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Please add volume controls.

This is actually two requests: volume controls for the PICO-8 native apps, and volume controls for the web player (exported and BBS). BBS games in particular are always at full volume, and I rely on web media players to give me a volume setting I can adjust on a per-player basis.

P#76963 2020-05-21 00:44

Can I ask why add this to the native apps?

On hardware, there are usually physical controls.
On a regular computer, one can use the regular controls to set global sound volume or app-specific volume, right?

P#77151 2020-05-25 03:15

Windows has an app-specific volume mixer built-in, yes. I wouldn't be surprised if some flavors of Linux include one, though I've never seen one. macOS, I'm 99% sure, does not have app-specific volume mixing built in. I know of a third-party app but have never used it.

I don't think I'm unusual in keeping my browser media players at a middle volume when possible e.g. YouTube, which remembers the YouTube-specific volume setting for new players. Web videos are mastered inconsistently and a middle volume just for YouTube prevents a loud video from being too loud and gives me headroom to turn up a quiet video. Most web-based music players seem to start at a middle volume by default for this reason. In contrast, the PICO-8 web player plays at full volume only.

If browsers are at middle volume then I need other apps to also have some kind of volume control. Music apps tend to have built-in volume controls. I'm not sure what to say about native games' default behavior. Many games have volume sliders buried in settings, but I rarely have a game that starts too loud, and I don't know if that's because they're middle by default or just have a standard definition of loud. I wonder if there are published best practices for initial volume level in native apps.

For what it's worth, I'm not sure PICO-8 developers use volume consistently either. Picking a bunch at random from my downloads folder, I'm seeing maximum volumes ranging from 5 to 7 (actual max is 7). Ones that use a lot of 7s are obnoxiously loud with my usual master volume settings.

P#77156 2020-05-25 05:04 ( Edited 2020-05-25 05:07)


I know it's an inadequate workaround that only works for the native apps, but there are config.txt settings you could modify:

sound_volume 256 // 0..256
music_volume 256 // 0..256
volume 256

I assume that's for sfx() calls, music() calls, and a master volume.

I agree that it would be very good to have these values adjustable by the player in some way, maybe through a "SYSTEM" or "SYSTEM OPTIONS" submenu off of the pause menu. This would be consistent with what we see on most consoles.

Such a submenu could be useful for setting other config.txt options, like joystick_index or button_keys to configure controller layouts/simulation. If it were me, I'd also add some stuff for when it's in a kiosk environment and people don't see the "bios" screen at boot, like an option that says "ABOUT PICO-8" or "SYSTEM INFORMATION", with software version and such. It's always good to give the player something to be curious about. :)

P#77185 2020-05-25 19:19 ( Edited 2020-05-25 19:21)

It could also be cool to have these three values at memory addresses in the cartridge RAM! Though you'd probably want to prevent the reset corruption from messing with them, to prevent blowing people's eardrums out. XD

P#77187 2020-05-25 19:36 ( Edited 2020-05-25 19:36)

On linux, PulseAudio gives you per-app volume control.

The point that different games may use wildly different volumes is a good one.

P#77205 2020-05-26 02:03

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