Astral Chain’s Sound Design is the Star of This Latest Dev Blog
Astral Chain's latest devblog details range and impact that sound design has on the title, from the heroes to the enemies, to a game mechanic.
Last week the Astral Chain developer blog delved into the head designer’s writing process behind the critically acclaimed game. This week’s entry is a lesson in sound design, specifically the sound effects (SFX) of the game.
According to Naoki Hiraiwa, sound designer at PlatinumGames:
The twin you choose doesn’t have many lines of dialogue of their own, but you’ll spend a lot of time listening to their efforts. That’s what we call all the grunts, groans and growls you hear whenever a game character attacks, gets hit, falls down, you name it! They’re small details, but I think they have a huge impact on how it feels to play a game. Male or female, Japanese or English, all of our voice actors did their best to make their combat performances believable.
He then discusses one enemy in particular and how the SFX changes depending on its variation:
…you may encounter some of the froglike enemies that we call Slime-type chimeras. These are some of my favorite chimeras in the whole game! They’re round, squishy and a little cute.
These are several types of Slime. Some of them are infused with fire, electricity or ice; some are big, and some are little. All of these traits have an impact on how each Slime should sound as it moves and attacks! You won’t have many chances to directly compare the differences in these SFX while you’re playing the game…
Next he discusses the Beast Legion’s ability and how SFX plays a role in its mechanics:
There are also a few systems in place in Astral Chain where sound effects help you out as you play. One of these is the Beast Legion’s item-searching ability. When the Beast Legion detects an item nearby, you’ll hear a sound that you can follow towards the spot where that item is buried. Then the Beast can get digging! You can use the Beast Legion to find items while you’re just wandering around, too, by the way – not just during investigation scenes.
It’s fascinating to see how SFX has such an impact on the protagonist, an enemy’s portrayal, and even gameplay itself. The power of sound design is something that should never be underestimated.
Recently Astral Chain took the top spot in the UK charts last week. You can check out the launch trailer for the title here, which gives us a good overview of the game. There’s also several developer blogs that delve deeper into the title from the art direction to the music to the environment itself.
Astral Chain also received some lovely post-launch artwork from both the NieR:Automata and Bayonetta’s character designers. The official PlatinumGames Twitter account also released some new art from the studio’s main artist Hajime Kimura, celebrating the title’s success.
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