The Sound Guys
Fansu Janneh: Music and Sound effects
Burak “Kake” Çağlayan: Sound effects and FMOD implementation.
Pauli Ondruska: Sound effects and FMOD implementation.
All About the Sound
Our teams’ tasks, working methods and goals were quite different compared to other teams as our focus was to create sound effects, music and sound implementation for games.
We were in a unique position because we were able to work with different projects either as a whole team or by spreading to multiple other groups at the same time.
In our collaboration projects we had a focus on using FMOD (a middleware digital audio workstation tool that’s used by various leading game companies around the world) to create professional level immersion and adaptiveness to game music and sound effects.
We also had personal projects that either related to learning FMOD implementation, like learning C# and Unity implementation, recording audio or just creating music and sound assets for other teams.
In indie games or games of small budget the typical sound personnel might have to be the sole audio recorder, mixer, composer and sound designer for the whole project.
We did not want to limit our creativeness, so every team member was free to create and join in any part of music or sound production. We still started our projects by dividing the work according to our skillset and interests to keep ourselves from overlapping tasks. Kake and Pauli had their focus on in specializing in FMOD and learning to delve deeper into the world of adaptive music and 3D sounds. Fansu was interested in the raw creation of original music and sounds.
In a game called Stray Sheep, we split our workload to three steps. Kake created 8-Bit sound effects, Fansu created the music and Pauli arranged how the music and effects shift throughout the game in FMOD. Stray Sheep was all about speed and running so we got this idea that the speed of the main character advancing in the game makes the music more intense and the effects like thunder and rain to be more frequent as well as prominent.
Stray Sheep visual style was arcade-y and old school, so we wanted to use bit crushed sounds and instruments. We also wanted the music to resemble the atmosphere of an evolving storm, from slight rain to the full-blown storm, splattered with erratic drums and a more primal lead instrument.
We also worked on a deeply thought-out turn-based strategic fighting game. The development team had specific demands for what they wanted the game to look, feel and sound like so we knew we’d have to get out the big “guns” for this one, and by guns, I mean shotgun microphones, industry standard audio equipment and a solid audio treated studio environment.
We recorded all special effect sounds from the ground up, it’s always a great feeling when you have the opportunity to record everything by yourself.
We went to the Mediapolis to record different audio like incoherent drunken dialogue, tavern background chatter, chants and yells. Also, we recorded and edited things like steps on different surfaces.
Eventually we had gathered all the material needed to begin working in post. We went through all the recording, choosing the best ones for our goals in mind, organizing them accordingly. Next the fun could begin.
It’s easy to start messing around and trying out new things when you have a lot of sounds recorded and organized neatly. With the theme of the game and the conversations with the development team in mind, we started to mess around with creating the audible world for the game.
You never nail the sound on the first try. You always end up trying out a lot of different sounds, layering them together to find the correct combination. It takes a lot of patience, but after a lot of trial and error we had something the we felt like fit the theme of a tavern brawling game.
We fiddled around with creating a dynamic music system for the games we worked on, because we wanted to be able to give better feedback for the player. Music had to be composed with this specific goal in mind. Using a middleware like FMOD allowed us more creative freedom for creating instances like these with ease.
Even though we understand the basics of C# language, it was not enough to start implementing the sounds into the code itself, so we worked together with different programmers on the course to get a better grasp of C# and to assist them with the implementation if needed. The procedures were painless after we familiarized everyone with the basics of FMOD.
All around a productive summer!