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Developer Briefing #84 - TPP Animation Overhaul, Audio redesign & U7 Date!

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Developer Briefing #84 - TPP Animation Overhaul, Audio redesign & U7 Date!
New animations, new SFX and a date!
Hey everyone,

Welcome to Developer Briefing #84!

This week we're very excited to share with you not only the TPP Animation Overhaul but now also details on our audio redesign, which includes a full sweep of all firearms in the game!

We've also received a priority message from HQ with a release date for Update 7...

Update 7 Release Date!

We are excited to let you know that we will be releasing Update 7 on Tuesday the 14th of July at approximately 11am BST / 12pm CEST / 6am ET / 3am PT.

We want to thank the entire community for your support and patience, and we can’t wait to see you on the frontline!

TPP (Third Person Perspective) Animations - First Look!

The best way to check out the new look TPP Animations will be in game next week, but we wanted to give you a sneak peak to let you know what to expect in the next update.

TPP Details
  • Upper body and lower body is now procedural
  • This system is going to be foundational, and we can now create unique elements in it (procedural aspects such as idle animations of a character smoking, or mixed varieties of sprints and walks)
  • We will take this further, but focused on FPP first due to it influencing the entire feel of the gunplay

  • We would need to spend hours showing you all of the new animations, but with the new update just around the corner our time is best spent making sure we get this out to you asap.

    Check out the introductory TPP video below!

    We will continue to smooth out and bug fix all animations following Update 7.

    If you missed the FPP Animation showcase last week you can check it out below
    Images from the Mocap sessions

    Take a look behind the scenes at how we created the new animations!






    Audio/SFX Redesign - First Listen!

    If you’ve followed Hell Let Loose for any significant time you’ll know that we’ve undergone a long process of upgrading the systems and the sound engine that lie behind all the sound effects and treatment in the game. Update 7 will introduce some of the first fruits of these massive back-end upgrades, with a particular focus on an overhaul to every single firearm within the game - when heard from both the first person perspective, as well as at close, medium and distant ranges.

    When returning to overhaul the weapons, we spent large amounts of time looking for a sound treatment that the community would enjoy. Unanimously, feedback on our work-in-progress sounds currently in the game was that they lacked satisfactory “punch” - due to the fact that up until this point the current sounds were very dominant in the upper frequencies.

    Environment Specific

    In order to remedy this, we’ve built an extensive library of high quality recordings in order to work as the toolbox in the redesign of the weapon sounds. Instead of relying on single assets (ie. mp40_shotsound_01) to convey the gunfire sound - like our animation system - the new sound design is procedural and is composed of many different elements of a single gunshot (bass, high-end frequencies and so on). This means that each weapon feels contextually correct (you can now far more accurately estimate the calibre of weapon type from range, as they are all sorted per calibre).

    In addition to tackling the specific weapon sounds, we’ve also begun marking up exterior areas. Essentially, this allows for us to dynamically alter the weapon sounds according to the environment in which they’re fired.

    What you’ll experience in Update 7 is the first iteration of our Open Field, Urban and Forest weapon treatments. With later updates we’ll be applying similar treatments to the interiors of all types of buildings currently in the game.

    Adam, our audio designer, has quickly captured some of the above mentioned for you in this DEV WIP video.

    Have a listen!

    Automatic Weapon Rework

    The method to which we trigger automatic weapons has also finally undergone a re-work. The old method would see us triggering a sound every time a bullet was fired from the weapon.

    While this is accurate, it also resulted in the audio being very obviously tied to frame rate. As a result, many players would report that numerous weapons weren’t matching their real-life rates-of-fire, and at worst - poor frames-per-second would induce a stutter effect (especially on weapons like the MG42).

    Fortunately, we’ve now switched to a looping method - where the sound and visuals are disconnected from your frame rate. You’ll notice that no matter the framerate, your audio should be consistent and smooth.

    Weapon animation sounds have also been redesigned and in future we will improve on how the weapon movement sound is reflected as the player moves around and interacts with the environment.

