Isle of tune mod

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ssilk
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Isle of tune mod

Post by ssilk »

Crazy idea, please ignore me. :) but I must tell:

http://isleoftune.com/apps/

I think, this should be possible for factorio, too. Items on belts can trigger sideway standing machines, which plays sounds. Or many other possibilities, inserters, factories, trees, water, different items make sounds...

What's needed to make such a mod?
Factorio needs to have a map-editor, in which you can fast switch to play the scene. While playing, you can also edit it (not all elements) during play. Then you can stop a nd edit the others. Switching between play and edit back and forth, you create the piece.
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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by slpwnd »

LoL this thing is brilliant. Actually one of the ideas we had was that the different machines would have different sounds and they would be played based on the players position / distance towards the machine. However in the end we dropped the idea because we thought it would get monotonous soon.

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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by cube »

What about making an extra item that does nothing, but makes sounds when passing stuff on transporter belt?
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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by SilverWarior »

cube wrote:What about making an extra item that does nothing, but makes sounds when passing stuff on transporter belt?
What about making extra item (special belt section) which generates special signal when item pases through. And then adding another block item for playing sounds.
Why making two items instead of one? Becouse first suggested item can be used for many other thing than just playung music :D

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Sound design in factorio

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slpwnd wrote:LoL this thing is brilliant. Actually one of the ideas we had was that the different machines would have different sounds and they would be played based on the players position / distance towards the machine. However in the end we dropped the idea because we thought it would get monotonous soon.
I think the sound-design to make the game not sounding monotonous is not easy, but possible. And when done right it can sound quite realistic.

I'll try to explain this in detail and don't try to make too much own suggestions. :) This article is not about the game music, it's only about the sound and how a really own sound can be generated, which sounds great and enable the players in hearing informations about the state of their factory just by listen.


At first, there is the "sound area", a sound can be heard. The area is dependent from the map and the player, which stands on the map. The player hears the surrounding sounds. He doesn't hear the game music, but many other things happen here. There is for example wind, which is some kind of background noise, which can always heard. Some other sound are from the pure surroundings, water, forest, sand... All make different sounds.
Then there are the things you can built,or stuff which isn't made by the creepers. Factories, inserters. Yes, also the belt makes a silent, but bearable noise, if you are standing directly aside.

Of course the more distant, the less I can hear and the more the sound is smeared.
This is very important to make the sounds realistic. In a wide and open area, sound can be heard very far. I think to the area you can see when zooming out nearly completely. The more stuff is built, the more noise is produced, and so, the "area of a sound" shrinks, cause it will be lost in the background noise. This is also very CPU-friendly, because when you have much things on screen, only the nearest would make sound.

The second point is the distance. Of course it is not like "here I hear it, and one step further the sound is gone". The sound blends out with the distance.

The third thing is the "room". This is a term in music engineering. It means, that every instrument, every noise, has it's own sound, plus the room-sound. You cannot record an instrument without room sound (you can, but its extremely hard and it sound absolutely unnatural, when you hear such a recording). For factorio this means, that a sound - dependent on his position relative to the player - is going into different sound-rooms. The simplest example is stereo: if a sound is on the left, the signal is routed to the left stereo channel and vice versa. This is a special case, cause stereo channels are normally not thought as rooms, but for this example it was good.

Till here, we have a soundscape like in Rollercoaster Tycoon. I recommend a look into it, cause the sound is for such a game really great.

But lets go further. In reality distant sounds become not only more silent, but more and more reverb is added, because the sound is reflected more times. And very loud (=near) sounds blend the others out. This means, that far sound are more and more mixed into a reverb-room and blended out from the normal room. For distant sounds, the heights are cutted. High frequencies are more and more filtered out (this is the general rule, in the mountains it is different, but we have here no mountains til now).
Very near or loud sounds will kill every other sound. This is done in a compression room. When you hear techno, the basedrum often mutes all other sounds, especially pads, strings or so. This is done with compression. The basedrum signal is routed to a compressor and mutes the normal- and reverb-rooms.

