WildStar Wednesday: Journey of Sound Creation

By rogerDate: 11-28-2012 Views:


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Two weeks ago, WildStar's weekly dev blog delved into the pairing of sounds to actions in-game. Today, WildStar Wednesday revisits the realm of audio to discuss the actual process of building the sounds that bring the sci-fi game to life and enhance the player experience. From subtle growls to snarling creatures, WildStar embodies audio from a number of different sources ranging from a commercial, field recordings and even the personal collections of the sound team.Using the various sounds, the team layers them into the game to create unique and distinctive audio.

Ultimately, we would love to gather it all through field recording, that is, to go out with a recorder and capture sounds in the world around us, for example by visiting an animal trainer to get real growls. Although we do some field recording, it's not possible to do for every single sound, especially given the scope of an MMO. It's safe to say that MMOs are one of the most demanding types of games for sound designers purely because of their size. Instead of recording everything in the field, we source many sounds from our collection of sound libraries and then spend a lot of time layering and tweaking to get the final result. Much of our sound library is commercial but some of the best sounds are brought in by our sound designers from their personal collections.

So how do the distinct in-game sounds come about? They start with an idea. WildStar Audio Director Charley Lanusse detailed how the team members move from idea to reality: They take smaller sound bytes from a large collection of sounds, manipulate them, and then arrange them together to create the more complex and organic soundscapes. He also explained how the game engine will rearrange the sounds into different orders to change how the sound effects play depending on the exact real-time situation in game. You can read up on more details, as well as get a few hints from Lanusse if you want to break into sound production yourself in the blog.

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