There’s a game, you probably heard of it, that is getting (almost) everyone excited: No Man’s Sky.
What’s the big deal with this game? Well, it’s a sci-fi game, where you travel thru an “infinite” cosmos. Not infinite per se, but it’s so so so so so big, that it will fell like it’s infinite (or at least that’s what everyone is expecting based on the game’s fame so far): it has more than eighteen quintillion planets, and inside each one unique animals, fauna, flora and ambients.
This can only be made possible by procedural generation: “equations that draw upon random numbers to build naturalistic features, such as solar systems, planets, flora, and fauna.” (New Yorker).
With the audio it’s not different: there must be a myriad number of sounds on the game, since each animal has it’s own characteristic. More than that, the sounds must feel realistic and believable (not synthetic). And for that, Paul Weir (in charge of the game audio) used procedural audio. How? Well…
… there’s an article for that! The New Yorker Magazine published and amazing article (by Raffi Khatchadourian): What a Dinosaur’s Mating Scream Sounds Like
It takes us thru the creation process of desining this animal sounds thru procedural audio. Raffia visited the game’s studio, Hello Games, talked with Paul Wier and Sandy White (a programmer that built and iPad app to generate “random” sounds based on more than a hundred different criteria). Don’t expect a technical article, where they talk about all the codes and software used. It’s more about the story of the process, and how it evolved.
It’s super fun reading, you really should go thru.
Hope you enjoy it! 😀
Mauricio Ruiz – www.mauricioruiz.me