CHAPTER 17 D – QA: Creating & Scripting An Audio Test Map

Created By: Game Audio Resource Ltd     Date: 28/08/2019      Version: 1.00

In this guide we highlight a process to create your own audio QA test maps. This will aid testing new features and updates from audio implementation quickly.
You can also reference this guide to make your own unique maps
The details listed have been referenced from the Cube Website here:
http://cubeengine.com/docs/editref.html

Guide Steps:
* STEP 01: Creating A Test Map
* STEP 02: Adding Surface Types
* STEP 03: Raising & Lowering The Terrain
* STEP 04: Add Pick Up Items
* STEP 05: Adding Light Sources
* STEP 06: Adjusting The Water Level
* STEP 07: Add Reverb Zones
* STEP 08: Scripting Environment Trigger Points
* STEP 09: Adding Enemies

Task Time Needed:  Around 4-8 hours (depending on personal experience)


Video Guide


Written Guide

Chapter 17 D Step 01
Creating A Test Map

For this step we will use the map “mapmodel”, then copy & save it as a new map to build our own QA audio test map.

  1. Boot up the cube game
  2. Load the map Single Player > start SP map… > mapmodel demo
  3. Open the command line (¬) then type savemap Audio_Test. Then press Enter.
  • TIP: This creates a new map, that you will need to load manually.
  1. Reload the new map, by opening the command debug line (¬) then typing map Audio_Test followed by Enter
  • TIP: This map should now remain in the games data in the following folder location: Drive\Wwise\Cube\cube\packages\base

Chapter 17 D Step 02
Adding Surface Types

A lot of audio content works on material / texture tile assignments.
This step highlights how to add new texture types and how best to place them.

  1. With our new test map open, press E on your keyboard to enter edit mode.
  2. Select a large area of ground (hold and drag left click on your mouse)

TIP: Select a large rectangular area, In the next step we will create a raised platform within each surface type area

  1. Open the command debug line (¬) then type edittex T 50

TIP: Sometime after you add this line, the texture tiles will not cycle. Simply open the command debug console line and retype edittex T 50, the delete key should then start cycling tiles correctly.

TIP: The value of 50 can be increased e.g. 150. This enables you to find more texture tile types.

TIP: As you add each surface type, exit edit mode, then move the player character across the new texture area, in the Wwise Profiler you will be able to see view which surface type is called.

  1. Now with the same area remaining selected, press the delete key to cycle downwards through the textures until you reach the grass texture.
  2. Exit edit mode, then move the player character over the grass texture tiles to check the correct material type is played.

TIP: Use the Wwise Profiler to check the correct switch is used

  1. Next select the same sized area next to the new grass texture.
    Use point 3 & 4 to cycle through the texture until you find a wooden surface.
  2. Continue to add more texture surface types in a long line related to all material types we have added to the project:
    Concrete, Grass, Gravel, Metal, Pebbles, Sand, Stone, Tile, Undergrowth, Water and Wood.

TIP: Once all surface types have been added, with Wwise connected to the game and the Profiler Layout displayed, move the player character across all texture tiles, to check all material types are correct.

  1. Once all the texture tiles have been added, test all materials switch correctly in the Wwise Profiler.
  2. Open the command debug console and type savemap, followed by enter.

Chapter 17 D Step 03
Raising & Lowering The Terrain

We look at how to raise and lower the terrain, so that we can create high points for the player character to jump off

  1. Return to the first Grass texture tile you add. Then enter edit mode by pressing E on your keyboard.
    On one side of the grass area drag select around half the size of the grass texture area.
  2. Use the mouse will to raise the height of the selected area by 3 blocks.
  3. Then select half of the new raised platform. Raise this area by 3 blocks. (in total 6 blocks high)
  • TIP: You now have a high enough point where you can test the land event for the player character.
  • TIP: The reason why we have the same texture on the raised platform to the ground texture is due to a bug with the game. Which every texture tiles the player character jumps from is the material type the game will call, not the surface the player character actually lands on.
  1. Exit edit mode. Then move the player character on to the new raised platform and jump off onto the lower grass level. If the platform is high enough the Land event will be called.
  2. Continue to add these raised platforms to all the texture tile areas we add in Step 2.
  3. Finally save your map. Open the command debug console then type savemap, followed by enter.

Chapter 17 D Step 04
Add Pick Up Items

We highlight how to add different pick up items.

