Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

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nafira
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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by nafira »

I'm not really using sound, so I can't say "I prefer those or these".
And whichever case, everyone taste is different, so I can't judge.

But, I refreshed my computer due a .sys file corrupted, and lost my auto-update on factorio. I thought that 0.18 wasn't coming.
Anyways : real map color :o :o :o

It's so useful when your playing to preserve trees in vanilla !!

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by BattleFluffy »

Quick intermission between criticisms of the sound, for a shout out to Factorio's new sound designer for the dilligent efforts, and to acknowledge that he has one of the hardest jobs ever... :P
We 100% support you though Ian !! Please keep going ! :>

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by Kenira »

Sorry if this sounds overly negative, but i am in the camp of *strongly* disliking a lot of the new sounds. As in, they actually cause me pain to listen to. The two big themes for my criticism are: inconsistency, and demanding attention.

A lot of the sounds are just screaming for attention now which is exhausting and annoying to have as background sounds. I was specifically playing to hear the new sounds and after like an hour i had to stop because so many things bothered me so much i literally can't play.

There is also a specific trend that i dislike, and that is more scraping sounds, and more high pitched sounds, both of which i find very unpleasant. Another trend is more intermittent sounds instead of constant sounds, and that again calls for attention. Constant noises are easier on the ears.

I also strongly agree with what IronCartographer and KatherineOfSky have written:
IronCartographer wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:11 pm
The "dirty/muddled" effect may not be as exciting as the new ones, but for some people that is the point: They were relaxing...rather than exhausting.

I get that opinions will vary, universal appeal is impossible, and people will inevitably mod things to their liking, but please take the long-term effects seriously as well as immediate "shiny appeal" of the new sounds. This all reminds me of how some audiophile gear is so good at generating precise high frequency distributions that it makes music more fatiguing than cheaper, more muddled speakers to many listeners. Consistency and relaxation are desirable too.
KatherineOfSky wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:12 am
I think that belt sounds at all are not a good thing. Belts are everywhere, and having extra noise created by them is just too much. I don't even want to be in my factory any more when I hear that constant background noise. I hope the belt sounds are removed completely. Their silence was very restful and relaxing to the game.
Especially entities that are everywhere should simply not make much sound. Currently playing factorio is just extremely overwhelming.


Here are my thoughts on the specific sounds:

- Belts: Just way too noticeable for an entity you have everywhere, and many of them (see also quotes above)
Yellow belts: Not too bad and by far the least bad of the belts, but still too much for constant background noise.
Red belt is just a horrible and unbearable whine. One of those sounds that make me unable to play.
Blue belts are less bad than red, but still worse than yellow and quite unpleasant.
- Splitters: Same story as belts, way too loud and annoying for an entity you have everywhere.
- Alert sound when buildings get destroyed: metal plink, when i first heard it i thought it was just some assembly machine making a sound and i would never have guessed it was an alert from the sound alone. Needs to be more noticeable and more clearly an alert sound
- Offshore pump: Similar to belts, just way too much for constant background noise, and also an annoying sound.
- Assembly machines: The intermittent clinking sounds are annoying, and AM3 also has some scraping sounds which are really unpleasant.
- And while we're speaking of sounds: Old walking sound on sand was so bad for me i modded it out. The dirt walking sound now has similar qualities, even if not as bad.
- Substations: Pressure feeling from the constant hum, especially if you have several
- Turbines: Again: i love the sound by itself, it's good for a turbine. But it causes a heavy pressure feeling, and it's just too much for something running in the background.
- Pumpjacks: Some unpleasant qualities, also bit of a scraping, and while technically it might be a better sound by itself and more fitting, it just demands attention too much and it's unpleasant
- Chem plant: Mostly good, but also the intermittent almost "ticking" kind of sound is annoying and again screaming for attention
- Centrifuge: Extremely piercing high frequency screeching every ~2s, absolutely unbearable
- Hand mining ores: Same story, the high pitched sound is very piercing and unbearable
- Trains: Does not sound like a fuel burning locomotive. Also again a grindy kind of sound which is unpleasant and not satisfying

