Articles, Blog

Wwise Tour 2018 – Remedy Entertainment (1 of 3) Breaking Time in Quantum Break


okay good afternoon everyone thank you for coming and thank you audiokinetic for organizing this event so who are we birthed Oh is senior audio programmer and I’m Martin senior technical order designer we both work at remedy which you probably know from games like Max Payne Alan Wake and quantum break we are based in Espoo Finland we are currently working on three games control which is a multi-platform game we are developing with with 505 games which will be out in 2019 for console and PC PC platforms then we are working with smile get on our first first-person shooter which is crossfire HD more specifically we are creating the single-player campaign mode for it and finally Vanguard a small development team whose mission is to challenge conventions and to prototype and ship cheap new types of ongoing live multiplayer game experiences and we also have a dedicated in-house engine and to steam this is the audio team the current one it has been growing over the years / – is going to tell you a bit about some of our past and current audio tech and I’m going to go through some of ours and implementation and system design let’s start with quantum break the number one killer is time it destroys us all when Paul came back he took away the only person who could stop the end of time I thing is what time bro can change ball change me too times just enclosed to do so quantum break is available on Xbox one and PC it was released in 2016 and the audio team was about 10 people including full-time outsourcers at the end of the production before we start on the topic of gameplay music in quantum break I would like to thank the composers who helped it helped make this happen by delivering great content I think actually Matz is in the room today with us hello so time breaking down is a big part of what quantum break is about we needed to again play music to react to it real-time time stretching is one of the main things we wanted to try with this game the problem is audiokinetic doesn’t recommend doing that within the documentation using the wise time stretch effect plug-in obviously messes with the playback speed and the music system doesn’t keep track of these changes well we did it anyway and almost regretted that decision so what about time stretching the whole music when time stops or slows down it sounds nice but it breaks some transitions when we can hear some clicks but nothing too dramatic one problem though is that time stretching percussive instruments a lot like 16 times doesn’t sound good so what about only 10 thrashing non percussive instruments and muting the rest in order to do that all the music in quantum break is split into progressive and non percussive trucks the other benefit of this is that we can affect the even on percussive tracks in different ways not only regarding time stretching it was a bit of a pain for the composers actually because they had to make sure that there was some signal at any time in the non percussive tracks this meant we would always hear something and we would never have complete silence when the music is is time stretched like 16 times so this solves the first issue but creates a new one now as soon as we start using time powers both tracks are out of sync until the end of the current music segment which is the reason for the third track it’s an exact copy of the second one content wise the idea is that the second track is the one being time stretched when time slows down and it’s heard only at that point and the third track is not time stretched ever and it’s her only when time is not slowed down we simply crossfade between two these two depending on if time is slowed down or not so when time is slowed down and the music plays at normal speed the burkas even on percussive instruments are always in sync except for a few clicks here and there it works okay in addition to the use of time stretching the music is affected in real time by a few more things like EQ delay harmonizer tremolo and distortion actually the frequency of the tremolo is synced to the tempo every time the main character uses his time powers the tremolo modulates the input signal randomly over either triplets 16.6 siletz or 32nd notes some time powers can potentially be active simultaneously so when he did it this sorry we needed this big nested verse hierarchy here where each bus has its own effects and our TPC curves the performance is okay because we could buy some effects when they were not needed time strategic had to be done in the interactive music hierarchy so we had to be careful with the number of instances playing simultaneously it ended up being okay although that screenshots that screenshot here shows only the music side of things we used real time stands retching on many more things but I will get to that so here is an example of time powers I’m going to show you a few of them this is a time blast and it uses harmonizer and high-pass filter is it loud enough a second one time Doge we like an optional slow-motion when when you aim at the end of this power this one uses time stretch EQ tremolo for the slow-motion parts and a peak limiter to keep a nice control the loudness level when only the time stretched non percussive instruments are heard oops then time rush with again an optional emotion when you aim at the end it uses time stretch EQ tremolo for the transitions and the same limiter again you probably heard a few clicks it’s exactly the problem we mentioning before that’s that using the touch stretch in the music system messes up with a few things but it’s okay manageable ten-time shield which is a bit different uses some EQ tremolo actually the frequency of the tremolo here is synced to the tempo like we discussed before and some delay which are actually not happy about because it makes the tremolo a bit harder to distinguish