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I am about to start assembling sound effect assets for an MMORPG using fmod studio with Unreal 4. I am new to both fmod and Unreal and, since it is a large game, I am somewhat stymied by how to go correctly start my file organization in a way that makes sense in a game that will contain so many sounds.

I am wondering if it would be best to keep the effects separated into smaller “project” files (i.e. gunshots, foley, vehicles, etc.) instead of them being subfolders in one huge, whole game project file.

Sorry if this is a basement level question. Just don’t want to trip halfway up the stairs and have to backtrack later.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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In Studio (unlike in Designer) I believe everything must be under one project file for one game. Of course you will then separate sounds into banks to save on memory, and use folders for organization/sanity.

As for how to organize your banks, I feel like someone can give a whole lecture on this, but here’s my two cents. It depends on the mechanics of the game. For an RPG which typically has a lot of player choice, sound banks may need to be very specific to save memory. You want to avoid using large banks which may result in wasted memory on sounds not used. For example you may want to have a bank for Ak-47, a bank for M-16, a bank for Colt45, a bank for lightning magic, a bank for fire magic etc. Any one of these may or may not be needed at any given time based on player decision. Banks would be loaded as needed. Of course some banks may be somewhat generalized because they are used so often (example foley/movement/footsteps in one bank).

I hope this helps, and I’d be happy if anyone with more experience has some wisdom to add to this…

  • rob newton
    Thanks for your input. Your answer makes sense. Especially separating the banks into sounds by character choice. This can save bandwidth in an MMORPG for sure. Now to get our tech and gameplay team onboard with some solid lists....:) I was pretty sure this was the correct way, but the manual is not very clear on basic stuff that newbies like myself probably need to have straight before we even start to avoid headaches and lost time.
  • Joseph Harvey
    A bit of history: The traditional reasons for splitting a project into multiple projects are A) To work around some limit on maximum project size, and B) To allow more than one person to work on the project at the same time. FMOD Studio solves A by splitting a project across multiple files and managing them in the background, and B through revision control integration. You could theoretically create multiple FMOD Studio projects per game project, but there's no need to do so.
  • Richard Goulet
    I didn't realize it was technically possible to use multiple Studio projects in one game. Thanks for the info!
  • Joseph Harvey
    @RichardGoulet You're welcome. We generally avoid mentioning that you can use multiple projects, as it's harder, more limiting, less convenient and more error-prone than the alternative. There's generally no point.
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