Uncharted 4 Sound Design: a Jeremy Rogers Interview | #GameAudio

Hey! How is everybody doing?

Well, Today I was reading an article (by the A Sound Effect Blog) I had in my reading list for a while now, and decided that was nice to share it with you:  Designing the sound for critically-acclaimed UNCHARTED 4 – with Senior Sound Designer Jeremy Rogers

uncharted-4-a-thiefs-end-madagascar-screenshot-15_1920.0.0.jpgWhy sharing? Well, Uncharted 4! It’s one of the biggest games of the year, and the series itself is one of the most sold and known series of games. I haven’t played it yet, but by what I have seen and heard, it’s not hard to say that it’s technically an amazing game and super fun to play.

So, I have selected a couple of questions of the article to share here, that I found most interesting. As always, you can read the rest by clicking on the link above.

Also, by the end of the post, I share a video about the sound of the game. You should watch it too!

Hi Jeremy, please introduce yourself and the sound team on Uncharted 4:

My name is Jeremy Rogers and I’m a Senior Sound Designer. Sony companies run a lean ship when it comes to sound. Usually only a few people are on staff at each studio. They then hire out the internal Sony sound group, called PD Sound, to be stationed at a studio during development. Basically, PD Sound jumps from project to project (sometimes multiple projects at once). I’m a part of PD Sound along with 2 additional Senior Sound Designers, Erick Ocampo and Chris Clanin. Also, the Dialogue Coordinator Harrison Deutsch is a part of PD Sound.

At Naughty Dog, we have our venerable Lead Phil Kovats and Senior Sound Designer Rob Krekel. We also have our genius-in-residence Jonathan Lanier as the Audio Programmer. Rounding out the team, we have Warren Post as our Audio Implementor, Mike Hourihan as the Dialogue Designer/Integrator, and Ammie Puckett as our Localization Coordinator.

This is the fourth installment in the series – what’s been the most valuable lesson you and the sound team learned from working on the previous episodes? And what have been some of the most significant technical advances?

The great thing about working on a series is that you have learned SO much from the previous games. I believe the team learned from trial and error about what aesthetics work and don’t work. I think they figured out what audio engine features worked and didn’t work. There is a great history of previous Naughty Dog titles that they drew on to make this the best sounding Naughty Dog game yet! The most valuable lesson is just experience. For technical advances, wow, there are so many of them!

I think the biggest advance came from switching to Impulse Response Reverbs. This changed the way we did guns in a HUGE way. No more baked gun tails that don’t fit the environment!

It’s an incredible collaborative technical advance that I think people will be blown away about!

What does the sound development process / schedule look like for a game like Uncharted? How did you start out, and what are some of the last things you got in there?

The development process is a interesting beast at Naughty Dog. The team prides itself on making the game better until the very last moment. Audio is the last step in the process, so the bulk of our work is at the end. In the beginning, we can do a lot of field recording trips, research and development, basic sound design for levels and various foley elements we know will be in the game. But, this is a very organic and creative company. To work on a Naughty Dog title, you need to roll with the punches and be able to pivot.

I started out doing a lot of field recording and ambience building for levels (getting air, winds, birds, appropriate animals, etc.). The very last things we were doing were tweaks on sounds implemented in the game that just weren’t perfect. I think the last thing I did was design some door sounds. I believe I checked in a door sound 5 minutes before we were locked out of doing anything more for the game.

 

 

Hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

Mauricio Ruiz – www.mauricioruiz.me

 

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