lister * Creature Checker * Creature Fixer * Tutu/BGT Area Map & List * Tutu Mod List
================================================================
"My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger." -Billy Connolly


#6 skellytz

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 02:26 PM

Out of curiosity, what bugs?

- ATTACK_2, ATTACK_3 and ATTACK_4 aren't ever played

- attack sounds don't match attack animations

 

CRE soundsets are still useful for textual sound clips and those the INI/2DA files don't address (humanoid SELECT sounds etc.).

Of course, but we're talking about monster animations here. Naturally, NPCs and the likes still rely on CRE soundsets. I also see the potential of using existing animations to create a unique monster type by applying visual effects and assigning a new in-CRE soundset. Sadly, it hadn't been fully realized and now BGEE allows you to add new animation codes with ease.

 

There was an ancient bug in the 2DAs where only the first and last sounds in a series would play, but I'm pretty sure ToBEx fixed that. I'd assumed EE did with the INIs too (I recall mentioning it at the time certainly), but I thought I saw some report where this wasn't fixed?

Take a look at my reports. These have been passed on to Beamdog. No progress as of yet.

 

For what it's worth, Tutu actually blanked the 2DAs and put the sounds on all the CREs (not the best solution; I think BGT went the other way). I guess the idea was that would be closest to vanilla BG1 behavior (which had no animation 2DAs)

2DA/INI are far superior and have given me a chance to restore a whole bunch of sounds that had never been used properly. BG1 (BGT) monsters still use their CRE soundsets and I don't change that. In fact, I'm in the process of tweaking CRE soundsets, restoring sounds and adding new IDLE sounds that can be only assigned through CRE files.

 

In other words, the combination of 2DA/INI and CRE soundsets is currently unavoidable. Personally, I'd also never go for removing in-2DA/INI sounds in favor of CRE soundsets.

 



#7 temnix

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 04:12 AM

Just in what ways are INI sounds superior? As I see it, they are the wrong solution and CRE sounds are the right solution. An animation - talking about monsters here - represents a creature type, not a subtype or an individual. It is "an ogre" or "a hobgoblin." I don't know how this actually evolved, but it seems to me that originally Bioware did not consider that monsters may be individuated, so the animation, the visual, was bundled with audio. In effect, the ogre animation WAS the ogre, very handy. Bioware did not intend to split monsters into subtypes and multiply them or differentiate them, much less treat them as human/demihuman animations. Their ideas about a monster did not run very far. When the designers wanted some variation, a stronger or weaker version of a creature, they simply renamed and at most recolored the animation, leaving sounds as they were (the Diablo way of getting variety). Sometimes they went as far as changing the assigned soundset, as with wolves - Vampiric, Dread etc. But it did not occur to them or it did not matter that creatures might be more than flat types. CRE sounds provide for individuation. They are for personal sounds on top of generic looks, since it's impossible to really individuate those. We cannot have monsters who are slightly lower, or taller, or fatter, or faster. We are stuck with these few images. But we are not stuck with limited sounds. There is no reason to add custom animations if one wants, for example, ogres to have different attack cries, death shrieks, groans and what not. They are not special ogres to be introduced - they are just ogres who get to have diverse voices like every creature ought to.

 

There are just not enough good appropriate sounds to diversify all creatures this way, broadly. To make ogres respond differently within a range. But when, for some reason or some use, a modder wants to add variety locally, he should be able to. He should not have to struggle with ingrained sounds because the game was once small and old-time designers were thinking in generics. And what do INI sounds add to the CRE sound range, anyway? Only the "turn head" sounds, which in practice are again often inconvenient or binding. Whatever it is ogres might do when idle - scratch their asses, fart, stomp, yawn - I don't care for that behavior to be fixed in everyone who happens to have the ogre animation. Every ogre in the world should not scratch his ass. Perhaps cows may be allowed to keep their moos in that slot so they keep mooing without being prodded, as an ambient, but that's because cows do that, and that is all they do.


Edited by temnix, 15 August 2017 - 04:16 AM.


#8 skellytz

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 06:26 AM

temnix, all I'm saying is that you may quickly realize stripping 2DA/INI soundsets late in the chain may or may not be worth all the effort. Moving the basic sound entries to CRE soundsets will require extra work (some compatibility-related) that might discourage you half-way through. Look how long it's taken me to tweak 2DA soundsets, and now I'm slowing trudging through the existing CRE soundsets. Changing CREs is a lot more time-consuming.

 

2DA/INI soundsets aren't necessarily superior by design -- they've enforced certain behavior which would only be a hindrance had modding been easier back in the days.

 

Still, as it is now, if I wanted to add a new monster type or sub-type, I'd add it as a new animation code and use the 2DA/INI soundset because:

- I want it to be dialog.tlk independent for convenience

- I want to be able to synchronize the animations with sounds by changing the frame offsets

- I want the hardcoded pitch variance for extra flavor

- I want attack sound alternatives

- I want the extra sound options, like SHOOT or SLEEP, but I don't want to disperse sounds between two soundset systems

 

If all you want is to add some variety to only a handful of monsters, like zombies, then I imagine it working as intended with some compatibility checks. But, in my opinion, going through all the monsters like that will be a lot of busy work that may not be worth it.

 

In any case -- I always keep my fingers crossed for any audio-related mod :)



#9 Miloch

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:03 AM

Take a look at my reports. These have been passed on to Beamdog. No progress as of yet.

Just to be clear, are you saying the middle sounds in a series in both 2DAs and INIs still do not play? Truly, this was supposed to be one of the first things they fixed with INIs, so it seems a strange regression.

 

If you still get no response, send it directly to Avenger (the DLTCEP maintainer) and ask if he can find and squash the bug in the code. He's usually pretty good at that. :)

 

As for everything else, there should just be a simple (I suppose CRE-level) switch to use 2DA sounds or ignore them (and use any CRE resources available). Either that or (as I think is the default behavior, no?) the CRE sounds should just override 2DA sounds (not play simultaneously).


Infinity Engine Contributions
Aurora * BG1 NPC * BG1 Fixpack * Haiass * Infinity Animations * Level 1 NPCs * P5Tweaks
PnP Free Action * Thrown Hammers * Unique Containers * BG:EE * BGII:EE * IWD:EE
================================================================
Player & Modder Resources
BAM Batcher * Creature Lister * Creature Checker * Creature Fixer * Tutu/BGT Area Map & List * Tutu Mod List
================================================================
"My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger." -Billy Connolly


#10 temnix

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 08:45 AM

The challenge for me, Skellytz, is to give old monsters new voices. Not replace them with different creatures, but take those same corpses just felled by the party (who I've learned to target) and then bring them back up on their feet under a necromancer's control. As per Animate Dead rules, they perform as zombies, so that's what I call them. These zombies can't have their old sounds, rather obviously. They shamble and they shuffle and they gurgle. I use scripts to give them different verbal constants, the CRE side of the situation, but they also play their fixed INI stuff. And since anybody who was alive in the first place is subject to reanimation, not just select or vanilla creatures but anybody, there is no choice but to go through all INI files and delete the sounds there.


Edited by temnix, 17 August 2017 - 08:46 AM.




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