Let's abstract: the sound design in this game is a complicated process.
1 Find all sounds that currently should be played. This depends on
1.1 priority. For example the bongos of the creepers before they start their rush is important. The swooshing of the trees and hissing of the wind is also very important, because when you suddenly remove it, it will sound strange (can be done, before the night comes, is a very psychoacoustic effect). The sound of the steam engine is more important than those of a bird in the forest or some machines, because it gives the player an important information about the state of electricity. But in the morning, the birds become important, so they are played.
1.2 distance. As explained at some point it is senseless to play a sound because it gets too silent and gets lost in the background noise.
2. Mixing
This is just taking every sound and calculate the level for each stereo channel. There are some formulas, which can calculate this more or less correctly. (It's not just level = 1/distance!)
3. Rooming
By distance and resulting level sounds are mixed into different rooms. For example
- normal-room. That's just the normal signal.
- reverb-room. The more distant sound becomes more and more reverb and the high frequencies are filtered.
- near/loud-room very near or very loud sounds come into this rooms and will damp the other rooms (compression)
This is very rudimentary. For example, it makes sense to trigger also a very near sound into the reverb or echo-room, when it is very loud. Think of thunderstorm or a blast.

4. Mixing the rooms.
The rooms are mixed together; eventually if you are in survival or good mode the mix changes. The result is the in-game sound.

Some more stuff about sample design in factorio

A sample is piece of sound which is played, when some event happens.

When you hear a machine, you have very much different sounds. For example lets take a car. It doesn't make just brbrbrbrbrbrbrbr, it makes more brbrbttbrbttbrbrbbrbr. The sound is not monotonous, there are different parts. One makes br, the other btt, the third bbr. And they are mixed together by random. Other example. If you take a sample of a snare-drum and play it over and over it will sound like a machine-gun. To make a realistic sounding snare, you need many snare samples and play it in some more or less random order. There are some more tricks like this but in general the altering of sounds is very important because in reality every explosion sounds different and the ear is very good in hearing little differences.

For factorio this means, that for example the copper wire production - which is very fast - just cannot use the same sample over and over. You need altered sounds, because otherwise it won't sound as machine, it sounds like a machine gun.

Think of different situations, when power is low it sounds different than, with high power. Or when coal runs out.

This means to the process described above, that we have a step 1.3 that's responsible for choosing the right samples,because dependent on the state of the machine, the produced item, the surrounding (water, terrain, forest) there could be different sounds.

And that for all types of machines, creepers, their houses, etc. in different states. Could become a nightmare soon, so a high level of planning and organization is needed.
What can be done yet is making one example engine and try to program the whole process of sound generation through, one, because the complicated stuff is creating the samples. How many are needed, how does it sound in the mix...

As mentioned above I tried not to be too selfish, but cannot inhibit own ideas. So I will repeat my own ideas here so you can distinct them. I think for some background noises, depending on ground material. Over this, the normal sounds from the direct surrounding are pulled and over that distant, but loud sounds. I think that you might hear the time of day just by hearing the surrounding sound. It's also possible to hear very distant explosions or some conga war songs from the creepers. When standing besides am machine, it's so loud, that other sounds are turned down, this expands the dynamic.

Edit: cole to coal and hole to whole. No purpose, bad habit.
Last edited by ssilk on Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by MF- »

Interesting, it could add another dimension to the game IF the factorio teams had someone who understands how to do it right.
Also it sounds like as if sound rendering could take the similar time as graphics rendering.

PS: "coal" and "whole", please. (Unless are doing it on purpose)

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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by SilverWarior »

@ssilk
Have you ever been in a real factory? And I mean spend few days there and not just couple of minutes on some guided tour through factory.
I have. I actualy spent few months workin in one. And I can tell you that every machine has its own repeating sound rhythm. And this rhythm is constant. Infact pepole who spent workin at one machine for longer time can quickly tell you that something is wrong with that machine by its sound itself. Becouse whenever it changes something in the proces changed which resulted in change of machines sonund.