but it’s part of the whole thing and you may have heard there is some kind of progression through it so when you activate this shield as a player you know when it’s going to end by just listening to it oh and by the way yes they strike with composed by mats who is hopefully still in the room so now unstable objects these are basically obstacles that the player has to overcome by using the ten powers technically they are animations the playback of which randomly plays forward and backward at a variable speed and time powers have an impact on the playback speed rewinding objects are quite similar but the player here controls the playback directly they can play forward and backward and pause at any time and again the time powers have an impact on the speed of the animation playback so as a player with these special objects we can compose or reverse playback direction at any time and time powers can slow down or freeze these objects in time so how do we make sound for these well granular synthesis could be a great option but back then there was no granular synthesis plug-in in voice so we created our own called Q green where Q stands for quantum with the help of a scenario from Sibelius Academy it looks like this most of the parameters are very common for a granular synthesizer but an interesting addition is this forward backward parameter which controls the grain playback direction for example all the in several objects had this kind of setup where the timeline position RT PC is the playback position of the animation it controls where in the inputs audio file the plug-in generates grains from and the timeline speed are TPC controls if the grains are played forward or backward the main layers of these unstable and rewinding objects are made with granular synthesis and normal one-shot sounds are used for the impacts the voice volume and the voice volume envelope of which are controlled by the time Lightspeed RTP scene so let’s see and listen to a few examples often stable objects Oh in this one notice how the time powers affect the audio and some examples of rewinding objects okay time travel sequences so these sequences we’re not worth spending hundreds of hours on like more systemic features or bigger content we needed a cheap and easy way to make some audio for these two moments only using the tools and the features we already had there wasn’t time to create new unique content either so how do we travel through time in quantum break by using a time machine of course it looks like this from the outside and this from the inside basically when you want to go back in time you take the bottom right entrance and you walk all the way counterclockwise and when you want to travel to the future you want you enter the time machine from the bottom left entrance and you go through it clockwise in the example I’m going to show you soon we are traveling back in time so visually in otherwise we wanted everything to react to which direction you are traveling in through time an important point that we also wanted to convey is that you can change direction or speed at any time and it’s going to affect how time involves around you one more thing is that we wanted audio and visuals to be perfectly synchronized as you travel in time through the time machine you see remnants or ghosts of the previous and future travelers to signify these ghosts we just used generic breathing sounds whispers and laughter and process them with our granular synthesizer so they could be easily played backward when traveling to the past on top of that they are also I’m stretched when the player stops walking and time freezer them in the time-travel sequences as effect our obstructs sounds that are visually in synced with lighting and VFX some are samples processed with the granular synthesis and some other kinds of real-time to disease using white sauce plugins are sound seasoned weed and synth one again we use ten thread hit freeze them in time when the player stops moving for music we use done stretching again for when time stops but in terms of playback direction it was trickier to deal with because granular synthesis would have messed it up too much we need another way to change the direction of the playback at any time so what you can see here is the music segment with the music content playing normally and this is the same music segment with the content being reversed but we couldn’t choose just switch between music segments by syncing to the same time in the other music segments because both tracks are mirrored so the beginning of the rivers track is the end of the the original one for example at the marker 13-3 where is it pointer is it this one yeah oh I can’t see well I think yeah this this marker here if you look at the waveform here it looks like on the previous track if you go at the same like timecode you don’t find the same even reverse you don’t find the same kind of waveform you have actually to go to the end of the truck and there I really can’t see but I think it’s here you can see the reversed waveform we have just seen so it’s exactly the purpose of all of these markers and this is how we had to set up the transition rules so the SiC points at is at the right location depending on on which marker is at the start of the next beat when the transition is requested because of how many voices are playing simultaneously will with all of these instances of wise time stretch and cue grain it was really tricky to make it all work together also the fact that the time machine is a Taurus didn’t help with for tracking the player character position and direction relative to the time machine I will spare you the details but I can explain more at the end if you are interested but let’s listen to the result now so in this video capture is a bit long so now it’s time for Berto to tell you a bit about our in Tec

1
Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *