Sound Design Behind Alone In The Dark's Tortured Souls
June 26, 2008
dSonic gives insight into the creature sound design featured in Atari's newly released apocalyptic action survival game, Alone In The Dark.
dSonic co-founder, Kemal Amarasingham, gives some insight into the directorial techniques he adopted during the voice-over sessions for the latest installment of Atari's Alone In The Dark franchise. dSonic created the creature sounds effects for the game. Check out some examples here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dffVPC2Zo9I
Developer, Eden Games, wanted the creatures in the game to sound like suffering, tortured souls rather than the usual moaning and groaning zombie fare, so Amarasingham directed the actors to make guttural attack sounds tinged with rage and pain rather than high-pitched, aggressive, attack sounds. He offers this example of his direction: "I asked the actors to think of 'that' scene in a war movie where a soldier is shot but is suppressing his agony so he can keep on fighting. I wanted to hear the struggle of someone battling pain and suffering within themselves, as well as determination in their voices."
"It was important to us that the player has a real feeling of the suffering of the creatures in the game - we didn't want these to be just average monsters but rather victims suffering a terrible fate with their human instincts in conflict with the forces that possess them," said David Nadal, Game Director, Eden Games. "The work that dSonic has done has played a key part in making this a reality."
Making these guttural pain sounds kept the creatures from cutting through the audio mix too much when in large numbers, but was extremely hard on the actors' voices. Multiple short recording sessions were scheduled to remedy this.
Kemal Amarasingham adds, "What made this project unique voice-over wise, was that the creatures in the game had almost no actual dialog. The actors watched video of the characters in different poses and then vocalized the emotion behind each pose, in sync with the video."
Alone In The Dark, the 5th installment of the franchise, is an apocalyptic action survival game based in New York's Central Park. Developed by Eden Games and published by Atari, the game was released in North America on June 24, 2008 for Xbox 360, PC, Wii and PlayStation 2. A version for PlayStation 3 will follow later in 2008. For further details, visit www.atari.com
dSonic, an award-winning audio production company with studios in San Francisco and Boston, provides music, sound effects and voice-overs exclusively to the game industry. They have over seventy titles to their credit and have contributed to AAA titles such as 2K's Bioshock, winner of the Game Developer Choice Award for Best Audio in 2007, and Bethesda's Oblivion. For more information, visit www.dsonic.com