With the resurgence of top down gaming (noting the obvious: Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3) I wanted to ask you all your opinion on creating audio for such a perspective. First, ill throw out some concepts for some basic question reinforcement and clarification.
With other camera perspectives, many basic rules involve:
In first person - if it comes from, hits, or happens at extreme proximity to the main character its stereo (or multi-channel in general).
If its 3rd person (mainly depending on location of camera to the audio emitter) - it could be mono as opposed to multi-channel (excluding multi-channel processing of effects like reverb, etc.)
It is a constant battle for what is the subject matter of the on-screen activity at any point in time. And how to modify the mix depending on a hierarchy of importance/sonic coherency.
That being said, with top down perspective, its an interesting mix for this genre. Things are smaller in size, farther from camera than any other perspective (now being able to zoom into the characters to almost 3rd person perspective), and many many things happening on the screen at the same time because of the wider from-atmosphere type view of the game field.
What are your thoughts on:
Sound creation - How to provide correct weighting and size to the characters and units on screen - For example: A simple torch wave could easily be "too big/deep" or the opposite "too sharp/hi-end" for such a small character that far away - down on the ground.
Sound mix - How do these sounds play into a stereo image? Are these sounds simply mono and tacked as emitters onto the asset in question that link to left/right panning based on the location? What about 5.1 mixing? How does the mix change dynamically when zooming into 3rd person with the new engines running top down? How do you manage all these sounds happening at the same time? It would seem in such games like Starcraft, LoL or Dota, Halo Wars, could become easily chaotic in sonic characteristics.
CPU processing - So much more DSP goes into audio now days - In top down gaming, what kinds of processing is required? It would seem like there would not be as much CPU based audio processing/plug-ins used depending on the type of top-down you are playing. A single soldier in a spaceship might have reverb on his gun shots, but what are some examples of more advanced techniques of DSP based audio processing in top down perspective? (For example: Using an EQ shelf linked to a spaceships numerical variable pitch of a turn. (#100 being sharp turn - #0 being straight flight) Creating an adaptive "space-wind" that increasingly becomes more full in the upper register the sharper the turn. I did this in Wwise as an experiment)
So thats the topic starter - and I cant wait to hear everyones input!