Some Good News [Swat 4]

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MAVEN
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Some Good News [Swat 4]

I started playing Swat 4 in multiplayer a month and a half ago.

Soon enough, I explored the web for some custom content, and to my surprise I did find a lot of it with the most notable type being custom maps and some great user mods.

However, once I started my search for Swat 4 Sounds mod, I got ZERO results across multiple engines, seems like there is no sound mod for Swat 4 yet.

Well, that's about to change (hopefully)!

While I was still a student, I needed some extra income and to make new friends, that's when I discovered the magic of sound design, soon after mastering the basics, I was being an DJ for private parties whenever I had some free time. This brought me loads of fun, but also lots of experience in the field.

So what does this have to do with the news I want to share you may wonder...

You probably guessed. But let me give more detail.

About 2 weeks ago, I came with the idea to actually see if creation of such mod is possible, and not only as an external mod but a stand-alone mod, or more of an patch.

Well, guess what.

I conducted few small researches and after I gathered enough information, I created few mini mods that were no longer mods, but rather patches, I did tests all over and over, always smacking right into the well built Anticheat systems wall and getting downed with the file mismatch error.

I messed around those files for few days, and decided to use my advanced coding experience to actually make this idea see some hope. After lots of tries and tests, I FINALLY DID IT!

I successfully created a mini sound patch that was able to replace flashbang sound in the vanilla Swat 4 directory and go pass the anticheat and server mismatch error. I tested it on few servers and it went flawless. Even that one flashbang sound made the game experience a lot better (!)

So what does this mean?

It means, that if all goes well with some yet-to-test things, Swat 4 community may for the very FIRST TIME receive full sound replacement patch, bringing some modern top-notch sound effects, such as new weapons, impacts, ambient, interaction, UI sounds, and being able to play not only on original Swat 4 servers, but also experience the patch on all other mods as well.

The fun part?

There will be no installer, there will be no issues with the existing swat 4 servers as all the patched content is client-side, and the sound patch sound files would be of professional True Type Raw degree (What this means is that the sound effects wouldn't be pre-recorded, but rather digitally designed, or a hybrid stock-designed, the best examples of such sounds in use can be seen in Bad Company 2, MOH Anaconda and specially Battlefield 3) And if even that's not enough, if all goes well, I may just research and custom build modern settings for EAX and OpenAl that should be able to bring some dynamic effects in realtime such as echo, reverb, dubbing, orientation, etc.

So, there you have it, those are the good news!

Sadly, there are also somewhat bad news as well.

Will I create such a patch is still uncertain as there are so many other things to test, but if all goes well, you may bet I darn will create one!

In meantime, here's a list of to-do's related to this whole idea.

Tasklist:

The Idea. [success]

TI1.Think of the core idea and how it should be done [done]
TI2.Break the super thick wall and open the possibility for further development [done, tested, master]
TI3.Initiate another stage [done]

Testing Stage. [in progress]

TS1.Test modded sound archives with live servers [done, tested, crucial]
TS2.Test archive size and sound quality limits [done, tested, confirmed (Swat 4 supports .wav stereo sound with full 32 bit flat point quality, in other words, a render of TRUE AUDIO with minimum or no quality loss]
TS3.Test all of the targeted archives for modding and compatibility [done, tested]
TS4.Test a fully modded targeted archive for compatibility with live servers and game engine limitations [done, tested, crucial]
TS5.Test repetitive sounds for proper output [done, tested, crucial, confirmed (newly added sound effects will play fully no matter how long they are)]
TS6.Test whether sound modification impacts gameplay experience engine-wise [done, tested, crucial, confirmed (sound modification doesn't affect core gameplay whatsoever)]
TS7.Test EAX and OpenAl moddability and compatibility with Swat 4 [pending]
TS8.Double test all tests before next stage [pending, crucial]
TS9.Initiate next stage [pending]
TS10(a).Test simplest sound modification across multiple platforms [done, tested]
TS11(a).Test sound overlapping modification possibility, ie, make gun shots play fully and not get cut off by another shot sound [pending]
TS12(a).Test modded archive vulnerability for exploits and archive locking [done, tested, crucial, confirmed (modded archives can't be edited again if it's strictly specified by the archive creator, in addition modded archives have same anticheat protection like the vanilla archives and once modded in Swat Ed by a 3rd party (except author) will get corrupt)]

Development Stage. [static]

DS1.Unknown.

