Grab your backpack…

I’ve recently completed version 1 of my game audio demo level ‘DATAlabs’ and got some fantastic feedback from the folks who’ve been playing it (let me know if you’d like to give it a try!) so I’m taking a break from it for a couple of weeks to refresh my ears before I move onto fixing some stuff and tweaking other bits and bobs.

With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at my other environment ‘Lake Lodge’ as it’s been somewhat neglected over the past few months. I’d already worked on a bunch of stuff including time-of-day dependent ambience, character sounds and environmental triggers but I really wanted to get my item pickup system working (which I left in a terrible state back in December).


As you can see, this backpack has a mind of it’s own when I pick it up with my magic invisible hands! I’d followed a tutorial online somewhere and missed a step which was clearly related to bag-stability.


This time the backpack remains steady in my transparent grip, and this was pretty much how I left it in December, with no sounds added for grabbing or dropping actions. (I still think I’ll need to fine-tune the position of the held objects and maybe even, ADD A HAND!.

Anyway – I spent yesterday working on the blueprint and FMOD event for the actual pickup and drop sounds and this took some time, as apparently, I’d forgotten everything I’d ever learned. A short while later I regained consciousness and fixed a few things that had stopped working in the last few months and got the pickup script functioning again, it was then a relatively easy job to incorporate the extra nodes for triggering the right FMOD event.

UE physics materials switcher to select the correct sound for whichever item has been picked up or dropped.

The blueprint above attached nicely onto the pickup/drop script I’d already created, and I used Unreal’s physics materials system to select which sound I wanted for the backpack (I’ve also created plastic and metal but there will probably be lots more in the end).

And here’s the pickup script with the new audio bit plopped onto it –


Most of the work has already been sorted before as you can see above, all I needed to do was get the surface type from the line-trace and trigger the FMOD event to play whenever the item was picked up or dropped. It’s all tucked inside the first-person character blueprint as can be seen below…


That mess of nodes on the top-right is my system for adjusting head-bob movements depending on whether the player is crouching, walking or running, and this also links to FMOD to control the audio mix of foley assets during movements. I’ll tidy it later.

ANYWAY, here is the finished backpack pickup with sound for your viewing and listening pleasure. The sound is just a placeholder at the mo, and I’ll probably have something a little different for the drop.

More soon fellow low-poly lovers!

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