  1. Decide where you would like to add a zone for pick up items.
  • TIP: Marking out the zone with a different texture tile area is useful.
  • TIP: You may wish to have them running besides all the different texture tiles you added in step 1 or as a separate area. (or both)
  1. Press E on your keyboard to open edit mode.
  2. Select a single square in the position you wish to add an ammo pick up item
  3. Open the ESC menu > Editing… > insert entity at selection corner… > newent shells, followed by pressing enter.
    The new shotgun shell pick-up item is then added to the square you selected.
  • TIP: This menu lists all items, enemies, lightning, etc… you can add to your map.
  1. Continue to add all pick-up items you wish to include in your map.
    e.g. health, ammo, quad, armour.
  2. Finally save your map. Open the command debug console then type savemap, followed by enter.

Chapter 17 D Step 05
Adding Light Sources

As you add different areas to your test map you will need to add new light sources or you will be running around in the dark at some locations.

  1. In your Audio_Test map, enter edit mode (E)
  2. Select a ceiling square in a dark area of your map.
  3. Open the ESC menu, then navigate to this menu item:
    Editing… > insert entity at selection corner… > White light > newent light 16 255, followed by pressing enter.
  4. You should now have a new light source on the tile you selected.
  5. Add as many lights sources as you need to illuminate your map where needed.
  6. Save your map updates.

Chapter 17 D Step 06
Adjusting The Water Level

As the underwater environment has unique Wwise variables, it is a good idea to implement a pool of water to test all components work correctly.

  1. In your Audio_Test map, enter edit mode (E)
  2. Drag select a large floor area, then use the mouse wheel to lower the terrain in the selected area.
  3. Open the Command Debug Console line, then type waterlevel 0
  • TIP: This should then set the water level to height of the main terrain and fill the hole you have just created
  1. Exit edit mode, move the player character in and out of the water to test the correct underwater parameters are used.
  2. Save your map updates.

Chapter 17 D Step 07
Add Reverb Zones

In this step we highlight how to add the different reverb zone types as we did in Chapter 06 B.
Much like in step one we will line out all reverb zones, so we can move through each reverb area for testing.

  1. Decide where you would like to place your Reverb Zones
    Enter edit mode by pressing E.
  • TIP: Texture tile the zone differently or raise the terrain height, etc…
  1. Drag select a medium to large area
  2. Open the command debug console (¬) then type setwwiseenv 1, followed by enter.
  • TIP: This added the first reverb zone type.
  1. Repeat the steps to add setwwiseenv 2, then 3, etc… until you have marked all reverb zone types you have added to the project.
  • TIP: Number each reverb zone with a different texture tile colour.
  1. Exit edit mode, then return to the first zone.
    Run the player character through all zones to check all Reverb zones trigger correctly.
  2. Finally save your map. Open the command debug console then type savemap, followed by enter.

Chapter 17 D Step 08
Scripting Environment Trigger Points

To reduce time going through every map to test environments we will script 2 simple point of where to trigger & stop an environment type. we will create a walled off room; trigger points will be placed as you enter and exit a room.
We will trigger the ENV_Desert_Generic_Play, then add a new ENV_Desert_Generic_Stop event to Wwise.

WWISE DATA:

  1. In the Project Explorer > Events tab, Environment Work Unit, copy and paste the event ENV_Desert_Generic_Play to the same location
    Rename it: ENV_Desert_Generic_Stop
  2. Open the new events properties.
    Left click the first entry in the list, then select: Stop > Stop.
  • TIP: For each property listed in the type column we need to change all entries to Stop.
  1. Repeat this step for entry in the Event Editor list.
  2. Save your Wwise Project updates and generate the sound banks.

CUBE DATA:

Next we need to create a .cfg file for our test map.

