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Darkness Revealed Update 36 - Perfecting a Sound Effect

Hello, everyone! How's it going?

In the last update we started a new topic in our updates, sound effects! After showing our technical setup and talking a bit of how we create SFX here at Pixel Cows, today we will cover how we iterate on sounds to make them feel just right. Showing exactly what we aim at when creating effect and how design decisions affects the way things sound. Let's check it out! 

Getting a Sound FX Just Right

After setting the core elements in the last update, we proceeded to other important sounds, like Dave's damage and death animations. This was divided into two parts, the hit that Dave takes and his feedback to it. We wanted the hit to sound a bit like a cracking bone or his flesh getting ripped. As for his response, we were looking for a muffled scream as well as bubbles coming out rapidly, as if he was gasping in his helmet. Here's a first try.

This was a bit outta place. Dave's scream didn't sound like it was underwater and it was way too close to the hit itself, everything seemed like one sound. We had to make the hit more distinct, emphasising the gameplay aspect of it. As for the "in danger" heartbeat sound, it was a cool touch but a bit too oppressive. Players would be spending a good part of the game with 1 HP, it that sound was always playing in the background, it would be too much. 

This version was better, Dave's scream now sounded like it was underwater, but perhaps it could be a bit more muffled. As for the hit, it was still off, it now looked like he was cracking his back, especially because of the animation. So we tried a an approach less focused on bones and more on ripping flesh.

This worked great for us! The hit and scream were connected but you could still tell them apart, and one wasn't outdoing the other. It also sounded way more like Dave was screaming underwater or in his helmet. 

That's it for today! Audio is such a big deal, so we will save some more of our work in that area for the next couple updates. Next time we'll show how we did interface and monster sounds, with more vids to go along. Did you like this update? We'd love to hear! We are always hanging out on Twitter and Facebook, so feel free to say hello. Or, if you want to receive these updates complete and before everyone else, sign up for our Golden Chest

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