Brink Dev Diary #5 – Chris Sweetman on Audio Design

After a couple months on hiatus, our developer diaries for Brink return. This week Splash Damage’s audio director, Chris Sweetman, discusses his methodology for Brink’s sound design — covering everything from foley work to getting the perfect gun sound. And oh does Chris love gun sounds. If you’ve ever played the game BLACK (a game he previously worked on), you know you’re in for a treat with Brink.

Chris’ dev diary is accompanied by an arrangement he calls, “A Choir of Guns.” Watch it above.

Introduction

I’m Chris Sweetman, Audio Director at Splash Damage, and this developer diary is all about Brink’s sound design. What does an Audio Director do all day?  Well, I’m responsible for the quality of everything that is heard in our games, including music, dialogue, and sound design. This can be broken down into various areas, including in-game gameplay, cut scenes, trailers and tons of other stuff.

I work with composers on music and licensing, actors on dialogue, and myself on sound design.  I also have Simon Price – our dedicated Audio Programmer – working with me, without whom none of this would be possible.

Sonic Space

Having played many single player and multiplayer shooters, there was one thing that always concerned me­ – sonic space. In other words, how do you overcome the problem of having too many sounds all playing at the same time?  When you have music, gunfire, dialogue, Foley, explosions, and ambient sounds all going off simultaneously, you’re generally left with aural mush. This was a problem we were determined to solve when beginning work on Brink.

I’d made some progress working on BLACK with the Choir of Guns concept, but it was evident early on that with Brink’s focus on blurring the lines between single and multiplayer, we had to up the ante . We wanted every sound in Brink to be heard perfectly, whether it was a Molotov cocktail exploding, a mini gun winding up, or a heavy body-type player coming round the corner to stomp on your face. These sounds were only going to be heard properly with enough space in the audio mix. If you consider that it’s entirely plausible to have 16 players in the same part of a level, all triggering the same sounds, then the true scope of this challenge becomes clear.

Continue reading the diary on Brink’s official website. Brink is slated for release this Spring.

Introduction

I’m Chris Sweetman, Audio Director at Splash Damage, and this developer diary is all about Brink’s sound design. What does an Audio Director do all day? Well, I’m responsible for the quality of everything that is heard in our games, including music, dialogue, and sound design. This can be broken down into various areas, including in-game gameplay, cut scenes, trailers and tons of other stuff.

I work with composers on music and licensing, actors on dialogue, and myself on sound design. I also have Simon Price – our dedicated Audio Programmer – working with me, without whom none of this would be possible.

Sonic Space

Having played many single player and multiplayer shooters, there was one thing that always concerned me­ – sonic space. In other words, how do you overcome the problem of having too many sounds all playing at the same time? When you have music, gunfire, dialogue, Foley, explosions, and ambient sounds all going off simultaneously, you’re generally left with aural mush. This was a problem we were determined to solve when beginning work on Brink.

Reader Comments

  1. this game looks like awesomely crazy MP action! since the early days of Quake i’ve loved to squeeze every bit of tactical advantage out of a map by finding every place to jump, strafe, ambush, and otherwise antagonize enemies.

    now Brink’s free running is gonna bring that to a whole new level. and i thought Unreal’s double-jumping was as clever as you could get…