If there’s one aspect of game design that is criminally underrated, it’s audio design. Visuals can only take you so far when you design a game, because audio is the subtle finisher that helps a great title perform a full package DDT at the end of the day. And inFamous: Second Son, knows all about the art of audio.
“We knew we had to up our game on all sonic fronts because we were launching on PS4, so we started early by identifying the key areas we wanted to focus on,” Sucker Punch Audio Director Brad Meyer explained on the PS Blog.
Obviously the powers were going to be the most important aspect, so we began conceiving ideas before there was even visual concept art. We created a language for each power set which we used as a palette to craft the design of each set. With smoke, it was charcoal, air, and extinguishing flames. For neon we strapped a contact mic on our Sly Cooper neon sign and also recorded fluorescent tubes, electromagnetic interference, and a very long induction coil.
Another area we knew needed to come alive was the ambience. Since our game takes place in Seattle, what better way to capture the bustling city than running around with microphones, capturing the subtle nuances from birds, sirens, and car alarms, to rain and traffic?
We took things to extreme measures with our ambient design, setting up unique audio events based on the neighborhood, the time of day, and whether or not Delsin or the D.U.P. is in control of a district.
I can’t stress enough over how important audio is to a game. But to really appreciate it, you’re going to need a proper sound system. As Sucker Punch explained, the game is optimised for all kinds of sound systems but dammit, I can’t live without my surround sound setup. Even if it did cost me one of my wonderful organs to buy.
inFamous: Second Son is out on Friday, though we get a day early thanks to the public holiday. Be sure to pester your local game shops about it when they’re forced to work on that Friday. .
Last Updated: March 19, 2014