Vehicle Sounds Improvement

Today the PUBG developer team shared the process of new vehicle sound making.

As some of you may already know, we’ve been working on improving vehicle sounds in our game and have spoken to PUBG Sound FX Lead Kyungwon Park and our Action and Gunplay Programmer Marek Krasowski.

What were your main goals with these changes to vehicle sounds?

Our main goals were improving the quality of the sound effects (and sound samples) and optimizing the vehicle sounds. We decided to change the vehicle audio because our audio quality was subpar compared to the rest of the game sounds. It was problematic especially because we did not have an audio library with the correct vehicle sounds that we have in the game. We researched granular synthesis plugin (REV) and it reduced our usage of channels and CPU per vehicle. This improved the sound quality dramatically by taking the exact engine RPM from each vehicle model.
We also had to modify our vehicles to behave more like real-world vehicles. Now we model acceleration and gear box ratio, engine parameters very similar to the real-world models. This is a system that is already commonly used by many other Triple A racing games. Before, we had vehicle audio effects corresponding to every 1000 rpm, up to the maximum rpm. We used to blend them to suit the specific rpm and it was very hard to make realistic acceleration sounds this way because of a technical limit. The range of sound effects is now extended a lot more but this is still a work in progress and we will add more effects as we go.

Can you briefly explain what kind of work went into improving the vehicle sounds?

We sent a list of vehicles that are used in-game to recording companies in Germany, asking for engine sound, driving sound, brake sound, and so forth. It took approximately two to three weeks for these companies to find the exact vehicles and record the sounds. Then we used the REV program to tweak and fit the actual driving experience with proper acceleration curve and parameters.

Vaulting system involves over 40 different animations. How many sound sources are included for each vehicle?

We worked on engine sound, gear box shifting sound, clutch, ground surface running sound, spinning/sliding/braking wheels, and there are still more detailed sounds to come.

What else do you intend to improve in the future?

We still have a lot of work left in terms of the vehicle sounds on different surfaces. We plan to make our own sound samples with filming studios in the future. We are also interested in switching between the interior sound and the exterior sound of a vehicle when a character shifts between FPP and TPP to make it more realistic. We have already made a system that changes the vehicle sound according to the user's point of view but it is not perfect yet. We plan to improve it considering the structural character of each vehicle.

Any last words to our players?

Please be mindful that this still a work in progress. We really appreciate your feedback and it helps us improve the game a lot. We do read your feedback and gain a lot of insight from it.
We’ve also prepared a short video showing how some of the vehicle sounds were recorded. You can find it below. Hope you enjoy!