This is another project that I worked on with Paul Lipson at Microsoft, this time as a sound designer and sound supervisor. We helped out the developers, ZootFly, as much as we could with raising the quality of their sound design and implementation in Fmod. Unfortunately we were not able to work with the developer all the way through to shipping, so while we did what we could, it went out the door a little rough. But, being proud of it’s B-Game status, perhaps that helps its charm?
This was an opportunity for me to lead a team of sound designers at Microsoft’s SoundLab to create as much bespoke content for the game and to help create a more cohesive treatment of the enemies and the combat systems. We also did some post-production for as many of the cutscenes that we had time to get to. Content reviews, Fmod wrangling, and pre-mixing were my primary responsibilities, though I did get a chance to do a bit of sound design, below are a couple of examples:
This was my first game as Sound Supervisor at Microsoft! My Audio Director was Paul Lipson and we worked with Ramon Kerstens, the Audio Lead at Vanguard Games. We had a challenge set before us because even though this was a comparatively casual game, it was still Halo and needed to live up to a very high bar. Thankfully we had the incredible library of the past Halo games to draw upon, however it wasn’t just a simple port. Since the main Halo games are all in first person perspective, every asset was created with a lot of close up detail. Spartan Assault, on the other hand, has a distant isometric perspective, so virtually every asset that we used had to be hand tweaked in order to give it some distance and sonically fit in this new mix scenario. Plus, there was a ton of new content that Vanguard created that needed support, so we had to design new audio that fit in with the classic Halo sound.
Below is a playthrough of one of the levels that some nice internetizen posted on the YouTube. This clip contains some of the new ambience sounds, all of the re-worked original content, and some modified vehicle composites:
Here was another great opportunity to work with Kevin Patzelt who is the Audio Director at Undead Labs, and a former employee of mine. Kevin needed a core set of firearm sounds that would be used as the foundation for further tweaking to create the impressive arsenal found in State of Decay. Kevin wanted us to find the sweet spot between “Hollywood” style gunshots that sound like canons and the often disappointing reality that they mostly sound like firecrackers. I was lucky to have Microsoft’s extensive collection of field recordings of firearms to pick through in order to piece together everything we needed. Half the time was going through the giant library, the other half was taking elements from a number of different sources in order to craft archetypes for each class of firearm.
Here’s a blog entry from Serellan about the gun recording session that we did for their game Takedown. While the weather was not the most cooperative, we ended up with a ton of great content from two different locations. The first location had a really great rolling thunder of a tail for each shot. The second location had a remarkably dry sound with very little tail. We got a good variety of perspectives thanks to the pooling of all of our resources which enabled us to have rigs all over the place.
I am the Audio Director for Takedown and it’s been really great to work with such a dedicated team. I’ve also had some indispensable help from talented local audio professionals David Liu, Robbie Elias and Kyle Fraser.
I was fortunate enough to participate in the large team effort to ship Halo 4! Near the end of the project everyone was chipping in and I helped out with some random sound design. This video is a collection of game captures that I would use as reference when designing the individual game assets for implementation by 343 Industries.
Here’s a collection of videos with some of my work. These are very low quality video taken from a developer build with debug text and other ugliness, and the mix is specifically sound effects heavy for demonstration purposes only. What these videos highlight is the “corruption” system that I built which was all driven from in-game assets. I designed the system and created all of the “corruption” sounds and implemented them in Wwise and Unreal.
Just a quick note that Fable: The Journey has been released! I created the creative and technical design for the “corruption”. All that creepy, burning, gloopy, evil? Yep, that’s me! I also helped with other general sound design for props, the mine-cart sequence, mixing, etc. Videos coming soon!
Just a quick update that I’ve been working on some of the cinematic audio for Kinect Star Wars. This will be released on 04/03/2012, I’ll post some examples of my work once it’s out. It was a real treat to be working with some of the most iconic and powerful sounds ever created, and helping to contribute with my own designs!
