#SounDoer# 游戏《inFamous Second Son》音效设计实例

@SounDoer:来自声音设计师 Rev. Dr. Bradley D Meyer 的游戏音效设计实例,介绍了《inFamous Second Son》中几种不同形态的能量的声音设计幕后。
 
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摘要:Video Powers 视频能量
该游戏所有的能量形态中,Video Power 应该是最难以表达的。烟雾能量至少还能从与火有关的方向去考虑,而视频能量又不能与霓虹灯能量那种激光式的效果相类似。
我们从 Television 入手,想去旧货店寻找老式的阴极管电视机,最终找到了一些 CRT TV/VCR 组件,之后就在工作室内对其展开了全方位的录音工作。我们还找了一台 Sucker Punch MAME 街机,录制了其 CRT 显示器的声音。另外,我还用上了好几年前录制的 Shortwave Radio 音效。
所有的素材都是以 192kHz 的采样率来录制的。后期处理时,为了保护耳朵和扬声器,我们去除了部分高于 20kHz 的频段内容;我们还对部分原本不可闻的素材频段进行了 Pitch Down,并用到了最终的设计中。
录制器材用到了 Telephone Microphones,适合采集各种电磁干扰的声音;插件用到了 Zynaptiq 出品的 Morph。
 
 
Of all the powers in inFamous Second Son, Video powers may have been the most esoteric. I mean smoke at least has an analog in fire (and we used some fire elements in both the visual and sound design), but video? You think video, you may think laser, but we already had a neon power (which was even sometimes referred to as laser). So how the hell did we get something sounding as unique as our video powers without treading on the other power sets?
 
Part of the answer is interestingly with how the power set itself was initially conveyed to the team. Video power was actually called “TV power” internally for most of production. Heaven’s Hellfire, the video game that Eugene, the video power conduit, is obsessed with was initially a TV show. We realized after many months that it made more sense to make it into a video game instead and that would open up more avenues for us to play around with in the gameplay (such as the mildly retro boss battle).
 
But we still had “TV powers” stuck in our brain and when Andy and I began brainstorming about how to make sounds that were powerful and unique and “TV like” we started thinking about televisions. We stalked thrift stores around town hoping we’d come across some old 1970s vacuum or cathode tube televisions to take apart and record. We failed there, but Andy eventually came across a couple old CRT TV/VCR combos. Double obsolete points! We brought these into the studio and proceeded to record all kinds of sounds with an array of microphones from shotguns to contact mics to crappy telephone microphones which did an amazing job of capturing bizarre electromagnetic interference around the power supply, and other surfaces. We recorded all possible permutations of power on and power off sounds and even got the VCR mechanisms to give us some very bizarre whines and hums. We also did some recordings of the Sucker Punch MAME arcade cabinet which has a very old CRT monitor in it with tons of wires exposed, as well as a shortwave radio I’ve had for years, but never really needed for a video game sound before.
 
We recorded all of these sounds at 192kHz and the frequency content of the recordings on the CRT monitors at the higher frequencies was pretty astounding. While some of them we had to remove the >20kHz content to save our ears and speakers, Andy also did some pitch shifting to play around with some of these normally inaudible sounds and they became part of the video power palette.
 
A few words on the telephone microphones we used: they are cheap and really neat for recording electromagnetic interference. Although Radio Shack may be dead and gone now, you can still get them online. It’s pretty neat the wide array of sounds you can get from one of them by waving near essentially any power source from a monitor to a computer, plugs, etc. Basically any electronic device will give you some interesting content. For a lot of the TV powers, Andy took various EMF sounds and morphed them together using Zynaptiq’s Morph plugin.
 
So, similar to our other power sets, below is a video showing some of our field recording as well as the final in-game sounds.  What’s different here is that the video powers were finalized later in the project and we were so focused on finishing the game, that we did not make a fancy, fun video for the team. So, it may not be as fun as the previous videos, but still shows what we recorded and how it ended up sounding.
 
The Sound Design of inFamous Second Son: Video Powers
https://vimeo.com/122711370

 
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摘要:Concrete Powers 混凝土能量
我们都听过很多有关石头的声音,最大的挑战是如何让混凝土能量音效听上去是独一无二的。其中涉及到各种形态的混凝土能量表现,比如手榴弹形式、护盾形式、构建物体形式等。
我们事先研究了混凝土的凝结过程,然后去买了各种水泥、石子和砖块等进行尝试。
 
 
It’s hard to believe that inFamous Second Son is a year old already!  I’ve been completely lagging on finishing up these posts about the powers design for the game, so let me use this opportunity to make good and present the first of the final 2 parts of this series. I will hopefully get around to posting my presentation on the Systems Design for the game soon as well so those who haven’t heard/seen it can have the information available to them. Anyway, on to the magic and mystery of concrete!
 
For those who haven’t played or seen inFamous Second Son you play a guy who gets superpowers battling an authoritarian government agency called the DUP whose soldiers are all imbued with concrete superpowers by their leader Dana Augustine (as normally happens with government agencies).
 