A few things that aren't as bad, but i still don't like or don't make sense to me:
- Landmines and combat bots exploding use the same sound: It's very good for bots, but it does not sound right for landmines. Bit hard to describe, but it sounds like a high tech thing exploding and it just doesn't make sense for landmines.
- Atomic bomb: I am very confused as to what's going on there, but it sounds absolutely wrong for an explosion, and it's very disappointing. It almost seems to me like nuke sounds use the same small explosion sound as mines and exploding bots, and the change to that sound messed with it? Either way, i suggest looking at the mod "Mushroom Cloud" for how to better make a nuclear explosion look and sound better / more satisfying
- Tank sound: Idle sound is great, the fact that the sound is basically the same even when driving doesn't make sense and is also disappointing / feels like a huge wasted opportunity
- Wood chopping: Of the multiple chopping sounds, the new ones are less satisfying compared to the old chopping sound.
- Running over trees is inconsistent and also produces a "pling" kind of sound that sounds more like hitting something metal instead of wood

Neutral:
- Combat bots: Cool idea in theory, but also you'll never want to use *all* bot types at the same time so it feels bit pointless. Also i'm not sure i like the execution, but i haven't quite made up my mind about the bot sounds yet

Also possibly a bug:
- Double sound when getting items out of a chest / putting in a chest with opening inventory and ctrl / shift clicking a stack. Sounds like there's both a sound playing for taking an item, and receiving an item in the player inventory.

The few good things i noticed:
- Rocket set up and launch sounds are amazing
- Tank idle sound, also very good

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by kitt159 »

The sounds of robots sound really strange. I would rather choose the sound of propellers or something like that. I also think that damaged belts could have a creaking or whistling sound. It would sound more realistic and the player would be more motivated to fix the belt :D

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by VetraNyx »

I totally agree with what has been said about new sounds for inserters, belts, etc. They're rather exhausting after a while.

But not everything is bad imho, i kinda like the new steam engines sounds, the walking sounds, the tank idle sound, etc

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by IronCartographer »

Kenira wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:13 pm

- Wood chopping: Of the multiple chopping sounds, the new ones are less satisfying compared to the old chopping sound.

...

Also possibly a bug:
- Double sound when getting items out of a chest / putting in a chest with opening inventory and ctrl / shift clicking a stack. Sounds like there's both a sound playing for taking an item, and receiving an item in the player inventory.
The new wood chopping effects sound like the player is sometimes having less success with swings, or hitting smaller branches: Realistic, but counterproductive for providing a satisfying tree-chopping experience.

The double-sound when opening an inventory and using shift- or control-click to grab things into your inventory definitely seems like an oversight, as the second sound is delayed when in multiplayer, but near simultaneous in single-player. Either way it's distinct enough to sound like a bug rather than smooth design (even if it does convey more information, the player only needs to hear either the transfer-start or item-received, not both).

Inserters now clamor for attention with their volume as well. I think a lot of the standard factory sounds would be better if they were quieter (on a separate volume control from combat sounds, which are fine aside from biters being on a ridiculous churring-loop now rather than being "occasionally vocal" as before), but I have one final thought/theory at the moment:

The scraping/whining noises now are probably more uncomfortable specifically because they are "higher quality" rather than muffled. The old sounds tended to imply a certain noise, but not actually subject the listener to it. A good example: The old assembler-3 sound. Game-sound effects rather than painfully realistic audio (especially the highest frequencies). I sincerely hope that this perspective is helpful when considering any adjustments that can be made going forward.

