Use your voice to see a corner of the city in “Shadow Torch City”

“Shadow Torch City” is a Galactic Castlevania game developed and produced by Shanghai TiGames. Players will play the role of a rabbit manipulating a huge robotic arm and embark on an adventure in a dieselpunk city.

The author is fortunate to participate in the design and development of the game, responsible for sound design and middleware integration. On the Sony PlayStation Indies on July 1, the game released a promo. During this CJ period, the domestic first announcement of the extended dubbing version preview, more comprehensively show the game’s story and worldview.

1. Design process

The sound and picture coordination of the game promo is very important, so in the initial storyboard, the music, sound effects and dubbing need to be synchronized.

After determining the storyboard, the first thing to add is the dubbing. Due to the lip sync of the characters involved, it is necessary to make a placeholder dubbing version first, until the lines and performance duration of each storyboard are determined. After completion, the editor unifies the rhythm and completes the relaxed storyboard script. Next, you need sound to match the rhythm of the storyboard to drive the player’s emotions.

Comparison between the storyboard script and the actual screen

2. Find the public environment

Due to the different locations, camera positions, and environments in the screen, when switching continuously, the coherence between different lenses will be reduced due to spatial changes. At this time, a common environmental element is needed to connect each lens space.

I use the low horn alarm over the city as an element of the public environment. The sound can be heard in various places in the city and can enhance the depressed atmosphere. After determining this element, when the camera switched to the game logo, I deliberately enhanced the horn sound to improve the integration between the shots.

A glance over the city

Three, expand the sound on the screen

To match the interpretation of the picture, the sound also needs to be designed.

In the film, the rat hurriedly closes the door, the telephone ring that no one answers, the noisy operation of the outside air conditioner, and the flashing neon lights. The sound needs to reflect a sense of threat and oppression.

Mouse panic closes

The most tense scenes in this film are the battle scenes of opening, closing and ending. For the scene of five door closings, I designed the sound expansion based on different door opening scenes.

Closed while in captivity

In the picture of “Breaching the Door”, the sound emphasizes the suddenness of breaking the door and strengthens the sense of threat by reducing the dynamics of the volume. The camera here is from the top, it appears that the enemy soldier is very tall, in order to highlight this characteristic, the footsteps are especially strengthened.

Break in

Sound is an important means of affecting emotions. In the same role, under the different emotions of “opening the door curtain” and “pushing the door forcefully”, I did “weakening” and “strengthening” respectively.

Weaken the sound behind the door curtain and create a sense of white space

Strengthen the roaring effect of pushing the door, reflecting the change of mood

Highlight sound effects, reduce music, and reflect the tension of battle

Fourth, the role under the sound shaping

The sound also needs to fit the character’s image and humanistic settings.

Close-up of the enemy

Taking the above character as an example, the vocal parts are divided into head cavity and chest cavity. The head is a normal animal shape, treated with the effect of normal tone + missing mid and low frequencies. The thoracic cavity is a mechanical structure, and the vocalization should become rough and deep. I reduced the tone of the voice.

Finally, in order to express the powerful attack of the character, an amp box simulator for electric guitar playing was used to obtain a rough metallic tone. In this way, after the timbre of the head cavity and the chest cavity are combined, the voice recognition of the character is improved.

Guitar amp box simulation

“Unification, integration and dynamic processing

There are animated content of plot interpretation and battle demonstration in the promo. In order to get a unified sense of hearing, I used a lot of in-game sound effects samples, including environment, performance foley, and skill sound effects.

The horn music in the title screen incorporates the elements of alarm and has a more natural end ritual.

Title screen

In terms of volume dynamics, in order to highlight the intensity of part of the picture, I first determine the loudness division of each paragraph, and then adjust it according to changes in mood. In the end, a dynamic treatment was carried out based on the principle of “the desire to promote first suppress, and the desire to suppress first raise”.

Five, conclusion

Reasonable sound design can effectively enhance the audio-visual experience and convey a stronger sense of story. To achieve this goal, developers in different positions need to work together.

Technology is important, but how to coordinate resources is what we need to continue to explore.

Source: Xiao Studio


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