Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sound Design: MiniMech

Mini-Mech. Fun times. This game was a new twist on a game type that I've done a few of: Top down shooters. The thematic difference between this game and any of the other TDS games I've worked on is what made me want to showcase it.. Well that, and it is all around a damn fun game to play.

The protagonist is a small mech, outfitted at first with a single shot bug blaster. Throughout the course of the levels you encounter various pickups (temporary and permanent) that augment your bug squashing potential. Designing sounds for these was the most enjoyable, and challenging part. They had to be cartoon-y enough to fit the art theme, believable enough within the scale of the world (MiniMech is about twice the size of an ant) and also be able to work well with all of the other sounds going on at the time so that nothing gets buried. (Although not shown in this video, sadly, the game supported up to 4 player multiplayer. During that mode things could get very hectic so it was necessary to make the sounds be something that the user could here again and again and not get annoying or overpowering).

I think the enemy sound I had the most fun with was the stinkbug's aggro sound (the little green ones with volcanoes on their backs). Watching the reaction to those bugs during play testing was just great. The idea was to have a sound so recognizable and scary that every time a user was jumped by them, they knew it. The feedback trained the user so well to know that if they didn't get out of dodge immediately, it would be game over for them. As a sound designer for games, few things are as rewarding as seeing your assets have such an immense impact on gameplay.

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