The biggest challenge for us with concrete was how to make it sound unique. It’s just rocks and stone right? We’ve all heard countless variations on rock sounds in everything from impacts to destruction and rubble/debris sounds. We needed to figure out ways to make our sounds stand out as unique, while also conveying the power of the enemies in the game who used concrete.
 
The powers ran the gamut from concrete grenades to spawning concrete shields to launching off spires of concrete and forming a concrete balcony on walls. In short there was tons of concrete objects being created and broken in the world. Not only did we need these to sound unique and “powered” but they also had to sound completely distinct from all the “normal” concrete in the world you could destroy or collide other objects with. It was a huge challenge, but one that Andy Martin was definitely up for.
 
The place to start, naturally, was by buying a bunch of concrete. I looked into the process of concrete, which is usually just a mixture of water, an aggregate like sand or gravel, and Portland cement (named after a type of stone used in the UK, not the sleepy hamlet of the Pacific Northwest of the US). While the thought of mixing up my own concrete sounded appealing to my construction worker wannabe side, we weren’t in a position in the project where we had limitless time to experiment. So we did the next best thing: went to Home Depot. Andy and I both made trips to the hardware store and bought all kinds of concrete and stone, from paver stones (which were often too resonant) to clay bricks, cinder blocks, and more. They were demolishing a building across the street from my house and I noticed some particularly large chunks of both asphalt and concrete sitting on the other side of the fence. I waited until nightfall, donned my ninja costume (really just a bathrobe with a scarf tied around my head) and absconded with the almost-final resources we would need to make our concrete powers come to life.
 
From here, Andy began to run wild and experiment with all kinds of torture he could enact on our various pieces of concrete. From scraping everything against the slabs from metal disks to binder clips to resonating a jews harp against them to, yes, crushing, beating and destroying, he created an elaborate and unique palette of concrete sounds. As a few of the characters in the game developed, their powers also evolved. Some characters now had “beams” of concrete they would shoot out to shield allies while another burrowed underground like Bugs Bunny on his way to Albuquerque, and another sat atop a giant swirling tornado of concrete chunks. We needed something unique here and I devised a way to record a constantly moving collection of some of the concrete chunks we had broken (and wrote up a blog post about it here).
 
Andy’s wizardry both in recording these sounds and in shaping them in ProTools and Wwise into the layers of concrete powers was top notch as always and now it was time to show the team what we’d been doing (and that our jobs are more fun than theirs). Below is another Sonic Equation of sorts which we showed at a company meeting demonstrating some of recording techniques used to make the concrete powers of Second Son:
 
The Sound Design of inFamous Second Son: Concrete Powers
https://vimeo.com/121755090

 
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摘要:Neon Powers 霓虹灯能量
该游戏中的能量音效设计非常抽象,比如烟雾(Smoke)、霓虹灯(Neon)和视频(Video)等。
关键点在于,如何把霓虹灯能量声音与传统的激光音效区分开。Ben Burtt 是激光音效的先驱,我们希望在此基础上有所创新。
我们使用接触式话筒录制了霓虹灯灯管的嗡鸣声。另外,还同时用 Barcus Berry 接触式话筒和 MKH 8060 录制了很多荧光灯开关时的闪烁声音。
后期处理时使用了 Izotope Iris、Zynaptiq Morph 等插件工具;除此之外,还用一台老式信号发生器获得了方波和正弦波扫频信号,以及一些有趣的电流声。
 
 
In contrast to past inFAMOUS games, Second Son was a tricky beast in that our power sets were pretty abstract. Electricity can really hurt someone, but smoke, neon, and video? This was definitely one of the many challenges we faced with the sound design of the powers. For neon, we took a pretty direct approach and then got creative with our source materials.
 
We struggled early on with making neon sound “neon” and not “laser.” There was some confusion during development in which power we were making as those two words were often interchangeable. (Fetch even refers to herself at one point in the game as “Laser Girl”). Making her sounds laser-y was ok, but at the same time I didn’t want to tread on the hallowed ground of Ben Burtt. I actually cursed his name a few times during production because Andy had made some beautiful sounds that unfortunately sounded too Star-Wars-laser-gun. Andy  had a REALLY long spring (originally an induction coil for an industrial kiln we got from a local glass maker named Chris Daly) attached to the ceiling of his office. Whenever he would accidentally hit it, I would hear the telltale “pew pew” in my office next door.
 
The first element we captured which really felt “neon” was an actual neon tube. We have a couple Sly Cooper neon signs in the office, so I took my Barcus Berry contact mic and attached it to one and got some really nice neon hum. For more variety we captured a bunch of fluorescent lights as well, both via contact mics and using a Sennheiser MKH 8060 to capture various flickering sounds of turning them on and off. I have a very old fluorescent fixture in my house that created some amazing sounds which we ended up using for neon power sources powering down. And Delsin’s neon drain was composed of several tracks of neon hum processed through Izotope Iris with various frequencies cutout and some filter sweeps.
 
