NEWS - Wednesday, July 14, 2004


New Battlefront Screens, Diary And Trailer

Designer Diary Star Wars Battlefront Nick Peck Sound Supervisor and Lead Sound Designer Sound design for all video games pretty much follows the same process: You start by identifying what sounds are needed in the game (X-wing engines, Super Battledroid wrist blaster fire, etc), then you create the sounds, and then you integrate the sounds into the game itself through programming. In Star Wars games like Battlefront, we create our assets through a combination of processing existing sounds from the film, and making new sounds in the same style, always pushing the envelope of creativity while trying to remain true to Ben Burtt’s original vision. In Battlefront, we have taken pains to make sure the signature blaster sounds, vehicle engines, and background ambiences are faithful to the original films. We’ve researched and pulled the original sounds wherever possible, and then augmented them to make them really pop within a video game context. Foley is the art of recording sounds made by humans – footsteps, the rustle of clothing, the clink of armor or weapons, and so forth. Because so much of the action in Battlefront takes place on the level of an individual unit, such as a stormtrooper or rebel pilot, I decided to go record all new foley for the game. We went to Skywalker Ranch, and spent two long days recording movement for every character possible within the game, on every possible surface (dirt, stone, metal, wood, etc). We used the original props and shoes on the same foley stage, with the same engineer and audio settings that were used in the film, for absolute authenticity. Creating and integrating these 1200 foley sounds into the game was a painstaking and detailed process, but the results are worth it, adding a subtle layer of realism to Battlefront. Vehicle engines are another element of this game that is getting special treatment. Typically, engines use single loops that get pitched up and down relative to the acceleration of the player. In our case, we decided to split all vehicle engine sounds into 3 loops, broken down by frequency: low rumbles, midrange growls, and high frequency whines. In this way, we can model the engine sounds more realistically, creating separate amplitude and pitch curves for each frequency range. The net result is that the game engines behave more like engines in the real world, while still maintaining their Star Wars flavor. Working with Stewart Miles, Chris Fusco, Andrew Cheney, and Jim Diaz on this project has been enormously satisfying for me. Each of these audio professionals is a top flight guy, and have shown me once again that great things get done the old fashioned way: through teamwork. You can also see a brand new trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront by clicking here Stay tuned… we’ll be back in a month with another report from the Battlefront.
Source: http://www.lucasarts.com

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