Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Sound of AI Vendetta


Welcome back to another blog!
Today we would like to share a little bit about the music that makes AI Vendetta sound the way it does. And not just that, there is a bunch of sounds and effects that together make the world come alive. Because we love sharing, we put all the songs from the soundtrack (those that have been announced) here on our website for you to listen to! Of course you can also visit our YouTube channel for the soundtrack and other videos or find them here on our website using this link.

For those interested, there is also a short story on our experience with creating the soundtrack of AI Vendetta below. If you liked this article or any the work we do, please leave us a comment. You can also play the AI Vendetta alpha demo using the link in the menu bar. Of course we would love any feedback you may have on the game and we would very much like to get into contact so leave us a message or follow us on your favourite social media!

Making the sound of AI Vendetta

So how did we get to creating the soundtrack and what inspired us in the process? That can be best explained in the words of our very own Rens van der Meijs, who works on the project as programmer, but is in charge of anything music related in the project as well!
For this project we really had to sit down and define what it was that AI Vendetta is; What mood and setting do we have, what message are we trying to get across, what is the story of AI Vendetta? A lot of the immersion in a game comes from sound because besides being very visually oriented, we as humans are also tuned into hearing a response from the actions that we take and from events that happen in the world. The best sounds are often those you cannot hear or notice. They are the subtle noises that make the world come alive and sound natural. Think about footsteps, the wind, the sound of a passing car. You know they are there even though you don't always conscientiously perceive them.

With AI Vendetta we are also spending a lot time just adding sounds and effects to everything, not to make them stand out, but to make them fit in. It is really important to do this because otherwise nothing would feel real. Something really interesting to do, is to play a game and turn off the music. Just listen to all the sounds that are happening. Suddenly it becomes apparent that there is such a rich soundscape in many games, sounds that you didn't notice before but would really lack if they weren't there. A good example of this is to play an open world game such as the Witcher 3 or the Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.

The story of AI Vendetta and also the general mood is very dark and gloomy, almost desperate. But it is also a story about adventure, exploration and bravery. We also have the robotical theme going on throughout the game which needed to be present in the soundtrack. So we took a lot of inspiration from existing games and movies to get to know what feels right in which situation. For example, we really like the soundtrack of Portal 2 because it had the experimental and adventurous theming to it, but also was set in a more futuristic setting (with robots!). For us most of the time it really comes down to what message we want to get across and we try to fit the music to that specific setting, thus every song was tailor made for a specific usage and message. You may also notice that the music changes slightly throughout the game as the story progresses to better translate the underlying thematics.

The soundtrack of AIVendetta, with more to come.

If there is one thing that we want you to take away from this story, it's that music and sound effects are really important to any game experience. Don't underestimate the power of sound when it comes down to creating an immersive experience. We are very lucky to have such an amazing in-house musician to help us create the game experience that we want to bring to you and we would very much advise any gamedevs out there to invest into their game audio as well. During our process of creating AI Vendetta we also met a great musician, Ninichi, who actually creates game music on commission. So we would definitely recommend to check out her blog for some of her music as well as other gamedev interests if you are looking for someone to help you with your game audio!

That's all for now! If you'd like to know more about the game, please feel free to leave us a message or give us a shout on social media. We always love to get into contact and would certainly like to help out any other gamedevs as well!

And with that I "wave" goodbye to you all! See you next time!

~Thom, CatbyteGames

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