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BlizzCon 2018 Immersive Sounds of Azeroth Panel
03/11/2018 alle 12:00
The World of Warcraft: Immersive Sounds of Azeroth panel has begun. We'll highlighting notable details from this panel here.
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About the Panel
Jay Maguire of the Warcraft Sound team is presenting on the immersiveness of the music in WoW.
Glenn Stafford, Principle composer/Founder of Blizzard Audio department
Michael Hill, Sound Designer
Dave Rovin, Sound Supervisor for BFA
David Arkenstone and his Tavern Band playing music from Boralus.
Sounds as a Narrative Device
Sounds support storytelling, including voice acting and music.
Music can provide emotional guideposts to indicate how you should be feeling.
Sound design can bring you in to an environment, filling in the gaps.
Sound Approach to BFA
3 Sound design pillars:
Make you, the player, feel awesome/as powerful as possible. One way to do this is your personal sounds are louder than anything else.
Help the player play the game: give you audio clues in the world so you know what's going on.
Immersive Audio: Setting the stage for what you will encounter in an area. At it's core, immersion is about emotional engagement.
Volume changes for the things just out of your field of view, but a louder focus in front of you.
Tools and Techniques: Building Drustvar (Michael Hilll)
Classic horror zone - sound design can be very exciting in the horror genre.
Ambiance - using 2004 Elwynn as an example
Avoid sounds that create a noticeable loop - minimize disc space through sharing.
The loop is very important - sound design works hard to avoid making a pattern noticeable in Ambiance.
In Ambiance today, WoW sound design uses "flavour kits" - a simplified base layer but also variation through one -shot randomization. Content specific sounds, more personality, and randomization of where the sound is coming from.
Sounds rooted in the environment as much as possible
The positional sounds are baked into the environment i.e. as you approach a waterfall it gets louder.
Sounds used as punctuation to remind you you're in a real space.
In Drustvar, the effigies hanging from trees emanate a weird noise - it's so subtle but it builds the sound of the zone.
Next step after environment is the creature noise - i.e. Witches in Drustvar with idle/agro noises.
Over the top, cartoony threatening witch noises!
Differentiating between Drust magic and Player spells - sound is included in this. New magic school is a good reason to make a new sound!
Differentiating gameplay mechanics with sound - sound reinforces differences in gameplay and environment.
As you get deeper into Drustvar, the flavour kits change a bit, making things spookier as gameplay gets more dangerous.
Sound foreshadowing has payoff later in the zone.
Creative Process: Building Drustvar (Glenn Stafford)
Music has a similar role to sound design - sometimes it's setting an ambient tone, or setting an emotion.
Walking around Drustvar seeing the artwork was inspiring.
Was tempting to start straight into the Horror music but we needed to start lighter to have somewhere dark to go in the zone with the music.
Abby Lewis as an inspirational starting point - a sense of history or twisted fairytale, more mystery than darker scares. Good starting point to get progressively darker in the zone.
Abby Lewis theme gives you the idea of "something's not quite right here..."
Next up was the area of Fallhaven, needed to build tension.
Darker as you start to encounter bad things
Drawing on orchestral techniques to sell tension.
Next area of inspiration was Glenbrook Wood
Introduced a melody here that gets quoted later in the zone - a strong melody that is introduced early, and reinforced throughout the zone, specifically at Waycrest.
Waycrest Manor - the scarier version of that melody is repeated here.
The melody is more muted here, and now it's instead on a pipe organ.
The organ music levels indicate it is coming from the mansion, and it is much louder inside the Manor.
Waycrest Manor is the most advanced sound work they've done for any dungeon thus far in WoW.
As you know, in Waycrest there is a musical boss fight. This became a kick off point to introduce themes and musical ideas in a zone that lead to a dungeon musically.
The organ became a character itself.
Originally the organ was emanating spells towards pillars, via chords.
It ended up the spells just come from the organ and Lady Waycrest is just playing the organ.
The organ pipes stick out of the various walls of the Manor.
Diagetic audio - sounds actually happening in the world i.e. responses to player actions
Non-Diagetic audio - the background music. Waycrest really let us play with this.
You'll notice this in the upper layers of the manor, emitters from the wall play the sound. If you kill a witch summoned by the emitter, you can hear Lady Waycrest slam her hands on the piano in anger.
The challenge with this was how to make the noises happen in small areas - generally they don't pay attention to walls, so they had to manage turning the sound emitters on and off in a new way.
When you get down to Lady Waycrest boss fight, it's a dynamic boss encounter. Music changes by phase, organ based spells, and it's a final visit to the musical themes of the zone.
Positional sounds coming from the pipe organ instead of the boss you are fighting (Lord Waycrest).
When she jumps over she's no longer playing the organ so the music had to become Non-Diagetic since she's no longer producing the music.
There may still be a musical secret in Waycrest Manor...
New Sound Systems
Coming soon! More immersive sound design for when you are on your mount or using a flight path.
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