Dave Chan on Audio in The Long Dark: “It Exists to Reinforce All Other Aspects of the Game”
Dave Chan, Audio Director on Hinterland Games’ The Long Dark, has written a piece on the game’s Kickstarter page dealing with the construction and importance of the The Long Dark‘s audio components. According to Chan, there is a three-pronged approach to the game’s audio: compartmentalized into sound effects, music, and voice-acting. “In-game audio will not only set the mood and atmosphere, but it will also give you vital gameplay cues,” Chan explains, “is that branch snapping just a frozen tree breaking in the wind or is it a predator?”
When speaking towards sound design, audio was described as a, “visceral” element of the game, something that, “connects with people on a subconscious level…At times we’ll want to give the player a sense of dread, and other times, hope, fear and anger.” Chan is hoping to achieve this via, “layering of sound effects that will change over time and circumstances.”
Music will also have multiple facets to it, as there will be, “two types of music in The Long Dark. One will be music tracks, similar to what you’d hear in a movie or television show…Secondly, we’ll have both modern and classic instruments for a mix of orchestral and sparser ambient mood tracks.” Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan of the Mass Effect franchise are collaborating once again to deliver the film’s score, which will, “adhere to philosophy of reinforcement of visuals and gameplay.”
Finally, voice-acting, which is currently being headlined by Mass Effect‘s Mark Meer and Deus Ex: Human Revolution‘s Elias Toufexis. “Voice acting in The Long Dark will lean towards naturalistic performances,” Chan explains, “The subject matter and style of the game is best served by realistic voice acting. Emotion, plot progression, and character are enhanced by the voice acting in games. There are times where some of the acting may be a bit over the top to emphasize specific lines of dialog, but the voice acting should never drift into “cartoon”-style performances.”
The Long Dark is being developed by Hinterland Games and will be published for the PC, Mac, and Linux. As of this posting, it has achieved nearly $80,000 of its $200,000 goal.