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DFCamdensound

Audio Update 2: The Sounds of Broken Age

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Hi, backers!

I'm Camden, lead sound designer on Broken Age. Now that Part 1 of the game has hit Alpha I wanted to share with you some of the very diverse range of audio going on in the game. Here you go:

BA_SFX_1 - A sound from the Navbot scene. This game is very quirky, weird, and magical. I think it is very important for sound to convey this as much as possible, so I try to pepper in, where appropriate, sounds that don't make sense but are very interesting to the ear. This is a hybrid of synthesis sounds and foley machine recordings.

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__1.wav

BA_SFX_2 - The ambience of this game is very important. When the player comes into a new scene or world, it is important that it feel established. This is a living breathing space and has been for a long time. Here we have ambience from Meriloft, a cloud colony. Unearthly bird (?) cries against wispy, cold winds.

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__2.wav

BA_SFX_3 - There are many props the characters use and are around in Broken Age. Everything seems to have a purpose. Sometimes the props have a story of their own. Such as this cleaning robot.

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__3.wav

BA_SFX_4 -As shown in the documentary, the studio employs "scratch" dialog for a variety of reasons: to get timing down before pro voice actors are recorded, to help with animation, to see what the feel of a puzzle will be. This is scratch recording that entertained (or plagued) the team for weeks. We needed Yarn Pals screaming. Animator David Gardner was the only one available to do this, so I over dubbed him 5 times in different pitches. It is the stuff of nightmares. And scratch dialog legend.

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__4.wav

BA_SFX_5 - Another robot sound, this one was very cool to make. You can hear the phone push button sound, but I was not getting the right vocal texture for this little guy. The final sound is actually a guitar going through a VERY broken up fuzz pedal and edited to stutter.

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__5.wav

BA_SFX_6 - Impact sound effects are in thousands of video games. I think it is very important for them to be interesting as well as big (if the action is big). I try to tack on a little something interesting for the ear, even if it is only heard subconsciously during gameplay.

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__6.wav

BA_SFX_7 - One of my favorite things about Tim Schafer is that he does not shy away from darkness. This is the breathing loop of Mog Chothra. It is meant to be menacing and eerie. Working on a game that is all right with embracing darkness as well as light hearted fun is a sound designer's dream.

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__7.wav

BA_SFX_8 - There are many toy sounds in this game. Toys I recorded offsite and had for years. Toys have very interesting sounds, and I am astonished sometimes how quick these sounds can bring back memories for a listener. It was important to me to have these toys sound authentic, particularly in Shay's case....

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__8.wav

BA_SFX_9 - Material sound is very important for story events. In this case, we have a high tension story event, and it called for the destruction to really sound like the material of the space was coming apart. I really wanted to convey the weight and materials of this particular room being ripped apart.

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__9.wav

BA_SFX_10 - Music is very much a part of sound design. In this case a teleporter sound. I did not want just a zap. This is a synthesis sound conveying a real sense of travel. I think it is very important that music and sound design in a game should start to blur at some point.

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__10.wav

Okay, that's it for now! We might do more of these down the line!

Let me know if you have any questions—but no story spoilers!

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Working in sound and music myself, I'm very interested in the gear you use, you don't need to describe how you use all your software and equipment if it takes too long, but if you would just list your setup, I would greatly appreciate it, thank you.

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I work primarily in Pro Tools, but have used Logic, Reason, Ableton Live, Sound Forge, anything for good sounds. I try to record assets out of the box when I can, but that can be rare since we are a bit limited in resource and time. Plug in wise I have used a variety: GRM, McDSP, Waves, Valhalla. Whatever seems to fit the game's needs really. Hope that helps! :)

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Outstanding stuff Camden! Even without context you can tell how well these sounds are going to shape the unique characters and environments as well as the player experience. So glad to see audio putting out more info on the forums. I miss being there with you guys already but I’m glad I’ll be able to catch glimpses of what’s going on through these forums!

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I listened to each sound before reading the description to see if I could guess what they were, or just imagine what could produce such a noise.

I got the Yarn Pals right!

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Great work, I noticed the GRM tools in a previous video and got all happy... it's one of my favourite "REALLY OLD" plugins ^_^

blerg, I didn't realize they updated that plugin... I take that back, it's not too old I guess :P

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Maaaaan, we have the best audio team ever. You guys do such amazing stuff! Nice work Cam! I've been trying to not hear this game till it's done.. The bits I've heard are mindblowing, almost kind of literally.

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Even when a bit out of context, these sounds bites still manage to convey the feelings that I expected to go with each environment!

Hahaha, I loved Dave Gardener's yarn pal screaming. It should be included as some form of easter egg in the game so that when DFA backers find it they can say "Hey! That was Dave Gardener!!"

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Even when a bit out of context, these sounds bites still manage to convey the feelings that I expected to go with each environment!

Hahaha, I loved Dave Gardener's yarn pal screaming. It should be included as some form of easter egg in the game so that when DFA backers find it they can say "Hey! That was Dave Gardener!!"

That would have been cool, but unfortunately they're not allowed to do that:

is there any chance that we could get the scratch voiceovers as an option in game?
I'm afraid not. Part of being allowed to work with professional voices means not using scratch.

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I love how the sounds really have a signature feel or style to them. I can't wait to hear these in-game!

