As this is my first post on my own blog about Anthymn, I have to explain that we have an original blog and I am only posting the audio section on my personal blog. Anthymn is a MMO/RPG game where all the world is musical. To check out the full blog, please click here.

Let’s leave music behind for a bit and talk about the actual sound design for the game.

Some peo­ple con­fuse music with sound design, but in real­ity they are two com­pletely dif­fer­ent fields.

In this world, every­thing is music, so the hard part of this process is mak­ing a sound musi­cal, mag­i­cal, and real­is­tic at the same time. As our char­ac­ter plays a pic­colo, many of the sound ele­ments include flutes and wood­wind instruments.

The con­cept of the tri­tone is being used to cre­ate some sound effects, even though a pic­colo can­not play a tri­tone unless one inter­val is played after another in sequence.

The cre­ative process has to fol­low a pipeline in order to be exe­cuted correctly.

I needed to make a spread­sheet of all effects needed for this iter­a­tion together with Palle, one of our pro­gram­mers. We devel­oped a nam­ing con­ven­tion for the files so we both under­stand what are they and how to use them.

A screenshot of the spreadsheet with naming conventions.

A screenshot of the spreadsheet with naming conventions. click to enlarge

Some sound effects, such as the sound of some­one play­ing a wrong note on the pic­colo, can­not be eas­ily found in libraries,. Tech­ni­cally, there is no wrong note with­out con­text, so to make some­thing sound “bad” I decided to use an over-blow into a flute. In the next image is an exam­ple of how to play the instru­ment cor­rectly (by Dylan) and how not to play the instru­ment (me):


Dylan Matthias on flute in the CDM record­ing stu­dio. Photo by Edward Bauman


Edward play­ing the head joint of a flute. It made the per­fect nasty flute sound. Photo by Dylan Matthias

After col­lect­ing all nec­es­sary sounds for this iter­a­tion of the pro­to­type, I used Pro Tools with a series of chains and plug-ins to re-record the mix of my audio lay­ers. I used the same ses­sion to edit every sound, as I think it is very prac­ti­cal, plac­ing mark­ers with the file name in them to sep­a­rate from one SFX com­bi­na­tion to another. This way I don’t need to remem­ber what I was try­ing to do in that par­tic­u­lar layer chain, just read the marker, adjust the lev­els, fades, effects and plu­gin sends to be re-recorded.

After final­iz­ing the audio, I had to export it in WAV 44.1/16 bits to save some space in Unity. I uploaded all files to the server in order for Palle have access to them so he could imple­ment them in-game.

A screenshot with sound wave layers tiered for mixing in the Pro Tools editor.

The layers of audio effects in Pro Tools. click to enlarge

Imple­ment­ing sin­gle files into Unity is not my favourite choice. I like to use mid­dle­ware tools such as Wwise where I can mon­i­tor, mix, add files into con­tain­ers, and add real time para­me­ter con­trols within other options to cre­ate a full dynamic audio sound­scape. Since most of the sound effects cre­ated today are the first iter­a­tion of a rapid pro­to­type, using Wwise would be an un-clever use of time for both the pro­gram­mers and me at this stage. We do plan to use Wwise when we are fur­ther in the process and the sound con­cept is at a more solid stage.

Tomor­row we will be show­ing this ver­sion of the pro­to­type to our clients in order to receive feed­back for the con­cept and qual­ity of the design in order to make fur­ther changes and tweaks.

(Lis­ten to some sam­ple sounds from this iter­a­tion.)