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by Serenity »

Yeah, just having some sounds more quiet helps a lot. There is a mod that allows volume control per entity so you can easily see the result. Reducing belts and assembly machines to 30% for example seems to work pretty well

https://mods.factorio.com/mod/VolumeControl


The nuke is pretty horrible. You only hear the individual explosions that make up the effect. There is no central explosion radiating outward. So it's more like a cluster bomb

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by bobucles »

I'm going to throw my vote down for keeping most sounds in the theme of being comfy background noise. Factorio is neither a dedicated action game nor a sensory melting experience. The greatest challenges come from the player sitting back and going "hmm", which doesn't mix very well with stimulating aggressive sounds.

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by Squelch »

Audible feedback is very important for situational awareness, but I also have to agree that the new sounds are just a bit aggressive. The quality is subjectively better however, so if this current round could be softened a little, I believe a balance can be struck.

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by bobucles »

Audible feedback is very important for situational awareness,
How much situational awareness does sound really need to provide? There's nothing in the factory that can really hurt you or fail in some catastrophic way. There can be one thing or a thousand moving things, and it doesn't really change the player's situation, so there isn't much need to be aware of them. Just a comfortable feeling of knowing they're there.

The only truly dangerous things are trains and biters. So being able to hear trains is pretty important, at least when they're about to run you down, and hearing biters is probably important as well.

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by Squelch »

bobucles wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:06 pm
How much situational awareness does sound really need to provide? There's nothing in the factory that can really hurt you or fail in some catastrophic way. There can be one thing or a thousand moving things, and it doesn't really change the player's situation, so there isn't much need to be aware of them. Just a comfortable feeling of knowing they're there.
I'm not quite sure were the challenge comes from here when I was in fact agreeing with you.

Whether you are aware of it or not, the sounds do add to the canvas of the game. It's not just a matter of danger perception, or any of the other cues that might be used in, say, a first person shooter. It is more nuanced, and the difference can be felt if the sound for Factorio is completely muted and played for a while. Hearing assemblers operating, robots docking and inserters... inserting, gives an overall sense of the health of the factory and ultimately, that sense of verisimilitude without going full first person simulation.

It may simply be a matter of acclimatization. We, as humans can get rather used to persistent environmental sounds, and only really notice them if they change. As an engineer, and very used to discordant industrial noises, one of my fault finding tools is my hearing, along with smell, and touch even before the diagnostic tools come out. In fact, vibration analysis is a recognised method of diagnosing machine health. The new sounds overall, to me, have a harshness that feels uncomfortable. I suspect that same feeling is what others have expressed in what is a highly subjective area, mostly seem to agree that there is a certain harshness to the new sounds. Those subjective opinions then become a consensus of which mine is but one.

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by azesmbog »

I’ll add my five cents.
I really, really, really DO NOT like the new sound of a shot from a cannon and an armored train. Dry, clicking like a rifle.
I shoot a lot :)), and when I was tired of hearing THIS, I simply simply replaced this sound from an older version of the game. Voila! Well, I'm used to the thumping sound of a gun, but not to the clicking sound dry.
I hope I can handle the rest of the annoying sounds too. Thanks for playing!

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by bobucles »

It's also fair to say that the engineer would be wearing some form of ear protection in their factory. The heavy clang clang sound of a thousand machines will add up quickly, and any engineer without earplugs will quickly find themselves in trouble. The first types of sounds to get suppressed from ear protection would be the harsher high frequency tones, while the comfy hugbox rumble in the bones would still remain.

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Re: Friday Facts #332 - More sounds & Map color tweaks

Post by lindahartlen »

Ill be honest, I have now completely muted Factorio when I play it or I will get a wicked headache from the cacophony of sounds from a busy factory. It is too much, specially since I always play with a headset so the sounds are directly into the ears. Kenira really summed it up perfectly.

With everything that comes with 0.18 it isn't relaxing anymore, I find I am tired from sounds. Or at least before I turned all sounds off. And honestly when the solution is to either not play or turn off all sounds, something is wrong.

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