Here is a collection of musical “stingers” from Fight Camp by Electrolab Games. I acted as the Audio Director, Sound Designer, Composer and Implementer for this title. This video gathers all of the stingers that I created and plays them along with their associated image so you get an idea of what the context is. I used about a 50/50 mix of musical elements and sound design to fit the tone of the cue for what its intended message was supposed to be, very crucial for UI to tell you the right information in the right way.
Here are some in-game video captures from Fight Camp by Electrolab Games. I acted as the Audio Director, Sound Designer, Composer and Implementer for this title. The tone of the game is sort of a quirky, cartoonish treatment of a very slickly produced and aggressive subject. I took elements from both worlds and created an audio treatment that fits right in there. Musical SFX along with campy library materiel, with a few 8-bit sources served well for the comic/cartoony nature. In-your-face musical stingers, drawing a little from hip-hop, a little from nu-metal, and a little from who-knows-what blended with the soundtrack to give this game its musical style that’s kinda hard but kinda silly.
This first video is a straight capture from the game:
This next two videos have the music turned off to highlight the SFX:
Here is a cutscene work print with a full sound design and mix treatment. This is a stereo fold down of a 5.0 mix. When the players enter this clearing they are supposed to feel like they have reached an oasis amidst the gloom and terror of Mirkwood. Starting off with an open and airy forest ambience helped serve to contrast against the cold, dark background that accompanies Saenathra’s POV. The creature sounds are once again a mix of processed vocalization from me and some animal library source material.
Here is a cutscene work print with a full sound design and mix treatment. I incorporated in-game assets along with custom sound design to maintain continuity between the gameplay and the cinematic. The Fell Beast vocalization was where I spent the bulk of my creative effort. I made a large suite of specific and wild content for all of the scenes that featured this character. I was the principle voice “actor” for the beast, layered and manipulated, and threw in some animal vocalizations for a little beastly spice.
Here is a cutscene work print with a full sound design and mix treatment. This is a quick scene that serves to message to the player that their presence is no longer secret. We hear a rustling from off-screen right that anticipates the Warg’s entrance, his snort and howl, followed by his exit back into the forest on the left. The real trick was getting across his size and ferocity through a howl, which normally has an almost musical, singing tonality. Using pitch manipulation, convolution, and multiple vocalization sources I was able to craft a large and forboding howl that was more aggressive and less lonely sounding.
Tension Studios most recent project, Fight Camp by Electrolab Games, is live and getting great reviews already! GameZebo recently reviewed the game and gave the audio a brief, yet unconditionally “excellent” mention, check it out.
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Tension Studios client C’est la Mort has just released their debut CD along with an EP of remixes. Tension Studios mixed and engineered the album, Empty Words Fill Lonely Spaces, plus contributed a remix to the EP (In the Soft Focus Light of I Love You) as well as mastering it. The CD is getting great reviews, like this one.
Currently working on cinematics for Snowblind’s new LOTR game, also heading up a new project, very hush hush.
Just finished mixing the debut album for C’est La Mort
, I’ll be doing a remix of one of the songs too. Also recorded some backing vocals for bathyscaph and Eben Eldridge
. Details and links to come as soon as I get them.
This is an excerpt from the movie Zombies of Mass Destruction (ZMD
) from Typecast Films
. I was the sound designer for the gore and zombie effect sequences, which turned out to be most of the movie. This video clip has been mixed so that everything except the sound design elements have been turned down. Every sound used for this scene was an original recording done during post production. Adam Smith-Kipnis was the foley actor for the extensive fruit and vegetable mutilation session, as well as the voice actor for the zombie.
This is the game that I’ve been working on for the past couple of years. I’m the Project Audio Director, so I’ve got my fingers in just about every aspect of audio, from the macro to the micro. There’s not too much info that we’ve made public other than a round of PR for a big intro we did in Las Vegas in April. Here’s a few links:
I was going to post some game play, but someone already beat me to it. Actually, a lot of people did. Here’s the first 7 minutes or so of the game. It includes some cutscenes, menu, combat, and voice systems. Sounds like this was captured off the PS2.