Friday February 24, 2017

Impulsonic Has Announced Steam Audio for VR Experiences in Unity and Unreal Engine

Valve owned Impulsonic has announced that it is ready to release Steam Audio for VR and all games. Steam Audio is the next generation of Phonon spatial audio tools. "Steam Audio delivers a full-featured audio solution that integrates environment and listener simulation. HRTF significantly improves immersion in VR; physics-based sound propagation completes aural immersion by consistently recreating how sound interacts with the virtual environment."

What this means to VR gamers is that sound can mapped to the environment much more naturally. You can hear much more realistic sound turning a corner to come down a hallway; more natural sounds when an object bounces off another object, etc. Sound is just as important as visuals in making VR worlds more immersive. The SDK is free and plugins for Unity are ready to go. Unreal Engine plugins will be demoed at GDC. Steam Audio supports Windows, Linux, Max, and Android without restrictions on platform. It will even be available for other VR platforms such as Oculus Rift.

Epic Games will be demoing Steam Audio at GDC next week, showing off its application in Unreal-built games.

"As a new plugin for the new Unreal Audio Engine, Steam Audio fundamentally extends its capabilities and provides a multi-platform solution to game audio developers who want to create realistic and high-quality sound propagation, reverberation modelling, and binaural spatialisation for their games," said Aaron McLeran, audio programmer at Epic Games.