Visuals are important in every game, but sound design helps the adventure come alive. The atmosphere and emotion of a narrative is heightened through the sonic experience. Today we plunge into a world of sound creation for our binocular moments.
Open world games are a great source of influence for creating soundscapes in Race for the Arctic. Assassin's Creed has been a point of reference for Dimitris in thinking about sound. He is inspired by the rich environments that allow for a passive audio evolution. Players may remain static within a space yet never be bored with the level of details they can hear in the environment around them.
These games are impactful when thinking about our binocular scene as it is an environment that players observe from a distance. In order to balance the visuals, Dimitris uses sound to fill in the gaps for activities that may not be visible. For example, players can hear children playing in the distance when they pass by the playground, adding an extra layer to the narrative.
Dimitris has a living sound library that is ever expanding with sounds he has recorded and collected over the years. He used a mix of recorded sounds and synthetic sounds for the binocular moments.
He manipulated the sound samples to create a dynamic looping system for each audio file. A handy trick for this is to duplicate a sound, reverse it, and join the two so that there are no audible clicks when looping. It is a delicate process when attempting to do this with stereo sound as he must find the point where both channels, left and right, loop properly
It is important to layer the sounds in a manner that creates a seamless environment. He overlapped the sounds with a considered method that includes minor crossfades, pitch changes, and stretches to the audio when necessary.
🎛 3D Sound
Dimitris designed the structure of sound within the game space as an immersive experience. In order to achieve this, the sound sources are three dimensional with their own parameters and continuation within Unity. This creates a sense of telescopic volume where a sound source fades away as the player moves away. He mixed the sources, balanced the volume, and filtered the frequencies to harmonize the various sounds within the same environment.
Music is the connecting tissue between all the sounds within our game. It is integrated with the sound design to create ambience and richness. The vibe is balanced between orchestral and electronic elements.
In the binocular moments, the music is soft and natural. It is there to decorate the empty sonic moments within the space. With full awareness of the pitch of the sound sources, Dimitris built the music around this knowledge. He used subtlety within the scene to make the music work in harmony with the other sounds in the environment.
Between the sound design, structure, and music, Race for the Arctic has a lush and dynamic soundscape to guide the player through each moment of the game.
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