Super Mega Ultra Light Drive (S.M.U.L.D.) is a project developed as part of the Advanced Game Design class at the MDM program.
The game is set in the microcosm of a laboratory experiment, the player takes on the role of a single light particle trying to escape its man-made confinement. The player must gather as many stray light particles as they can while avoiding laser beams, antimatter, and quantum singularities. Aimed for steam as a premium game product.
There were many challenges in the process of designing sound for SMULD. First of all, is a project that is part of a game design class. The goal of the class is to successfully publish a game, and considering the skills and ideas of all team members, we aimed for Steam. We knew that in order to achieve our goal we had to have an original gameplay, and have a high level of polish to our code, art and audio. Every week we practiced and re-iterated our pitches, ideas, scope, and the product itself.
We had a few design decisions to make regarding technology: We decided to use Unreal Engine as our game engine for various reasons. It would be a great learning opportunity to our coders, the engine provides an interesting lighting system, and could be resource heavy. The downside for me is that for various reasons we could not use Wwise or FMOD as middleware tools to implement dynamic audio, but the upside is that I could get familiar to a very new and interesting audio engine included in Unreal.
Having to use the unreal audio engine have impacted us in a few ways: I had to design my sounds, wait for them to be implemented, study what were the possibilities to do inside unreal, re-iterate on the sounds, and mix together with the programmer, which was very time consuming. Even though unreal has a really decent audio engine, is not as strong nor as versatile as any middleware tool as far as I could experiment. I am including a few examples screenshots of how the audio engine looks in our game below.
The next steps for us are presenting our game in the MDM Industry Showcase and publish it on Steam. I will post more updates as soon as I hear back from the industry and Steam, until then, you can hear a few sound examples already posted on my portfolio as SMULD Playlist.