Sound Propagation and Effects


I just saw Zero’s “The Sounds” post and alongside improvements to the sound overall, in terms of quality (which he suggested in his post), i thought of writing something to make the game a tad-bit more interesting, realistic, and possibly even difficult, that being Sound Propagation and sound effects. I’ll get to the latter later, let’s talk about sound propagation.

What is Sound Propagation ?
Sound propagation is a term used to describe sound waves’ ability to reflect and refract.
I won’t be putting my glasses on and have you sit up for a verbal test in physics, so i’ll quickly show you an explanation and an example.

In Unturned 3.0, and nearly every single game out right now, you hear sound in the form of a sphere. It doesn’t matter if there’s soundproofed wall that is 0.5 thick, if you’re within this “sphere”, you’re still gonna hear it like there isn’t a wall at all. That gets the job done well enough, no big deal, but it’s far from being realistic.
Again, before anyone starts telling me “God, “realism” shut up” and such stuff, this is a big IF. IF Nelson decides to introduce realism into 4.0, THEN my suggestion would really have a chance to be introduced.

Moving on.
If you go into your house or apartment and have someone in a different room, if this said person says something, you don’t hear it trough the wall, do you ? You’ll hear it from wherever the sound waves are able to reflect from and reach you. Not switch to Armor Piercing mode and go trough the wall.


Yes, this isn’t how sound waves work. They reflect from surfaces, but my idea, is to go by Rainbow Six Siege’s way. What they do is, they get a sound, and they “emit” the sound/s emitted by a player and direct them towards the closes opening. We have Player Red walking around Room 1. The sound is sent to the closes opening based on Player Red’s perspective. From there, the game figures out where the the closest opening is, based on Player Blue’s perspective and directs the sound over trough the door and into Room 2, where Player Blue would be able to hear it. What happens essentially is, Player Blue would hear the sound echo trough the Hallway. As he gets closer to the sound’s origin, the sound would become more clear and making it easier for Player Blue to identify where Player Red is walking exactly. Those who have played Rainbow Six Siege would know EXACTLY what i’m talking about. This would require a more patient and careful way of navigating buildings and (possibly) bases, as you won’t be able to hear someone crouching trough the wall right next to you, you would hear the sound echo and reverb trough the room, making it more difficult to pin-point the location of the crouching player. It would be cool if that also applies to voice chat.

Phew, got that out of the way. Not for sound effects:
Starting out with simple sound effects. Underwater, the sound would be slightly muffled, but a bit louder, as it is in real life. In a big, hollow space, such as an empty room or a theater or a tunnel, you would have echoes. I remember how fascinated i saw by the reverb of sounds in small pipes in Half-Life, like in this video:
Last one is just a little thing i really enjoyed, but the previous 2 i feel like they’re a MUST.
Near explosions: Ringing in ears and muffling of the sound while you “recover”.
Delay of distant loud sounds. Distant explosions, shots, car horns, etc. etc.
If radios are included, a good old-fashioned radio filter would be good.

Well, that’s it… Let me know about what you think of these ideas and feel free to criticize and correct/modify my idea. I’m also leaving a poll here for you to vote.

  • Keep it simple like 3.0 (No Sound Propagation, no effects)
  • Add Sound Propagation, ditch the effects
  • Add the effects, ditch Sound Propagation
  • I would like: (Comment specific effects you want/don’t want to be in the game, Sound Propagation included)

0 voters

Have a good one!

P.S. I hope you like the long-ass post, @GreatHeroJ

Sound Propagation

This looks shady…

There’s no option for if I’m cool with both of the suggestions, and the option for each suggestion explicitly stated exclusivity from eachother.

I like both ideas, but they won’t make or break the game for me.


Oh shit, i did forget the 2 options…


Didn’t Understand anything…But I like it…


I’d like both options.

Also, Escape From Tarkov has sound propagation and audio in general done amazingly well. Firsthand I’ve seen how awesome it is, so I 100% agree we need this.


I put leave it as is not because I don’t want it, I just don’t care for it soon. I wouldn’t mind if this is pretty low on the priority list. Especially if it takes a lot of work.


From my potato point of view, wouldn’t the propagation add more processes for the engine to handle, thus increasing lag? I believe that it isn’t needed, and may also lead to bugs because of the complexity.

The way I think sound should be handled is a sphere of sound, but the sound gets dampened if it detects an object in the way. I’m all for realism, as long as it doesn’t cost me precious FPS. But I do quite like the sound propagation, I just think that the time and effort isn’t worth it.

The sound effects are definitely a must for 4.0. Explosions ringing in your ear would be absolutely fantastic. Reverb and echo are both really good, and a sound delay would just add so much.

TL;DR sound propagation no, sound effect yes


As far as i know, Sound Propagation doesn’t take a lot of R6 Siege’s performance. I mean, turning on Ambient Occlusion is gonna hurt your FPS A LOT more than an algorithm that directs sound from point A to point B, really.