As for which sounds should be heard and which not:
When I started working in factory I first only heard the noisiest machines. But with time that I grew acustom to their sounds a litle bit I become to filter those sounds and started hearing even more quiter machines.
It is just like when you are doing conversation with other pepole in disco. While they talk with much quitere voice than the music you can still hear them. Yes sometimes you need to ask them to repeat what they just sad only becouse you wasn't concentrated enough to filter all that noised music at the time.

Another thing is that when you have bunch of machine sounds played together it can quickly become realisticly unpleasant to be constantly hearing that. And this will make pepole stop playing Factorio why becouse they got that anoying feeling of realy being in a factory.
Go ahead and do a survey asking some pepole who work in factories if they like hearing the sounds of the factory machines all day. I'll bet that 99 percent of all of them will say no. ANd about 70 percent of them will say that they managed to live vith that but they still don't prefer that.


And if you don't belive me that listening something like real factory sounds would become tiresome quite quickly either go to some real factory (many of them use sound insulation between roms to make whole thing a litle more barable) or you can simulate similar sound at home.
How to simulate such sound?
Take a mucrophine and record several smal samples of you hitting table, diferent pots, closing books, striking pillows, etc.
To make sounds a bit les unrealistic cover the mik with a soft blanket. This will filter most poping sounds and will get you similar expirience as if you would have been listening to those sounds from about 10-20 feet away.
After you recorded theese sounds use some computer program to go and randomly play them so that more than one of them can also be played at once and try to listen to this four about and hour or more.
I think that only some hardcore electro music likers or some pukeys could withstand to listed to that for longer periods and actually kinda enjoy it. All other pepole would start to hate it quite soon and some would even go mad. You definitly wouldn't like to drive papole away from Factorio just becouse it became hard to listen.

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Soundscaping

Post by ssilk »

Hmmm.

@MF-: another dimension is what I want. The sound should help with 2 things: bringing feeling into the game and more information/status instead of more graphics.v

@SilverWarior: you are right, but my intension was never to make it sounding like a real factory. My first try was making sounds like steam engines (steam punk), but that was also too much. In my mind was always what you said: hearing that something goes wrong. But on the other side I thought to birds singing in the morning (like now) - which never gets boring.
My purpose was not to make a factory sound. Hm. O.k. Perhaps a little bit. But my thoughts went in a different direction.

I want to explain this.

Factorio would work well without sound. (I mean with "sound" all, inclusive music.) That's true, I tried it. But the game feels then some kind of numb. It's like playing without sense. Its like going into a silent movie even without piano music.

I wrote so long about this is, because I like the ground laying idea so much, someone stranded anywhere and building things up from scratch. But when I play it, it becomes soon only a - very brilliant - built-and-destroy game. I want a little bit more. I want to fear the darkness, I want to hear the creepers gathering for the run, I would like to hear power shortage and looking hectic for the reason...
Edit: I really wanted to hear the loneliness, lost on a planet, with nothing, the only chance to survive is building up.

I tried out different kinds of music and noise and I can surely tell that some combinations work better than others, for example, what worked:

- background noise (wind, sizzling...)
- some very monotonous, very slowly changing music (ambient) with very low drums
- some percussion-like sound (small bell, tap, clap...) when a factory finished an item, steam engine sound for the steam engine & locomotive

I tried for example some music recommended in this forum, but that didn't work well to support this feelings.I tried conga music before the creepers come. Works well.

Tried industrial sounds for the factories. You need then to know, that I was working this out in my music program. For every factory I made a channel and repeated the sample with about the same time the factory needs as in the game. Then I switched to the game and tried to imagine how this feels.

