Sound Designers, Michael Marchisotto and Greg McCoach, joined Frank and Mika on this week’s Firefall Live! Michael and Greg talked about the interworking on how sounds are incorporated into Firefall. They then discussed an upcoming Sound Contest in which details will be posted on the forums soon. The team then showcased the winners of this week’s “#FFremix” The show was then finished with another “Caption This!” segment.
Overall we are working on creating a more immersive and fluid player experience through audio. The first phase of this implementation is currently out on PTS via three-dimensional sound. However, there are many more elements we are polishing and enhancing.
Will we get new and exclusive sounds for prototype weapons such as Tranquility?
A lot of the prototype weapon sounds are based off of already existing weapon sounds; we try to keep the same aesthetic if we can. However, if there is a sound where we feel it is going to take it to the next level, we will definitely take a look at it.
As for Tranquility, the sound effect it gives off currently in the PTS is bugged. It is supposed to sound similar to the burst rifle, but at a different rate of fire.
When the prototype weapons are created, do the designers suggest a particular sound they have in mind for the weapon?
They don’t always recommend a sound, but when they do we try our best to match the sound they envisioned. At the end of the day the audio department plays a support role and we try our best to take the designers and artists creations and provide them with sounds that brings their ideas to life. We base all our work on the visuals the designers/artists provide so sound is usually the last thing added to the equation.
What’s happening with the LGV’s honk sound?
The Locust LGV used to play a song. However, we had to change it (and all other LFG’s) to a regular “beep” noise since the song played multiple times in one spot with different players was not pleasing to the ears.
As for creating a new sound for the LGV, we have a couple things we would like to add in the future. At the moment it is only reflecting the velocity of the object moving and not necessarily the control. We would like to add in more sounds that are more responsive to the way players control their vehicles.
@Michael How did you get into the sound field?
I started with a music background which then led me into studying audio production. While in audio productions I learned more about audio post-production and sound composition. I always wanted to work on a video game so it felt like a natural transition into creating sounds for games.
@Michael Did you always know you wanted to work in the audio department in the video game industry?
When I was first in school I wanted to be more on the composition side of the audio field. However, once I got exposed to doing sound design it felt more like something I wanted to focus on.
@Greg How did you get into the sound field?
I also have a background in music composition. After studying that in school I went off to work freelance in films, mobile games and other random stuff. However, I wanted to focus my work on my passion for video games. I started working in the QA department for Firefall. My main role was to listen for audio that may not be working as intended within the game. Eventually Firefall got busy enough where the audio team needed extra help so they brought me on and I have been working in the audio team ever since.
What is your favorite sound in the game? Did you make it?
I would say my favorite sound comes from the Melding Repulsor. I feel it’s one of the most symbolic sounds of Firefall. When you hear it you know something big is happening. I believe Boon made that sound.
I like when the Chosen dropship blows up. I believe Daniel Beck made that sound?
What’s going on with the VO in PTS?
A lot of the voice work is temporary. Voice actors can get pricey to hire, so we only bring them in once we lock down the content. In the meantime we use the voices of employees as a placeholder.
Is the bandit gun sound on the PTS subject to change?
When we made the sound for the bandit gun, we wanted it to sound different than say an Accord weapon. However, everything in our game and any MMO in general is subject to change as it is constantly growing and evolving.
Are you aiming to have the weapons sound different for say users such as the Chosen, Bandits and Accord?
It is a combination of things. We look at the weapon-type and who it belongs to.
Why do the jumpjets on an Engineer in PTS sound like a helicopter?
With the Engineer we wanted to have the aesthetic be a lot techier so we created the sound accordingly.
Is the current cricket sound effect in PTS going to be toned down?
We definitely don’t want a sound to bother a player to the point where they want to turn the sound off. Our overall sound mix and tweaking of it is an ongoing thing.
Do you guys feel that some sound scape areas are wasted due to combat elements?
Not at all. Sure there are areas that have some cool ambient noises that are ducked down most of the time due to the combative nature of the area. We want players to hear and feel combat the most since that is what the players interact with constantly.
Are you guys working on more battle music?
Yes! You can check it out on the PTS.
How do you guys feel about having a player character VO become more “advanced” the further you progress?
That is definitely an interesting concept. I think it would be something cool to consider if we had the tech to work with.
Will there be more voice packs in the future?
That would rely on both us and the narrative team. However, there are many more factors and resources that we do not have freed up at the moment.
What advice do you have for people who are interested in pursuing a career in the audio field?
There are a lot of free tools out there that will help you learn about creating sounds and how you implement them into a game such as Wwise. There are other tools such as Unreal and Unity that are also free to download. Try to collaborate as much as possible so you can start working on a sound reel. It is important to learn to have a good working relationship with people.
[Contest] SIN Tower Sound Off
Have a knack for making things sound epic and immersive? Are you new in the sound field and want a chance to make some wavs? If so, this contest is for you!
We are holding a sound off competition for pilots to possibly replace a sound from within the Firefall world! Your target? The sound effect given off of by our SIN Towers!
WINNER: Char Aznable
HONORABLE MENTION: Fipmip
“DOES THIS SOUND LIKE A CHOSEN DREADNAUGHT GETTING A CHARGE RIFLE SHOT TO THE NUTS? ...NEEDS A BIT MORE DRY HEAVING.”
“MAKE AUTHENTIC THEY SAID; THIS IS TRUE ART THEY SAID.”
“GOOD PROJECTILE VELOCITY AND SOUND, WE NEED ANOTHER!”
“HOW MANY WIKI WHACKER’S DID HE HAVE?”
“TEAM 1 DO YOU COPY IN THERE, HAVE YOU FOUND THE ARAHNA EGGS YET? WE NEED TO FIND EM BEFORE PEZ SHOWS UP WITH HIS FLAMETHROWER”
“I’M HEARING SOME NOISES IN THE BIN…I BET IT’S THE SKIVER WE CAUGHT YESTERDAY SINCE IT’S MISSING FROM THE FRIDGE.”
“I WARNED YOU NOT TO WATCH THE FANTASTIC FOUR BUT NNNOOOOOO YOU JUST HAD TO SEE IT”