Multiplayer Audio

Console games often support simultaneous local two-player action using a single split screen. This is thrilling for the participants but a challenge for the entire game engine, not just the audio, as it means running the entire game twice, from two viewpoints, without sacrificing much of the single-player experience. This chapter deals with personalising the audio experience when several players share a room while minimising the risk of confusion.

Split-screen view
The hit game Resident Evil fits two normal-shaped views onto a single display. The chapter explores how to process audio sympathetically for such multiplayer use.

Techniques to deliver distinct audio for up to four simultaneous players are explained, including three ways to overlay soundfields for multiple listeners in a room, ways to take advantage of surround speakers in 2D and 3D, exploiting input controller audio and rumble including 5.1.1 surround, optimisations to forestall performance bottlenecks, synergies to be exploited and the audio implications of different screen geometries.

Further reading

Runtime System Physical Layers - next chapter abstract.
Implementing Listeners - previous chapter abstract.
Return to the index of chapters.
Click here to get your own copy of Beep To Boom.

Copyright © 2019 Simon N Goodwin     [';']