Thursday, April 28, 2011
Sound Design: Smashout
The challenge behind working on this game was in trying to craft sounds that fit the theme while still being useful feedback for the end user. I used quite a few sets of scaling sounds: The menu system (as you scrolled over/highlighted different options) had it's own scale. Accepting or canceling an option based on it's position in the layout also had another unique sound associated with it (A delayed chord based off of the same note used for highlighting).
Additionally in gameplay the combo system had a 2.5 octave range of notes that played in sequence for every increment of your combo.
The most fun aspect of it all, however was designing sounds/functionality for the "Over Tilt" mode. In game, you can use the Z and X keys to tilt the machine, changing the trajectory of any balls in play. Doing so increments your tilt meter, when you max out the tilt meter the machine shuts down temporarily and the controls stop responding to input. Visually the screen dims a bit, however audibly I set the music to pitch down and fade out (as the machine is shut off, and pitch up/fade in as it resumes normal play). Additionally I created a separate set of ball interaction sounds for this mode, to further drive home the idea that the game state had truly changed. The gameplay sounds during OverTilt mode were much more organic and really create a sense of separation between the two modes, while still maintaining the sense that you are in fact playing the same game.
The set of sounds I had the most difficulty with were the curtain movements. I'd no idea what those should really sound like, so I simply recorded a lot of bed sheet ruffles and shower curtain rod slide-esque sounds. In retrospect I think something a bit more chain-y for the sliding with more dense fabric would have worked better. Live and learn, I suppose! :)