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We’ve conducted a few performance tests in our game with sound occlusion in the level geometry and, as expected, events cost quite a bit more to update when the level has sound occlusion geometry loaded. Right now we’re estimating that each active channel with the sound occlusion geometry loaded can cost up to 8-10 times more to update in our game depending on surrounding geometry and other circumstances.

As a way to fine tune performance, would it be possible to provide a flag for certain events to be excluded from the sound occlusion checks? That might be a good way to provide 70% of the effect for 30% of the cost, which would be a very welcome option if we had to consider totally removing sound occlusion for performance reasons. =)

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Did you use complex shapes for occlusion? Or simple blocks…

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We have simple blocks representing buildings in a city. Some buildings are composed of multiple blocks. All in all, the entire level only has roughly 1200 quads, which isn’t very many for a chunk of city.

I mean the cost of running occlusion on sounds isn’t particularly high, it’s just that without the occlusion, sounds are so cheap. 😉

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I don’t know if there is a way to turn on/off channel occlusion… To limit the stress.

In my setup, I use linear roll off so I simply stops/don’t start sounds that are too far; it’s easy to determine when in lenear rolloff. I only get like 3 channels playing most of the time, up to 8 in a crowded place. Not a big deal for me.

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Well, we also limit sounds by distance, however, we cannot limit them all because an explosion in the distance needs to be heard (and occluded). We already have variable range settings for our sounds to accommodate this in game code, however, we still easily hit 30+ channels active during combat due to gun sounds, impact sounds, explosion sounds, environment sounds like footsteps or ambient objects, etc. We expect to peak even higher than 30+.

In this case, being able to shut off sound occlusion on some sounds could significantly reduce the sound processing time. I mean given the choice between playing 30 sounds with occlusion or 50 sounds with no occlusion and 25 sounds with occlusion for the same performance price, it seems like it would be a pretty interesting option to be able to turn off occlusion checks on some sounds. =)

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There is a way in the low level interface.
Channel::setMode(FMOD_3D_IGNOREGEOMETRY);

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hmmm, okay, i’ll give that a shot. =) thanks!

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