We learnt a lot while crafting an audio experience for STASIS and CAYNE. George Lucas famously said that "sound is 'half of the film' experience". We think that sound is even more important in interactive media and we take great care in building a detailed audio pallet for our players. When producing the sound for STASIS, we started by watching as many 80s sci-fi and horror films as possible. What we often do is turn off the picture completely and then dissect the background audio atmosphere. Something that you will notice first is that film always has some sort of backtrack playing. Subtle ambient sounds and music is used to prompt the mood of the viewers. They use this to great advantage in horror films where silence replaces the background sound and is as powerful as an orchestral score. Both STASIS and CAYNE play an ambient ‘back track’ for the entire duration of the game, including over menus and cut scenes. You probably haven’t noticed it, but it is there - subtly piecing everything together. We also include an infrasound layer. This low-frequency sound can apparently cause an emotive response of awe or fear. We then have scene specific ambience. For instance, a passage in CAYNE may
As far back as during the development of STASIS, both Nic and I spent time discussing several ideas for future projects. During these conversations we kept circling back to a vivid post apocalyptic world. A story revolving around a similar theme to STASIS: family. The idea of two brothers, transported to another world fell beautifully into place in a post apocalyptic African dystopia. This setting was a feature of our original story. It was different, inspiring, and considering our location - achievable! For research, we just had to open the door and step outside. MARK AND DON While STASIS focused on the a man's desire to save his wife and child, BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION will be a story about brothers. A story about love, loss and accepting the errors of the past and moving on. Creating this dynamic is a challenge, but something that I think that we can achieve. Just as The Last Of Us showed the connection that a father can have with his daughter, BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION will showcase a brotherly bond. AFRODORA Post apocalyptic worlds are the perfect vessel for exploring. The desire to walk through an abandoned city, and the idea of solitude that is obtained by stripping away of societies niceties. A lawless
HOW A SCENE IS ASSEMBLED IN ISOMETRIC Our games are essentially made up of flat pictures. I believe that removing the concern over the amount of polygons that make up a scene, allows us to add in an inordinate amount of detail into each image. We can also focus on how we compose the environment - having full control over how the player will visually perceive an area. Animated areas can give the scene the illusion of depth, because this is after all a flat picture. Adding motion does however take some planning. Images are rendered out as animated frames which are then imported into After Effects. In After Effects, stock footage (smoke, fire and other natural elements) is added. Animated areas are masked out and rendered as separate sprites and layers which are then imported into the game engine. Working this way allows us to have a good idea about what the final scenes will look and feel like before it is imported into the engine. We can iterate quickly to get to a final result that we're happy with!