By entering the VR space early, Audiokinetic has been able to quickly progress on the VR front, with a swiftly evolving pipeline, empowering the Wwise VR community to hit the ground running.
The Wwise spatial audio pipeline has enabled many of the game industry’s distinguished AR/VR games to ship. In fact, Audiokinetic has been supporting VR game development since 2014. Through core engine development, and collaboration on a number of plug-ins, Audiokinetic has empowered the community’s early adopters to bring their VR projects - including launch titles - to life, while building up the spatial audio toolset within Wwise.
With its mixer plugin API, Wwise 2014.1 opened up the ability for developers to create their custom mix by having direct access to the sound engine’s internal data, such as 3D object positioning and individual source audio.
For Wwise 2015.1, Audiokinetic partnered with Oculus to provide developers with the Oculus Spatializer which renders accurate 3D positioning of sources for Oculus Rift, and Sony for its Audio3d Object Panner for the upcoming PSVR platform. Platform-agnostic for Android-based and Windows-based VR headsets, Wwise also supports several third party technologies such as the Auro®-HeadPhones™ plugin. It is well suited for VR experiences and produces a binaural mix of different channel configurations including height.
With the release of 2016.1, Wwise launched a full ambisonics pipeline supporting playback, rotation, encoding, decoding and support for all Wwise and McDSP’s effects, and in the coming weeks, Audiokinetic will be releasing a beta version for its Wwise SynthSpace, a geometry-based reverberation project focused on spatialized dynamic early reflections, customizable reflective surface characteristics and room to room diffraction.
Wwise 2017.1 the all-encompassing Wwise Spatial Audio toolset including the Wwise Reflect plug-in, and as development continued, Wwise 2017.2 focused on Sound Propagation, Rooms and Portals, and expanding the existing features by enhancing usability, runtime efficiency and flexibility.
There are currently 500+ Virtual Reality games shipped or in development using Wwise! Here’s an (alphabetical) list of some of the VR games that have shipped:
- Barking Irons– A wireless VR arcade game, Barking Irons gives players the ability to physically move around a space with another player. This is also among the first VR games to feature multiplayer capabilities.
- The Climb- A first-person rock climbing game with uncannily realistic scenery and gameplay. Not recommended for sufferers of vertigo or chronic neck pain.
- Dirt Rally- An updated version of a classic racing game, Dirt Rally is fully integrated with Oculus Rift and features improved visuals and gameplay.
- Edge of Nowhere- A third-person VR adventure that takes players on a journey into darkness. Reality warps, monsters appear, and nothing is what it seems as you descend into madness.
- Elite Dangerous: Horizons- A space adventure game that combines the depth of MMO with a complex narrative and realistic combat. Elite Dangerous: Horizons gives players the ability to explore billions of star systems and fight infinite battles while piloting dozens of different starships.
- Eve: Gunjack- A VR and mobile VR shooter game set in a sprawling sci-fi universe. Enhanced audio makes for impressive textures, effects, and more.
- Eve: Valkyrie- One of the best launch titles for Oculus Rift, Eve: Valkyrie is a multiplayer space-fighting game with impressive visuals and production quality.
- Fantastic Contraption- A surreal building game designed specifically for VR. Players create life-sized machines and send them off to solve puzzles with infinite solutions.
- Farlands- Farlands is unlike any other game in the Oculus repertoire. It is designed to be played in short bursts, like a series of mini-games.
- Fated: The Silent Oath- a first-person narrative adventure game that takes full advantage of VR capabilities. With stunning visuals and VR capabilities, Fated: The Silent Oath takes emotion in gameplay to a whole other level.
- Henry- Henry is a VR experience developed by Oculus Studios. Viewers can interact with the main character, Henry, and discover parts of the story on their own.
- The Leviathan Project - The Leviathan Project is a mixed AR and VR experience that features a highly immersive sonic experience.
- Lost- Lost is another VR experience by Oculus Studios. As the first film to be developed by the studio, it demonstrates the storytelling potential of VR to filmmakers.
- Lucky’s Tale- An adventure game designed exclusively for Oculus Rift. By combining innovative approaches to camera movement, motion, and gameplay, the game offers users the ability to truly immerse themselves in its world.
Even non-VR games that have shipped are starting to patch VR in through VR support with Wwise, so if you have already shipped your game and you think it would be suitable for VR, the options are there!