Gloassary:

Done = Successfully finished task.
Failure = Task failed.
Pending = Task is pending for probing.
Tested = Successfully tested a task in different environments, most notably with live servers.
Static = There is no progress with this task.
In progress = Task is in probing stage.
Confirmed = Key feature confirmed.
Crucial = Necessary task that determines future of the whole development.
Master = The core necessary task that determines not only whether development should be progressed but also determine which steps are next to be made.
(a) = Testing task added.

Please note that I will update this list over time, and that nothing is for sure. The idea is here, resources are here, and there is 50-50 chance that I will actually create this patch.

If you have some useful information regarding the whole idea, please let me know, and you will be properly credited in the final product (if ever).

Wish me luck!

P.S. I nearly forgot. If this patch is ever to see the light of the day, it will be freely available for all Swat 4 clans and all Swat 4 mods free of charge, so if you have some mods in the cooking, even better for you!

Speed, Precision, Experience, Endurance. General System Tweak Guide

SAS_Fluffy
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Sounds great Maven! Good to see that it is finally coming through for you. Remember that i am always avaliable to help if you need it. Smile Cant wait for you to release it, sounds like it will be amazing. Welcome to the forums and see you on the servers Smile

SAS_Capt_Fluffy
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MAVEN
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Sounds great Maven! Good to see that it is finally coming through for you. Remember that i am always avaliable to help if you need it. Smile Cant wait for you to release it, sounds like it will be amazing. Welcome to the forums and see you on the servers Smile

Do you want to be Alpha and Beta tester? Smile

I need one, or few to help me test mini mods with different Swat 4 versions.

If you want to participate, PM me your Swat 4 Version (US, UK, Russian, 1.0, 1.1) and what OS do you run it on.

After that I will send you some content to test and report back. In the end when and IF the whole sound patch is done I will put you in the credits.

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SAS_Fluffy
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Roger, will do

SAS_Capt_Fluffy
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MAVEN
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Tasklist Update

UPDATE: Task list is updated. A new task is added, and in addition 1st co-operated test is in progress.

Task TS9 is modified and TS10(a) added.

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MAVEN
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UPDATE: Just completed a fully modded archive test. I generated some random 8bit sound clips and replaced a full sound archive with those, then did few tests with live servers. So far, no errors or drawbacks appeared, all went flawless and there are no limitations as it seems, though Mcfluffles should be able to double test this one soon. Smile

This one is of crucial value as it determined whether full archives could be modded and later used with original Swat 4 game and other mods.

Task TS4 is a go.

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MAVEN
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update

UPDATE: Mcfluffles just finished few tests and two tasks have been completed.

We will be working on a prequel (full test patch with some rather fun test sounds) and a video to show people what the final patch may look like once development is started and finished. The prequel should be fun to watch, so stay put Biggrin

Tasks TS3 and TS10(a) are completed.

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KeLLeR
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Good job there, keep it up mate!

I have big expectations for this sound patch Smile

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MAVEN
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sound patch

Good job there, keep it up mate!

I have big expectations for this sound patch Smile

Thanks, Keller Biggrin

Working hard to get it all tested.

I'm looking forward to SAS mod, it looks really great, can't wait to grab that MP5KSD and rapidly clear some sus-filled rooms Blum 3

EDIT: I wanted to add this update yesterday, but I had to double test something, as a result there are some new tasks added.

UPDATE: Crucial tasks TS5, TS6 and TS12(a) are completed, and tasks TS11(a) and TS12(a) added. In addition task TS8 was modified.

EDIT 2: After getting my hands on the latest versions of the software I use for sound design and mixing, I tested Swat 4 for full 64 bit flat point audio support. 64 bit audio is by far not supported by Swat 4 as core engine supports maximum 32 bit audio/video output. Still, it's improvement over the previous test that said that 16 bit audio was supported. 32 bit audio is double better than 16 bit, which means even better audio quality and this by far doesn't get any better for games today, maybe in the future 64 bit audio will be applied, but not today.

