For the last six years, our sound engineer Andrew has created all of the sound effects for Path of Exile. He has written a guest post for today's news, giving an inside look at how our sound effects are created.
The following is a rough guide on how we approach creating sounds for our assets here at Grinding Gear Games. Today we'll use Goatmen as an example.
The first thing to consider is variation between assets of the same type and the different animations they use. At this stage it's also worth thinking about precedence. Are there similar assets the audio should be based on? Chaos damage is a good example of this. Skills dealing this type of damage tend to follow a similar theme.
With that in mind, it's time to check out the asset implementation in game.
Figuring out how an asset behaves, and how frequently you'll encounter it in game, is important information to have before you begin editing audio together. Having many of the same objects on screen at once means the sound will need to be more varied for it to sound natural. The behavior then needs to be analysed. With monsters, fast animation speeds or repetitive skills will be something to keep an eye out for.
Next up is assembling various pieces of source audio. It's a good idea to consider if there are any preconceived ideas about the object you're designing for. Giant troll-like creature? There are plenty of pop culture references to point you in the right direction. In this case we've got a real world example, a goat, which makes it a little easier.
Now that we have a pool of source audio, it's time to start editing it together. Audio needs to be designed for a specific purpose. For example, death audio needs to be satisfying to hear repetitively, while idling audio needs to either signal a presence or contribute to the ambience.
Audio processing is then applied to blend different sounds together. This ties all of the different sounds used together and improves the overall quality of the sound. Weight is something considered here. Larger sounds are often more compressed and bass-heavy.
Next is implementation. We use a third party audio engine, FMOD. As you can see from the picture below, FMOD studio provides a sleek UI that makes tweaking sound parameters easy. Here's where variables like play chance, pitch variation, delay and distance attenuation can be tweaked live as you test in game.
Hopefully you've enjoyed this brief look into how sound design is approached for Path of Exile. Just a little side note: I've been working on a project with some good friends making music. We've just released an album and need 1000 likes on our facebook page as part of the prerequisites to qualify for NZ On Air funding. If you enjoy Alt-Rock we can be found here: www.naughtfornothing.com
on Mar 28, 2017, 9:28:47 PM
Grinding Gear Games