Also, I think the Yarn Pals screams are ingrained in my brain now. Not sure if it's a fortunate turn of event or not.

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Maaaaan, we have the best audio team ever. You guys do such amazing stuff! Nice work Cam! I've been trying to not hear this game till it's done.. The bits I've heard are mindblowing, almost kind of literally.

Thanks dude!! Just trying to keep up with all the visual, programming, and design wizardry you guys are doing. Honestly sometimes it feels like I am working at NASA. "Holy mama these people are smart and creative! What the hell am I doing here?!?!"

Hahahaha

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Working in sound and music myself, I'm very interested in the gear you use, you don't need to describe how you use all your software and equipment if it takes too long, but if you would just list your setup, I would greatly appreciate it, thank you.

I should have included outboard. I record out of office at my own studio for big stuff if I can. There I like a nice 414 or U87 going through a UA 610 Silverface or an Avalon 737sp. Can't lose with that chain. I am also REALLY getting into the Kemper Amp, although it has not been used for this game yet. Interface at the studio is a C24, at the office an MBox Pro.

Also love Soundtoys and Eventide plug ins. :-)

Monitors are currently Genelec 8040As.

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BA_SFX_5 - Another robot sound, this one was very cool to make. You can hear the phone push button sound, but I was not getting the right vocal texture for this little guy. The final sound is actually a guitar going through a VERY broken up fuzz pedal and edited to stutter.

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__5.wav

I like the sounds! Sound stuff is mostly over-my-head, but I am always interested in the folio-aspect going on behind the sounds. Can you describe or explain more of those elements that you used? Like the guitar going through the broken up fuzz pedal. That is what I can wrap my head around when it comes to sound!

Smiles

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BA_SFX_5 - Another robot sound, this one was very cool to make. You can hear the phone push button sound, but I was not getting the right vocal texture for this little guy. The final sound is actually a guitar going through a VERY broken up fuzz pedal and edited to stutter.

http://www.doublefine.com/assets/forum_updates/audio2/BA_SFX__5.wav

I like the sounds! Sound stuff is mostly over-my-head, but I am always interested in the folio-aspect going on behind the sounds. Can you describe or explain more of those elements that you used? Like the a guitar going through the broken up fuzz pedal. That is what I can wrap my head around when it comes to sound!

Smiles

Yeah I will, I am hoping in the next update to actually take one sound and break it down by element. Hopefully it will be soon instead of year between updates LOL. Sorry guys, the other teams obviously manage their time better than I. :)

I will try to revisit sound elements a little later today. Right now, have a bunch of dialog to edit. You guys are gonna love it!

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Loving the flood of updates, and this one is no exception! So nice to hear! I was already working with my headphones on, and they make you really appreciate the detail in the sounds. Good work, can't wait to hear it all in context! It must be a fun job making all the sounds.

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As one who works at a game audio house in Los Angeles, I'm glad to hear about the updates are including bits related to audio...literally!

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Definitely fun stuff. Mog's breathing really made me shiver and I can't wait to see the video hooked to these incredible sound samples. I definitely would love to hear more breakdown about how you get certain sounds, as to me that's some of the most fascinating parts of foley.

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I really love the "breathing space" stuff (#2 and #7) and whoever is voicing the Yarn Pals (in the final game) will have their work cut out for them to top that scratch audio.

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Hey! Great work! I was wondering if you just design and layer all the sound in Pro Tools and then export them for the programmers to place in the game, or do you use any kind of audio middleware like fmod?

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That 5# one will be my new ringtone hahaha

Great work guys!

I was sorely tempted to do the same but my classmates might all rise up and lynch me ^^;

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Hey! Great work! I was wondering if you just design and layer all the sound in Pro Tools and then export them for the programmers to place in the game, or do you use any kind of audio middleware like fmod?

I do use FMOD and try to place as many sounds as possible myself, I know the programmers are very busy. The audio team always uses some kind of middleware on projects to determine sound behavior.

If it is things like attaching sfx to an animation or particle effect, or placing sounds in a cutscene or vignette, or setting up area music, ambiences or creature sounds, it is easy enough for me to do it. If it is more complex and state driven with deeper code the programmers help me out. This is a big project for a relatively small team, so many people wear a lot of hats. I try to help out with sound implementation as much as possible. It's really kind of fun actually.

I think I am very lucky with the programmers at DF. They all have very good ears and feel for sound and are very patient with my ideas for sfx states and music behavior. I try to give them as much love as possible, they are the ones who are really doing the heavy lifting.

I am particularly thankful for Anna Kipnis on this project. She has been super helpful and awesome guiding me through my sound options and communicating design or programming changes. Also have the amazing team of Bert Chang, Ben Peck, and Oliver Frankze...they are all rockstars!! :)

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I am particularly thankful for Anna Kipnis on this project. She has been super helpful and awesome guiding me through my sound options and communicating design or programming changes. Also have the amazing team of Bert Chang, Ben Peck, and Oliver Frankze...they are all rockstars!! :)

Yeah, well, why don't you marry them already?!?!?! :-)

Great work so far, and look forward to seeing more, and of course, experiencing the finished game.

Smiles

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Thank you for your answer and quick reply:]

Keep up the great work! Can't wait for this to ship.

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