  1. Navigate to this location in your PC directory: G:\Wwise\Cube\cube\packages\base
    Copy and paste the file metl3.cfg to the same location
    Rename the file Audio_Test
  • TIP: The name needs to be exactly the same as the name you have called your audio test map.
  1. Open the Audio_Test.cfg in Notepad++
    We will leave the Advisor to trigger as we enter the map, but we will remove the environment script line akevent ENV_Desert_Generic_Play, select and delete it.
  • NOTE: we added this script line in Chapter 06 C
  1. Now add the following line
    alias level_trigger_101 [akevent ENV_Desert_Generic_Play; echo “DESERT START”;]
  • TIP: What this command does is tell the game that when this trigger point is called in game to play the event ENV_Desert_Generic_Play and display written text on screen – DESERT. This trigger point will be at the entrance to the room
  1. Now add the following line
    alias level_trigger_102 [akevent ENV_Desert_Generic_Stop; echo “DESERT_STOP”;]
  • TIP: What this command does is tell the game that when this trigger point is called in game to play the event ENV_Desert_Generic_Stop and display written text on screen – ENVIRONMENT_STOP. This trigger point will be at the exit point of the room
  1. Save the file updates, then close the file.

IN-GAME

  1. Manually boot up your Audio_Test map via the command debug console (¬) map Audio_Test
  2. Assess where you would like to add your environment trigger areas.
    Then edit mode (E)
  3. Select a single row of blocks on the ground, then using the mouse wheel increase the height of the blocks to the ceiling.
  4. Continue to use this process to create an enclosed room. Leave an opening on each end of the room, so you can enter at one point and leave the room via a different point.
  5. Now we can add a trigger point at the Entrance to the room.
    Select a square in the centre of the room entrance opening, change the texture of the tile so it is visible where the trigger point is.
    Open the command Debug console line (¬) then type:
    Newent trigger 101 1, followed by pressing enter
  • TIP: What this trigger point does is tell the game to trigger the variables we have assigned in the Audio_Test.cfg file entry e.g.
    alias level_trigger_101 [akevent ENV_Desert_Generic_Play; echo “DESERT”;]
    The _1 at the end of the line is very important if you do not add this, it will display a carrot and not call the event.
  1. Next, we add the rooms exit trigger point.
    Select a square in the middle of the exit opening to the room, change the texture of the tile so it is visible where the trigger point is.
    Then open the command Debug console line (¬) then type:
    Newent trigger 102 1, followed by pressing enter
  • TIP: What this trigger point does is tell the game to trigger the variables we have assigned in the Audio_Test.cfg file entry e.g.
    alias level_trigger_102 [akevent ENV_Desert_Generic_Stop; echo “ENVIRONMENT_STOP”;]
    The _1 at the end of the line is very important if you do not add this, it will display a carrot and not call the event.
  1. Now save the map updates. Open the Command Debug Console line (¬) then type savemap, followed by pressing enter.
  2. Close the game, then relaunch the game and manually load the Audio_Test map.
  3. Connect Wwise to the game and change to the profiler layout.
  4. Move the player character through the entrance to the new room, the event ENV_Desert_Generic_Play should then trigger, playing the associated ambient assets
  5. Move the player character through the exit opening of the room. The event ENV_Desert_Generic_Stop, should then trigger, silencing the associated ambience assets

 

FURTHER NOTE:
You could implement multiple rooms in a row, then add trigger points for different ambience as you enter/exit each room. Remember to change the texture tile to stand out of where the trigger points are in each room.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

A trigger point of this nature may only be triggered once per map. Reload the map to refresh the trigger points. There may be a variable to allow for a trigger point to stay live and be triggered multiple times, check the online resource page here for details: http://cubeengine.com/docs/editref.html

SCRIPTING MAPS NOTE:

in the default game, the map DCP_the_Core is scripted in the same way we have set the trigger points in this map. Due to having to re-enter a room multiple times, it is quite difficult to get the right ambience in each room. You will need to plan in detail where the trigger points will be.

Chapter 17 D Step 09
Adding Enemies

NOTE: This step is not included in the Video as it did not work in game. However, this process has worked previously.
I assume there could be a limit to emitters placed or its just a bug I experienced with the map.

You may wish to create a new test map for each enemy.
In this guide we overview how to add an enemy to the map.

  1. In your Audio_Test map enter edit mode (E)
  2. Create a small room with a lipped opening
  3. Select a tile square within the room
  4. In the ESC menu navigate to the following path
    Editing… > insert entity at selection corner… > Monster.. > then the select the enemy entity type you wish to add to the room.
  5. Save your map updates, then reload the map.
  6. Move the player character into view of the enemy entity to trigger the entities AI movements.
  • TIP: If you kill this entity the map will end with a victory. This is why we create a closed room for enemy entities, so they do not have direct line of sight until you want to initiate the enemy type.

There are many other commands and features for map creation.
Hopefully the steps in this guide will help you set up your own test maps.

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