... That was interesting. As silverwarior mentioned it gets some kind of annoying . It works better with reduced heights and much better with short or very, very short samples. I began to experiment with it. It doesn't need to be a noise, a short piano, xylophone, any instrument which is cut into a short but characteristic sample.

And at some point it happened, that the different times of repeating created some kind of melody. I was fascinated and the association to isle of tunes was there.

Now I would like to upload the soundscape I've created, so that you can hear it, but currently I think this is not ready for presentation; who knows me knows, that it sounds terrible for other ears than mine. it's just so, that I feel, this is the right way, and in most cases I've been right with it.

I'll try to make a presentable example, but the problem is time... Perhaps I should write less and program more... :)
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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by SilverWarior »

You know I actually do understand what you want. Te only problem is that it is hard to vocalize factry status without that vocalization to become tiresome after some time.
Now if you ask me I would be prety happy with some voice warnings about critical stuff about your factory like low power, mine exhauset, no coal in boilers and such. Theese could be short narated sounds.

But as for general atmosphere of the game it would be nice hearing some birds singing during the day and when creaper attacks closes in those birds becoume louder have more scared sounds and just before the attack happense you can hear sounds of birds flying away - fleing.
During the night it would be nice to hear some crickets, owls, etc. And if creaper attack happenes during night time evrything just becomes quiet even crickets. I belive this would make quite a tencious atmosphere.

Probably the best way for creating the tencion of creper attack would be changing to some more exilerating music . The best game example for this id probably Dune 2.
For those who hasn't played Dune 2 here is music from that game (playlist including all songs from game):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEVvUwM_ ... 54192C8D96

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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by ssilk »

Quite good ideas. I tried that out yesterday: there was always a silent background noise. You didn't recognize it. But when the creepers came I removed it. This is really thrilling, when you remove this silent noise! I like the idea with the bird warning. I don't like machine voices in this game (steam punk doesn't fit to computer voice!), but I thought, that the hero begins to talk to himself, because of his loneliness ... maybe he sings "I will survive..." :)
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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by SilverWarior »

ssilk wrote:but I thought, that the hero begins to talk to himself, because of his loneliness ... maybe he sings "I will survive..." :)
You know that might even atract some pepole, especially if it is a bit goofy singing :D

Anywhay developers if you are interested I vaguely know a freelance music composer which has some expirience in writing music for games. Her name is Samantha Foster and you can find hew website here: http://www.samanthafoster.net/html/slideshow.php

Now I don't know how much will she charge for her work but based on our last conversation she is suposingly afordable even to indie developers and wiling to make music to your liking.

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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by MF- »

@ birds in the morning
I think it would be hard to reproduce their success.
They retire for larger part of the year, it's only seasonal. (at least here)
There are so many varieties of birds, each is trying to get it's song different from the other on purpose, adapt the song during performance and (things I do not know about)

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Re: Isle of tune mod

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MF- wrote:@ birds in the morning
I think it would be hard to reproduce their success.
They retire for larger part of the year, it's only seasonal. (at least here)
There are so many varieties of birds, each is trying to get it's song different from the other on purpose, adapt the song during performance and (things I do not know about)
Yes I understand that Prague is further to the north that the place I live and that it would be hard to record real birds in nature.
But the developers could still get some birds sound from internet and incorporate that into the game.
And since Factorio is supposingly being on another planet theese birds sounds doesn't nead to be compleetly realistic.

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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by MF- »

SilverWarior wrote:Yes I understand that Prague is further to the north that the place I live and that it would be hard to record real birds in nature.
But the developers could still get some birds sound from internet and incorporate that into the game.
And since Factorio is supposingly being on another planet theese birds sounds doesn't nead to be compleetly realistic.
That isn't really what I was talking about.
It was not about sample gathering techniques.
I expressed, that I am unsure that birds that never get boring could be simulated by finite amount of samples.

