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Which of the following impacts your quality bar the most (either positively or negatively):

1) Console resources - RAM and CPU usage

2) Time constraints - deadlines

3) Manpower

4) Tools/engineering support - WWise, FMOD, dedicated engineer, good world-building tools...

5) Equipment/libraries/field recording (PC/Mac, DAWs, Plugins, SFX libs - asset creation stuff)

6) Other - examples of "other" are team communication (finding out about new features and game changes in a timely manner) and Clearly Stated/Stable Design Direction.

I know that there is a lot of overlap, and that it really depends on the kind of game being made, but I am curious what other folks wrestle with most...

imho the order is often 1 and 4 at the top followed by 2,3, and 6, with 5 at the bottom assuming you have access to some minimum set of libraries and plug-ins (most American gaming companies that I know cover #5 tolerably well).

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2 Answers 2

This does change from project to project but here is my short list of negatives:

  1. Time Constraints
  2. Tools (programmer time = ironically a time constraints too)

Everything else is a mixed bag. Ironically in my humble opinion the console resources are not that important IF you have tools and engineering support to handle the console limitations intelligently. As a 6 year veteran of AAA development, the most important factor on quality is always time ... with more time we could develop better tools, record better assets, experiment more with sounds and implementation etc.

The thing that has the biggest positive impact on the quality of the game is the team work and input from other areas of game design, be that either from working together on implementation ideas or suggestions about what something should or could sound like.

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Game design, team vision, scheduling work, the level of integration of the audio design within the game design all affect quality more than technical restrictions. I'm fortunate to be on a project where audio is equal amongst animation, art, narrative, etc. but that's rare.

If I had to specify a technical constraint, memory tends to be more limiting than CPU but it obviously depends on the game and audio engine.

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