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View Full Version : Sound Propagation on PC Really Poor?



Darthus
26th Feb 2014, 06:53
Is anyone else experiencing really odd sound propagation? I'm using headphones, and the game seems to act like walls don't exist. I hear people speaking that are on a level below or, or on the other side of a wall, as if they're standing right next to me. It actually makes it really hard to keep an eye on guards since I can't place where they are at all, just general distance from me.

Anyone else experiencing this?

ResonanceCascade
26th Feb 2014, 07:11
This isn't a bug. You are supposed to be able to hear things far off so you can pick up bits of information about sidequests or story tidbits. It's like the radio in Arkham City.

sirtaff
26th Feb 2014, 16:15
This isn't a bug. You are supposed to be able to hear things far off so you can pick up bits of information about sidequests or story tidbits. It's like the radio in Arkham City.

Please tell me you're joking, right?

scumm
26th Feb 2014, 16:32
Yes, I've been experiencing the same. Guards will sound as though they're right next to me but are actually on the other side of a wall. Also, if people are conversing directly in front of me but I turn my head, the sound will completely drop out (so unless I'm looking directly at them, I can't hear it). And in the cutscenes too, some characters voices will be much louder than others. I've seen people run into this problem on twitch too.

They seem like conflicting descriptions, and maybe they are, but something is definitely wrong with the sound in general. Hopefully we get a fix at some point.

marshb63
26th Feb 2014, 16:43
I too hear the guards but they sound distant to me like they are on the other side of a wall (which they are :p ) but then im using 7.1 stereo speakers not headphones. It must make a difference. Shrugs

ResonanceCascade
26th Feb 2014, 17:09
Please tell me you're joking, right?

Sadly, I am not.

IHaveReturned
26th Feb 2014, 17:42
It seems intentional, for the obvious reason of offering exposition and hints, but if the game has to violate its own established rules for sound propagation to do it, they should have found another way to convey the info -like LGS!Thief did. Its dialogues were optional, its hints delivered in written form.

Shralla
26th Feb 2014, 17:51
That's a hell of a "feature" for a stealth game to have. No wonder they have so many crutch features when the core of the game isn't built to be a proper stealth game.

marshb63
26th Feb 2014, 19:46
Unless your place of residence was outside a bustling marketplace, being able to hear through walls and closed windows and doors is not all that shocking. The game setting is very low tech meaning no droning airconditioning, cars, tvs, stereos, or any truly mind numbing ambient sounds we live with and ignore, that really impedes our ability to hear is in the environment of this game. When I play on speakers the voices "sound" as tho they are outdoors or beyond the room or building im in. Maybe their is something wrong with how sound is propagated on headphones.

So far the only sound problems im having is you cant turn off music without losing audio during cutscenes. Grumble, grumble.

Nasher
26th Feb 2014, 23:29
That sucks, the sound was one of the best things about the old games :(

If they are having to break immersion to allow you to hear dialog clearly, then it's poor design.

Darthus
27th Feb 2014, 02:12
What I am experiencing does NOT seem intentional. The game behaves as if obstructions (walls, floors etc), don't exist. Even the Thief games from 10-15 years ago didn't behave like this. It makes it impossible to tell if I'm hidden when I hear someone because it sound like they're right on top of me when they might be upstairs or in another room.

For example, in the Jeweler, I was on the second floor with the guards, but heard every single word the Jewler in the basement was saying at full volume.

This cannot be done for immersion or gameplay purposes because it breaks both of those. In fact, this would break overhearing dialogue because it would mean I'd be triggering dialogue and hearing it before I even knew who was talking. Obviously it's more immersive to hear it when you enter a room or are sneaking near someone.

I did change the audio settings from Speakers to Headphones in the game, so I'll try to change it back and see if that does something. For the person who said they can only hear people when facing them, I'd check your soundcard settings to make sure it's not set to 7.1 or something, because the game might be outputting sound to speakers that don't exist if so.

ResonanceCascade
27th Feb 2014, 02:15
What I am experiencing does NOT seem intentional. The game behaves as if obstructions (walls, floors etc), don't exist. Even the Thief games from 10-15 years ago didn't behave like this. It makes it impossible to tell if I'm hidden when I hear someone because it sound like they're right on top of me when they might be upstairs or in another room.

For example, in the Jeweler, I was on the second floor with the guards, but heard every single word the Jewler in the basement was saying at full volume.


That is what I was talking about. It's jarring, but it was intentional.

marshb63
27th Feb 2014, 02:22
I dont see how it can be intentional as that never happened/happens to me. I think it's a glitch and should be reported to tech support.

Darthus
27th Feb 2014, 02:22
Two things:

1. How do you know whether or not it was intentional? If I see a character floating the sky, I could say it was intentional in order to increase the feeling of supernatural events in the game, but nobody knows if it's intentional, all we can do is say how it affects our immersion/enjoyment and see how the developer responds.