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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by SilverWarior »

MF- wrote:I expressed, that I am unsure that birds that never get boring could be simulated by finite amount of samples.
Why not? You have bunch of samples which you play at random timer intervals in different combinations. Result would be quite like when listening birds in the forest.

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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by ssilk »

I didn't forgot this idea and tried to find some music, which on a side is interesting on the other side won't nerve.

First hear this:
https://soundcloud.com/ableton/ableton- ... on-twitter

It's not just random, the music is generated from a twitter stream, see the text.
This is nice in a way I can't tell. And it really doesn't nerve (if not played too loud) - but it's maybe a bit boring, but I think that's fine. :) I like the atmosphere of the sound, in my eyes it fits perfect to factorio.

But what has this to do with factorio (excluded the atmosphere)?

Imagine a cascade of furnaces, and their inserters. Now imagine, the sound from above are the furnaces, when they produce pieces of iron plates. Of course it should sound much more rhythmic, than the above, because the furnaces don't produce in random times. But the effect/the atmosphere should be the same, because at some point the production jams and now the random sound begins! You can hear immediately, if the production runs fine or stucks just because of the randomness of this sound. Furthermore the filter-height of the tune could depend on how much of the internal stack of the furnace is used. The type of tone is the item, which is created (metallic for steal, more belly sound for copper, more stump for stone). The loudness indicates how near you are, the reverb indicates the zoom (less reverb when zoomed in). There are some more parameters, which can indicate something. For example if it changes the recipe. Or if it is empty.

Now add the sound of the inserters. Not a sirring sound (as it would be obvious) and much more silent. The intended sound-picture is this random-like music, which sits in the background.

I'm not finished yet! Together with game-music it can be much more (now this post gets more complicated). First I want to say, this is not the game music. It's the acoustic background - the fabric-noise!

Of course we should have real game music. And normally every music contains chords. So a change in music changes the chord. What you hear in the above example are about 3 chords changing randomly. Imagine, that the chord changes with the music. The game knows, which part of the music is played and plays the according chord. Perhaps a bit like a casio-organ, where you have this "one-finger-chord-system", if you every saw that. Imagine an ambient sound, very driving, it fades in very silent and then changes the chord. And the noises changes their chord too. It should sound fascinating!

I hope you could follow, it's difficult to explain. :)

And because it is much more difficult to explain then just to do, I would like to create an example video to show that idea (don't know when I could do it, cause the weather is currently too nice :) ) but before I make this effort I would like to hear, if this idea is completely rubbish. :roll: So what do you think?
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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by Linguini »

Ssilk I think that's amazing, that would really make me focus in the game, like using every sense to be able to track how the factory is running and where/what needs optimization. Though the kind of sounds that the track made out from ableton that you showed seems something taken from the "osmos" game rather than one fitting the factorio.
(Btw, thanks for the rss link that you shared when I asked for it, I just used it to track down this post of yours)

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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by cube »

This is nice!
I have no idea what I'm talking about.

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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by ssilk »

https://soundcloud.com/ssilk-1/ssilk338 ... riosounds3

Sound of furnaces.
Start factorio, search for some furnaces, start this sound and look how the atmosphere matches. Plz turn the volume not too loud, just so, so that you can hear it very clearly in the beginning.

You can compare the right volume, when you walk around, then the steps should be a about the same volume at the start. The volume is then reduced to fit it better as background sound.

To see the effect clearly jump to 3:30. Then go in factorio and walk right, away form the furnaces. After a while walk back, and hold left a bit, walk around your furnaces...

Todo: The sound of the inserters.
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Re: Isle of tune mod

Post by Hunab »

Note Blocks!
We just need something like minecraft note blocks. Especially now with the combinators, it would be way more feasible. Instead of just having lights, you could also combine it with music created from the blocks ingame.
Just a separate item, you can place, then enter the blocks gui and set the tone. And like minecraft maybe different instruments based on different flooring.

(probably suggested before, and while searching this thread came out, that's why the necro)

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