For the rest of Delsin’s powers, Andy got REALLY creative. As you’ll see in the video below no sounds were off limits and we used a broad range of varied sounds to create the final neon palette. Andy used Zynaptiq’s Morph plugin extensively to do some interesting blends of EMF interference and various hits on the aforementioned induction coil. Other tricks up our sleeve included an old signal generator I have which emits square and sine wave sweeps and some very cool power on and off sounds and a crazy electric shocking device from the 50s which would shoot small arcs of electricity at anything you put near it.
 
Once we got our power set close to completion, it was time for another milestone meeting and thus time for another movie to show off our work. The response from the team from our previous movie, the smoke “Sonic Equation,” was so overwhelmingly positive, I felt compelled to do another. Sure the equation doesn’t EXACTLY equate to the sounds as they are in the game, but it at least shows off part of our design methodology as well as the fun we’re still having.
 
Next time, we’ll discuss the enemy concrete powers and show some of the abuse we wrought upon varied chunks of concrete!
 
The Sound Design of inFamous Second Son: Neon Power
https://vimeo.com/109780065

 
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摘要:Smoke Powers 烟雾能量
第一件事是概念设计,尝试各种不同的声音。
如何让烟雾能量听上去像是烟雾,而不是跟火相关的声音?
首先尝试了各种 Air Releases 的声音,但都不太合适。
然后尝试了木炭(Charcoal),烧过之后的木炭能发出一些很有趣的声音,移动摩擦、互相敲击、燃烧、放入水中浸灭等。除此之外,还录制了向塑料管吹气的声音。
 
 
You know how sometimes you have lofty plans to do a project and then months later you think, “What the hell happened? I still haven’t gotten to that thing I meant to do months ago!” Well that’s pretty much where I’m at. I’ve been meaning to write a few short posts about some of the sound design we did on inFAMOUS Second Son for quite some time, and I’m FINALLY getting around to it. I hope this to be the first in a series of posts with an entertaining movie or two showing off some of the sounds we captured to make our various sfx in Second Son and how those ended up sounding in-game. Since the powers are the biggest sonic show piece of the game, I figured we’d start there.
 
A lot has already been written about smoke power, but since it’s the first power you gain in the game, I’ll touch briefly on it one more time in part just to show you the movie below.
 
But before that here’s something which may be of interest that has never been seen or heard outside of Sucker Punch.  The first thing we ever did in regards to powers on Second Son was to concept some ideas of what these powers may sound like. We had NO idea what they were going to look like (and as you can see from the video we were even concepting powers that never made the cut into the game). This was merely an exercise to start playing with sound and seeing what kinds of things were resonating with us in regards to these potential power sets. A lot of what we started with helped inform our extensive recording sessions to capture elements to mold and bend to our will. Other concepts we tried here didn’t work and were abandoned. For example, I thought it would be cool if the player’s footsteps had a sweetener applied to them based on your current power set. In the end it felt too heavy handed so we cut it. We played around with the notion of USTV feeds making their way into the video powers sounds (similar to Andy’s Neil Armstrong clip in the concept for what was then called TV powers), but that also just didn’t work in any meaningful way. None of the sounds you hear in this concept made it into the game, but it at least gave Andy, our senior sound designer, and myself a jumping off point to explore from.
 
The Sound Design of inFamous Second Son: Early Powers Concepts
https://vimeo.com/108078772

 
Smoke was the first power we worked on, but it was also one of the most challenging: how do you make something as amorphous as smoke sound powerful? Furthermore, how do you make it sound like smoke, and by that I mean NOT like fire. These were the challenges before us. I noticed some steam pouring out from a grate in the ground one day and thought that could be interesting. But it made no sound! We experimented with other air releases from helium tanks and compressed air, but none of it fit the bill. I pretty quickly gravitated towards charcoal. I don’t mean those neatly-formed imitation charcoal briquettes either. I’m talking real burned chunks of wood. I knew from ample barbecuing experience that they made really interesting crackling sounds when burned and also they had a resonance to them when moving around which was kinda unique. After buying a couple bags of charcoal and a small grill I set to work doing most imaginable things to these chunks of burnt wood: moving them around, bouncing them off each other, crushing them, burning them, lighting them on fire and then dousing them, etc. It was a great start. Many other elements ended up playing into the final sounds: surprisingly blowing air through a plastic tube became a very important element in Delsin’s smoke dash and various movements of sand also played a role in both quicker smoke attacks and Delsin’s navigation abilities. Below is a video showing off some of these elements as they were recorded and as they sounded in the game. One quick word on this video: it was originally shown as part of a company meeting. Every milestone during production, each team would show a short video highlighting their work over the past several weeks. We liked to show the team not only how much fun sound design is, but how much fun we have doing it.  Enjoy and stay tuned next week for an exposé on Neon powers!
 
The Sound Design of inFamous Second Son: Smoke Powers Sonic Equation
https://vimeo.com/108078108

 
SounDoer – Focus On Sound Design
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