A guest post by Ian Munt, game DJ, noise noodler and voice maker on Goblins & Grottos.
I have worked as a musician and written and recorded music since I first learnt how to use a tape machine. I got involved with Goblins and Grottos earlier this year and since then I’ve created voices for various characters, made numerous sound effects and written a series of catchy goblin complimenting tunes.
Music: Goblin Dance
Audio: Knight #1 chat
Each character in the game has a number of triggers and each trigger has to have a number of expressions to choose from to avoid repetition. So the number of sound files soon mount up. Each character needs to sound different to the next and this requires some fairly foolish behaviour on the microphone along with some pitch shifting effects. None of the characters say actual words as these are shown in speech bubbles above their heads so this means that I can’t use actual words. Instead I have to express the feelings they would have in a given situation – EG: finding the Goblin, killing the Goblin as well coming to a sticky end. (Literally! They can fall onto pointy sticks and die).
Audio: Wizard sees the goblin
This is my first time working on a computer game. For the sound effects I’ve had to learn quickly. Sounds were needed for the various game elements; a creaking plank, a marching knight, a fireball etc. This has introduced me into the fascinating world of Foley (sound effects). I looked for some sounds online (freesounds.org), but found that these rarely worked on their own. They might be the wrong length, have too much ambient noise or could just be missing a certain something. However, I’ve found they are a good starting point and sometimes work when slowed down, speeded up, cut before the ambient part is heard or mixed with other sounds.
Audio: Paladin uses his ‘holy smite’ spell
Most satisfying of all are the sounds that are completely homemade and these can come from an unlikely source. For example, I was looking for a sound for the checkpoint statue which, when the Goblin reaches it, ignites 3 flames. I recorded some actual flames igniting and looked online but they all had too much of a thump and not enough whump. So what sounds whumpy? A sheet being shaken open? How about a blanket? Perfect! It’s not a flame but it does sound like one when timed nicely with an animation.
Audio: Checkpoint activated
Thinking this way has led me to listen to everything with new ears – hmm that automatic handbrake on the car sounds interesting and could be useful someday. So more and more I find myself leaving the house with my trusty Zoom portable recorder just in case I stumble upon something that may not work on it’s own but combined with something else might just be what I’m looking for.