2. It's not like the radio in Batman because that is explained explicitly in the context of the game and is a tool provided for an explicit purpose. This is not explained at all and makes absolutely no sense. It is played at FULL volume, as if the floor doesn't exist, and if I move away from standing on top of the jeweler, it is more quiet. I don't have supersonic ears (that would mean it would get louder as I approached the stairs and sound was naturally propagating), I have the ability to ignore geometry in the world. It doesn't help gameplay that I am hearing the Jeweler's original sound loop over and over as I'm trying to be stealthy around the guards on the second floor and see if I'm being noticed.

ResonanceCascade
27th Feb 2014, 03:13
1.) Because every single person I've talked to about this also has it in the game -- on every platform.

2.) I was making an analogy. I wasn't sticking up for the feature, I think it's ridiculous. I was just trying to make a useful point of comparison.

Darthus
27th Feb 2014, 06:48
I've noticed other issues related to this and have just determined that the sound is buggy. Half the time I'm walking by windows and there's supposed to be a conversation indoors, I hear it at full volume like they are standing next to me. But just before I stopped playing, I heard it muffled (like I'm assuming it should be), and then the last line of the conversation was un-muffled, like the person had teleported into the alleyway.

Even in cutscenes, the sound mixing seems totally off, when I felt met Orion, depending on the camera angle, I'm either hearing the fire totally overpower their conversation, or complete silence. Half the time Orion is speakings super quietly like he's whispering and other times he's normal.

Later I'm in the bar, the bartender and patron with his head on the bar look exactly the same (generic bald model), they are having a conversation, and neither's mouth is moving. Then the guy with his head on the bar teleports upright, then back with his head on the bar.

I'm thinking the game is just buggy/unpolished (especially in the sound department), which really hurts the immersion.

binaryboy
27th Feb 2014, 08:21
Yeah the sound is really weird in the Bank Heist mission. It sounded like someone was in the corner behind me even though they were downstairs.

marshb63
27th Feb 2014, 13:25
I've gone ahead and linked this convo to an existing sound issues thread in tech support. Hopefully the devs can get a chance to look into it.

larix
27th Feb 2014, 16:00
This isn't a bug. You are supposed to be able to hear things far off so you can pick up bits of information about sidequests or story tidbits. It's like the radio in Arkham City.

It's a bug, not a feature

Lady_Of_The_Vine
27th Feb 2014, 16:11
It's a bug, not a feature

If its a bug, this thread ought to be in the technical forum
Hold on tight now. :naughty:

xDarknessFallsx
27th Feb 2014, 16:26
Distant conversations are usually way too loud and clear... sound like they're a few feet away. I get they want to push the narrative on me because the narrative is so important to EM, but I wish it sounded more distant/realistic.

Conversations in inaccessible rooms are sometimes muffled, but sometimes seem to carry for too far of distance without dropoff, and sometimes aren't muffled.

ClashWho
27th Feb 2014, 17:16
I'm playing the PS3 version and I've noticed similar sound issues. Two homeless types were engaged in conversation right in front of me but sounded like they were very far away. Even cutscenes have issues. In the thief catcher general's first cutscene his voice level dropped to an absurdly low level while everyone else in the cutscene was speaking at a normal volume.

ClashWho
27th Feb 2014, 22:09
In the city hub I have two guards walking around. The first bit of dialogue is obviously missing. Sometimes I see it (very briefly) subtitled, something about a helmet being loose. All I hear, over and over again, is the second guard saying, "Not enough for my liking, I can still see your face." Apparently the first guard replies with something like, "Har, har, idiot," as I occasionally see that subtitled, but the audio for that is missing, too. This is the PS3 version.

Darthus
7th Mar 2014, 21:49
So.. I believe two patches have been released so far, has anyone noticed any changes to the sound issues? Despite the other issues about fit and finish, I'm a big thief fan so I was trying to play through this game, but with sounds cutting out left and right, and the audio propagation issues, I've had to just stop. I'm actually surprised more reviews didn't mention this. It's analagous to if the light gem just randomly changed shades without relevance to whether you were in shadow or not.

In Thief you use two components to sneak, Light and Sound, if sound is totally messed up or inconsistent, how is this even considered a playable stealth game?

Burbles
8th Mar 2014, 00:47
Far as I can tell there hasn't been any attempt in either patch to fix the atrocious sound problems with this game ... best you can do is to just stop playing and hope the third time is the charm, assuming there is a third patch, that is. I've played many, many games and this is the first time I've seen sound issues this bad. I'm afraid they might not be fixable or Eidos might feel there is no financial incentive, at this point, to fix them.

Hope I'm wrong.

slayerking
9th Mar 2014, 07:21
I posted somewhere about some sounds totally cutting out in some places, I'm playing through again and remembered (also had the software to get video) to record it this time. The sound is totally gone in one footstep but not leaving the area.
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