    We will also be reworking footsteps, sounds to indicate stance changes, vaulting and mantling sounds and every other aspect of audio in the game.


    We’re continually working on both the technology, assets and mix behind the way we handle vehicle audio.

    This coming update has seen the inclusion of sound mix modifiers which reduce the volume and high frequencies of exterior sounds when the crew are inside the vehicle. The volume of Interior and Exterior vehicle sounds have been reduced to better aid with mixing and also crew communications when inside the vehicles.

    We have also removed a bug that would ramp up the vehicles volume when traversing up terrain. For reference we are aiming to design the vehicle experience around the historical accounts of crewmen during the war, gameplay functionality and also take inspiration from films and media such as ‘Lebanon’, ‘Battle of tank T-34’, and of course ‘Fury’. These vehicles became home for the men who crewed them, and we’re excited to continue improving all sound aspects of these into the future.

    Audio Channels

    An Audio Channel Voice Count option has been added to the Audio Option Menu. This setting allows user control over how many audio channels are used up at one time. A mono sound file uses one channel of audio and a stereo file uses two channels of audio. Up until this update we had a limitation of 32 audio channels playing at once and in some cases one weapon fired in TPP would use up to 12 channels of audio, now weapons never use more than 5 for the core sounds. Currently, the game consists of an equal mix of mono to stereo files, but to aid in better pinpointing the location of certain sounds we aim to replace some stereo files with mono files in future.

    Option in Audio option menu (Default is set to EPIC)

    We would advise players to adjust these settings to suit their own preference and PC specs.

    LOW = 32 Channels
    MEDIUM = 64 Channels
    HIGH = 96 Channel
    EPIC = 128 Channels

    Additional changes
    • Footstep volume slightly increased.
    • Rocket fly by sound added to Panzerschreck and Bazooka Projectiles.
    • Sound mix modifier additions applying volume and EQ ducking to weapon firing, explosions and when the player is underwater.
    • Fuse sound added to german grenades.
    • A few additions of foley to certain animations (Throwing Grenades, Vaulting, Weapon equipping).
    • Vehicle internal MG reflection sound.
    • Volume radius increased to AT impact sounds on vehicles.
    • New Bullet Fly By sounds. In Future we will add sounds for subsonic rounds.
    Future Audio

    Looking towards the future, we’re going to be tackling the following:

    Explosion Overhaul

    We have now begun working on explosion and heavy weapon sounds (grenades, rockets, mines, tank rounds, artillery etc.). Like the firearms, these too will be modified by the environment in which they occur. We will take a modular approach to the explosion sounds by layering and randomising sounds to play based on the size of the explosion ie. small, medium or large and also where that explosion occurs.

    Ambience Overhaul

    With the focus and attention being given to the more prominent sounds, we’ll also be addressing the per-map ambience. While not as important as the weapon or explosions, ambience is essential in building out the game world and immersing you as a player - from wildlife to wind, to the quiet creak of idle machinery. As our latest maps have been released we have been testing ways to randomise ambient sounds with the inclusion of wildlife ambient spawners in Purple Heart Lane and Hill 400.

    Foley overhaul

    Foley is another area we identify that has lacked attention but is one we are excited to improve. Whilst ambience brings life to the world, the foley soundscape is crucial for reflecting your interactions within the world - whether it be leaping a wall, adjusting your stance or changing a barrel. We have ideas to improve and add additional footsteps, the sound of the gear worn, the interaction of the weapon by the player and much more.

    Engine Features new and continued
    • Mixing
    • Occlusion
    • Reverb (Potentially)
    • Listener Focus

    Naturally, we'll continue to work on improvements and tweak for all weapon sounds.

    See you in Carentan

    That wraps up this week's Dev Brief!

    We hope you liked what you saw and look forward to hearing your feedback on our new animations and audio, both now and once you've got stuck into Update 7 next week.

    You deploy to Carentan July 14th.

    See you on the frontline.

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