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 Forum index » Featured Projects » Dawn of the Tiberium Age
Lobby music button?
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FabulousPlankton
Medic


Joined: 25 Jan 2011

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:23 am    Post subject:  Lobby music button? Reply with quote

Hey guys, I was just wondering what ever happened to the button in the lobby that allowed the main-menu music to play. I really loved that option, but I noticed a couple of months back that it had quietly disappeared at some point.

Just curious why and if it will return in the future?

Cheers.

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^Rampastein
Rampastring


Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Location: Gensokyo

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most people in the staff thought that it was silly to have it play the same track over and over again; while the menu music is awesome, few people want to hear it constantly for hours.

We're currently looking into ways to make it play multiple tracks (possibly defined by the user's preferences), but I can't promise that it's coming back because there's quite little demand for it. It's easy to enough to open a media player and keep it in the background while you're in the lobby.
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FabulousPlankton
Medic


Joined: 25 Jan 2011

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But it's easy enough to just click music to 'off', as well. Removing the button to please a percentage of people seems needless, to me.

I liked it because it put me in the right mood and got me feeling nostalgic, which is what this game is about for me. Having to manage a media player in the background feels a little cheap and unattractive by comparison.

I assume you guys were swayed by people posting negatively about it, so consider this a positive post for it, which is only fair.

Cheers.

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AgentSchmidt
Vehicle Driver


Joined: 06 Sep 2016
Location: Anyo Delta

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must say I love the idea of having a music button for the game lobby Smile

It should randomly play all the music tracks that are also ingame so it isn't as repetitive as the main menu soundtrack.

Do you think it would be difficult to add?

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Bittah Commander
Defense Minister


Joined: 21 May 2003
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's exactly the problem. The tracks that are already included with the game are in the Scores.mix and Scores01.mix files, so the first problem would be to make the client able to read the content of mix files and the second problem would be for the client to play .aud files, since that's the audio format that the game uses.

Adding support for both opening mix files and playing .aud music seems unlikely unless someone with more knowledge about those formats offers some assistance, so the easiest alternative would be to include the music as separate .wma audio files just for the lobby. That would basically mean that players would have to own all music tracks twice, which would pointlessly increase the used disk space.
Streaming the music from somewhere in the background would be another alternative, but right now youtube is the usable option for that for as far as I'm aware and it'd be necessary for the client to open a hidden web browser in the background to do that, which would take up a lot of system resources.
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Last edited by Bittah Commander on Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a hacky solution would be to run XCC Mixer as a hidden process and send the right keyboard commands to the process so it plays the aud file in the right mix.

The source of XCC is open, thus someone might even implement the few necessary commands to let XCC play an aud in a batch process, so for example you just set
Process.Start("XCC Mixer.exe \Mix\Scores.mix\target.aud");

Or extract the necessary code from XCC Mixer and implement it in the client.


The devs of OpenRA might also be able to help here, as they've done all this already and surely have the routines ready to use. Client and OpenRA use both .NET C# afaik.

P.S. a jukebox like the classic old DOS games would be a nice feature for the client.

P.P.S.: it would be nice to disable certain songs via the client. e.g. i hate the "untamed land" funpark song from TD and always remove it manually from the ini.
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Graion Dilach
Defense Minister


Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyörgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The OpenRA AUD reader cannot play Act on Instinct (Voiced) and only supports 22kHz mono auds.

The format readers are these files but since they are tooled for OpenRA's usage, I'm not sure iif they are completely useable for the client.
https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/blob/bleed/OpenRA.Mods.Common/FileFormats/AudReader.cs
https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/blob/bleed/OpenRA.Game/FileSystem/MixFile.cs
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's good, TS can't read anything else than 22kHz auds either.

crazy idea:
how about disabling the games music entirely and let the client play the music while playing (given the client can play the auds)?
The client would run in a separate thread on a separate CPU core (if available), thus giving the game a tiny bit more resources on its CPU core.
Wouldn't that help improving the games performance a bit?
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^Rampastein
Rampastring


Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Location: Gensokyo

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lin Kuei Ominae wrote:
a hacky solution would be to run XCC Mixer as a hidden process and send the right keyboard commands to the process so it plays the aud file in the right mix.

I'm strongly against such hacky solutions so I'd never even considering doing that. It is also why I'll never consider doing this:

Bittah wrote:
.. youtube is the usable option for that for as far as I'm aware and it'd be necessary for the client to open a hidden web browser in the background to do that, which would take up a lot of system resources.


---

Lin Kuei Ominae wrote:
crazy idea:
how about disabling the games music entirely and let the client play the music while playing (given the client can play the auds)?
The client would run in a separate thread on a separate CPU core (if available), thus giving the game a tiny bit more resources on its CPU core.
Wouldn't that help improving the games performance a bit?

The difference in performance wouldn't be significant at all. The bigger benefit would be that the client could then play the music in high quality, while the in-game music player only supports the low quality AUDs. However, mission makers would lose the ability to control the played music on their missions. And the music wouldn't stop for the score screen.

The proper way to implement lobby music is making the client play the AUD files inside the Scores*.mix files, but I don't consider it worth my time so I won't code it. Maybe someone else will once the client is made open-source (later this year).
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Graion Dilach
Defense Minister


Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyörgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blade proved a year ago or two that RA can play stereo auds and better quality even - https://forums.cncnet.org/index.php?topic=4386.0. Thought that same applies to TS as well.
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^Rampastein
Rampastring


Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Location: Gensokyo

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
<Rampastring> tomsons26: did TS support stereo AUDs?
<tomsons26> ingame weirdly no, but at the same time VQA audio is stereo
<Rampastring> so the TS audio engine is worse than the RA audio engine
<tomsons26> indeed it is
<tomsons26> Its the same engine but dumbed down it seems

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tomsons26lv
Cyborg Cannon


Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Location: Latvia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graion Dilach wrote:
Blade proved a year ago or two that RA can play stereo auds and better quality even - https://forums.cncnet.org/index.php?topic=4386.0. Thought that same applies to TS as well.

Um it was my initiative to investigate the audio engine carefully #Tongue
I had my well based suspicions the audio engine supports a lot more than what it was assumed, because unlike Olaf and friends with their "oh this game engine was written in 1993-1995 so it must be retarded and i can't be assed to look at the other games", I investigated Westwood's other games including the really old ones.

As for where i made the discoveries.
In the German TD version unitlost.aud is 44100hz, possibly some other files in other games are in 44,1K too.
Stereo aud's can be found in Lands of Lore Guardians of Destiny tho i think i found the initial Stereo aud file in Malcolm's Revenge, not sure.
The possibility the engine supports PCM was from Blade Runner, ambient sounds for whatever reason are PCM. Just placing the aud in the RA folder named intro.aud confirmed that.
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Graion Dilach
Defense Minister


Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyörgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, it was Blade who filed a bug regarding it in OpenRA, and since noone mentioned you, I associated it with the person I've heard it from.
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