A Slight Change of Plans
Originally my main objective for this project was to create and implement sound designs into a game level environment, whilst I would still like to do that my main goals has changed slightly. Instead of focusing on the game side of the sound design process I will be putting sound to a video of the game environment which acts more like a game trailer. The reason why I changed my project plan was because I was advised by one of my lecturers to go with this approach because it allows me to see how my sound design will work in the environment even before I implement them into the game.
The video was produced by the animators as a way to present the work they have done without having to release an actual running version of the environment. It walks through the different areas in the environment in good detail and is broken up into sections that highlight what these areas are about. Due to the fact that the video goes for around 4 minutes and showcases the level so well it provides me with a great amount of scope for producing and implementing multiple sound designs to really help work out what tone/atmosphere I want to create.
At first I was thinking of only producing the sound for the first couple of minutes of the video but when I got started with putting in the sounds it became apparent that I would get a much better end result from doing the whole thing. It also gives me more experience in dealing with sound design for videos which will only benefit my progression as an audio engineer.
I was also starting to get quite stressed about the whole game sound design aspect and potential problems with implementing the sounds because its not an easy process and I don't have any experience with doing something like that. There was also the problem of the computer that I am using for my project isn't powerful enough to run the level environment in the Unreal Engine which so I would have to rely on the Animators to implement the sounds so I could see how they work in the game. This would have meant that I the time I had for testing was limited to the time I could get with the Animators making my creative workflow dictated by them. For these reasons doing the main sound design for the video instead was an all round better project management choice as it allows me the time to work out how the end product will sound and feel without having to be limited to the animators schedule.
I think the thing this process change helps with the most is the creation of the ambient, atmospheric music track. Before is was planing on making the music track as a side task/project using strings and samples and basically just hoping that it would work and fit into the game and make everything sound better as a whole. This could have been a very problematic way of doing things because my reference would have been the idea I had of the game rather than making a music track that perfectly fits the sound designs and aesthetics of the environment set out by the video. It also makes composing the track easier as I can slowly build and layer different synths and instruments according to what I am seeing in the video rather than guessing what might happen in certain areas.
My next step now after completing the sound design and music aspects of the track is to get feedback from the Animators and other audio engineers to see if what I have produced is good or not and if there is anything else that need to be put into the video. From there I will being the process of implementing the sounds in the game with the assistance of the Animators and hopefully they will translate from the video over to the game successfully.