UPDATE: Task TS2 was modified.

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MAVEN
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patch

Small update for all who follow this thread. The prequel work and the patch work go a bit slower than initially may have been expected, that's because I am very busy with work these days and Mcfluff has his SAS Rct sessions, but worry not, there is progress on the project and sooner or later there will be a prequel as announced and perhaps later on a full patch Smile

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MAVEN
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sound patch

Hi all, it's been a while since I updated and worked on this task.

First of all, I apology for huuuge delays. I've been very busy and had some unexpected events that prevented me from doing many side projects (may happen again).

However, I am still working on this patch and I slowly started creating schemes and plans for the actual patch development.

The prequel is canceled, instead of spending my time on it I will simply work straight on the patch itself, and as for eax open al test, I will do it some other time, maybe during or after the release of the patch as it requires a deeper research and testing than other tasks.

After the schemes, research (have to watch many many videos and listen to live fire recordings) and plans are completed, I will fire up FL and design sounds + effects, then add to archives, let fluffy test and give dl link.

I hope all will go as planned Smile

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SAS_Random
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So, to summarize--nothing new to report and no progress. Thanks for keeping us current.

SAS_Vet_Random

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22nd [SAS] Elite Virtual Regiment

 

 

MAVEN
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sound patch

There was some progress (I created batch of text files and prepared some tables for sound volumes, sound effect ratios, archive sound file names, etc, anything that could help me keep track of files and progress, in addition I performed few more tests with dual joint stereo audio and purchased Fruity Loops 10 and I'm about to get the SFX standard package for it soon) but IMHO that's nothing major and thus I haven't updated the task list.

The idea behind the prequel was to have something to demonstrate so that people can see there is a possibility for the patch and that it's not a fluke, alas my timings don't allow for more free time which I could use on this idea. If it's necessary, I can create a public demo that replaces few sound effects in game such as flashbang or mp5 shots just for testing and demonstration, let me know if you guys are interested.

At the very least, if the project is ever canceled (but to be honest I don't want and plan to) I have the original sound archive codes and schemes encrypted and ready, safely stored, and in that case I would pass it to some of you at SAS EVR or Keller/Franciswat with any future projects or the SAS mod.

All tests are finished (except eax and open al sound engine effects) Fluffy alone did 2 live tests on servers with 100% success, so to speak testing stage is over. The idea ain't easy to complete, but neither is it impossible, it just needs more effort and above everything time which I sadly don't have much on my disposal -.-

Anyway, I'll try give it some more time so that there is more progress. because I want refreshed sound effects in Swat 4, it will make a huge difference.

I could use some help actually, if anyone is interested, I would like this information researched deeply (perhaps some of the pros at SAS can help out?):

All Swat 4 and Swat 4 TSS (SAS mod optional) guns real life data such as:
>Gun sound loudness (In db or other metrics)
>Gun sound radius.
>Gun sound sharpness/dimness and echo radius.
>Gun sounds by caliber difference.
>Misc gun sound metrics such as how would guns hear behind walls, what does affect gun sound fading and speed and what are those values, etc.

The aim is to make the in-game sounds as realistic as possible whilist also adapting sound effects for gameplay (not too realistic) as Swat 4 is a great game, almost like a simulator. The above listed information would help me ALOT as it would save me huge time and help me design sound effects more accurately, without that information I would have to use logic and personal firearm experience which I do have but not for all those gun models present in Swat 4. Whoever can bring accurate information on this will be properly credited in the release. Also, if someone has access to the gun models and a shooting range + license to use the firearms, could gather data and send it to me.

Additional but optional info I could find useful as well is information on ricocheting, explosion dynamics and anything related to Swat 4 sounds that would prove useful. And I could use some sound samples (if anyone has) such as hums, clicks, metals, booms, bangs, high pass, low pass, etc.

Speed, Precision, Experience, Endurance. General System Tweak Guide