Audio Design

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aggimajera
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Audio Design

How do you guys intend to implement ambient noises into the moment-to-moment gameplay in the pursuit of atmosphere?

We saw a snippet of it during the IGN showcase. The section where the Marines are in the house surrounded by Insurgents blowing whistles was supremely tense. And moving into the basement and finding the civilians was almost akin to a horror game. The ambient humming and moan of the soundtrack paired with the unknown was brilliantly executed.

I was wondering if that sort of style of ambient noise is part of the games core philosophy of creating fear in a warzone. Moreover, will the game pursue this method of silence during gameplay and gunfights, or will there be sections where you will implement a soundtrack?

I also have a recommendation for a film you guys could take a look at if you are interested in the use of sound design to really amp up the terror of war and combat on the human psyche. The film in question is called "Come and See". It is a Soviet War film made in the 80's, set during the Nazi Occupation of Belarus. We see the actions of the Partisans through the eyes of a 14-year old boy. While the film features little combat, the sound design is at the fore for illustrating the horror of prolonged exposure to war. The hellish landscape ambiance is mixed with noises that originate from the psyche of the boy that serve to illustrate his fear in a way that accentuates what he sees and expresses. Essentially, we as the viewer occupy the head of this boy and can hear his emotions. We feel his fear and terror though sound. Without a doubt, this is one of the most memorable takes on war I have ever seen and it sticks with you long after the credits rolled. For a time I didn't understand why the film was so ingrained in my brain, but I soon came to realize the sound design was the key. If you have time, give this analysis a watch!



I feel if this is examined and worked into the sound design of Six Days intuitively, perhaps a similar effect can be achieved and make us afraid of the daylight and the darkness of the rooms we will be sent to clear.
BadKarma
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Re: Audio Design

Absolutely agree that audio plays a major role during a game, just like movies.

There was a video on YouTube that got posted recently of an AES meeting with Highwire's audio designer Ian Shores where he discusses about the use of sound spatialization and portals, the video got de listed but I think you guys should take a look at it.

https://www.aes-media.org/sections/pnw/ ... /index.htm

More info can be found at the link above.
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aggimajera
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Re: Audio Design

BadKarma wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 8:51 am Absolutely agree that audio plays a major role during a game, just like movies.

There was a video on YouTube that got posted recently of an AES meeting with Highwire's audio designer Ian Shores where he discusses about the use of sound spatialization and portals, the video got de listed but I think you guys should take a look at it.

https://www.aes-media.org/sections/pnw/ ... /index.htm

More info can be found at the link above.
Thanks for the link! Will watch immediately. Sound is really one of the factors I feel needs more attention in shooter games. We’re getting better, but we really peaked in ambiance in games like Stalker.
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AmperCamper
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Re: Audio Design

aggimajera wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 11:16 am We saw a snippet of it during the IGN showcase. The section where the Marines are in the house surrounded by Insurgents blowing whistles was supremely tense. And moving into the basement and finding the civilians was almost akin to a horror game. The ambient humming and moan of the soundtrack paired with the unknown was brilliantly executed.
Thanks for picking up on this! The audio design for the IGN demo was my personal favorite part of the reveal, by far. The talent we have on board at Highwire cannot be highlighted enough, and I'll be sure to pass your comments to the team.
aggimajera wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 11:16 am I also have a recommendation for a film you guys could take a look at if you are interested in the use of sound design to really amp up the terror of war and combat on the human psyche. The film in question is called "Come and See". It is a Soviet War film made in the 80's, set during the Nazi Occupation of Belarus.
This isn't the first time "Come and See" has been discussed internally, and we're sure it won't be the last. Thanks for bringing the recommendation to the table, as well as this analysis.
aggimajera wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 11:16 am I was wondering if that sort of style of ambient noise is part of the games core philosophy of creating fear in a warzone. Moreover, will the game pursue this method of silence during gameplay and gunfights, or will there be sections where you will implement a soundtrack?
The short answer is yes, a strong component of the audio design is eliciting a variety of emotions from the player (with fear being one of the strongest). For the long answer: I'd like to circle back to this thread after the holiday break so I can bring this to the audio team for a more detailed (and much smarter) response. Hang tight in the meantime.
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AmperCamper
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Re: Audio Design

Having spoken with leadership on the audio side, I have the longer answer:

It’s so cool that people are excited about the sound of Six Days, and the thread brought up some great points. We really appreciated how the "Come and See" analysis focused on subjective experience. That’s something the audio team has been thinking about a lot.

The kind of chaos and trauma our interview subjects experienced distorted their focus and attention based on their unique personal experiences. We don’t try to recreate the exact soundwaves that went into their ears, we instead try to recreate the subjective experience of the sound as they were able to process it. We like how The Cinema Cartography put it in their video: we hear what they think they hear. Plus, movies and games only have two senses to work with, so we also need to hear what they felt (in both a mental and physical sense).

Perhaps a SITREP about audio is a good idea down the line. Thanks for sparking conversation about this!
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Re: Audio Design

....kind of off topic from this thread but still on the subject of audio design, if you folks do include a "ringing ear" effect from flashbangs, explosions, etc., please offer an option to turn it off. Can't tell you how bothersome that is for those of us with tinnitus. For me it can cause flare ups when watching a movie or playing a game that has this if it's prolonged.

I have played games that actually have an option to turn it off and have been really grateful for it.
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AmperCamper
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Re: Audio Design

Kean_1 wrote: Mon Jan 03, 2022 12:47 pm ....kind of off topic from this thread but still on the subject of audio design, if you folks do include a "ringing ear" effect from flashbangs, explosions, etc., please offer an option to turn it off. Can't tell you how bothersome that is for those of us with tinnitus. For me it can cause flare ups when watching a movie or playing a game that has this if it's prolonged.

I have played games that actually have an option to turn it off and have been really grateful for it.
It's a good question, so thank you for asking.

Yes, we plan to have this effect toggleable.
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aggimajera
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Re: Audio Design

AmperCamper wrote: Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:21 am Having spoken with leadership on the audio side, I have the longer answer:

It’s so cool that people are excited about the sound of Six Days, and the thread brought up some great points. We really appreciated how the "Come and See" analysis focused on subjective experience. That’s something the audio team has been thinking about a lot.

The kind of chaos and trauma our interview subjects experienced distorted their focus and attention based on their unique personal experiences. We don’t try to recreate the exact soundwaves that went into their ears, we instead try to recreate the subjective experience of the sound as they were able to process it. We like how The Cinema Cartography put it in their video: we hear what they think they hear. Plus, movies and games only have two senses to work with, so we also need to hear what they felt (in both a mental and physical sense).

Perhaps a SITREP about audio is a good idea down the line. Thanks for sparking conversation about this!
Great idea about the SITREP. It would be an excellent idea and very intriguing to clue us into the design teams process of putting us into the head of a Marine in combat. I genuinely am looking forward to those, in addition to any updates.

One aspect of audio I’m intrigued in is the difference between indoor and outdoor sound effect reverberation. Because so much of the action will take place indoors, I’m assuming interior reverberation will be a factor?
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Re: Audio Design

aggimajera wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 10:38 pm One aspect of audio I’m intrigued in is the difference between indoor and outdoor sound effect reverberation. Because so much of the action will take place indoors, I’m assuming interior reverberation will be a factor?
Yes, definitely. Reverb is a big factor in audio spatialization, and we can get into that in a future SITREP.
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Re: Audio Design

There is a gun club where I live that actually provides ALL the sounds for movies. I know they did "Saving Private Ryan" & others. That would be kick ass to the audio for the game!
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