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MMORPG | Genre:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 06/03/14)  | Pub:NCSoft
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WildStar Dev Journals: Creating a Soundscape

By Guest Writer on December 15, 2011

Hi!  My name is Charley Lanusse and I’m the Audio Director here at Carbine Studios.  I’m responsible for setting the creative direction and determining how audio works in our game.  As part of my job, I have the pleasure of coordinating the efforts of incredibly talented designers, composers, editors, and contractors.  We all work together to build the epic sound-scapes you’ll hear while playing WildStar.

Our game combines elements of science fiction and fantasy, but with a sense of humor that gives us the freedom to have some fun.  Based on your feedback, we feel pretty good about that mix of epic adventure and light-hearted humor, and when you add in the darker elements WildStar offers, it makes for an incredibly rich audio universe!

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Creating audio for a game the size of WildStar is a massive but incredibly rewarding undertaking.  With thousands of sound files crafted to support a wide-variety of zones, creatures and races, every day we get to work on something new. There is so much about the audio department I’d like to share with you, but for now I thought I’d tell you a little about our how we create voices for races in our game.

Voice design starts as collaboration between the Audio Department, the Art Department, and Narrative Design.   The team carefully considers the archetypes, personality traits and touchtone sound for each of our voices.  It’s so important that our voices are not only believable but full of life and character.  To get the right actors to represent our races we auditioned over 1000 people.  Our casting call included top video game voice performers, as well as television and film actors. 

After a rigorous selection process, the actors were called back, and the voices were refined in the studio until we arrived at the perfect sound. Many of our voices are on the serious side, but today I thought we’d have a little fun and share a few entertaining outtakes from our English recording sessions (sessions for other languages aren’t yet available, but we plan to share those with our non-English speaking fans in time).

Troy Baker who plays Buck, the Spellslinger in our trailer is a natural improviser.  In one of our recent studio sessions, I asked him to go off script and hilarity ensued.   You won’t hear this in the game but it’s really fun to listen to.

Troy Baker Outtakes (plays via js)

Here is Jim Cummings as the voice of ‘The Sarge’ - the Granok in our trailer.  Jim is one of the most recognizable voice actors in North America (we aim to have the same level of talent in localized versions of the game).  You may have recently heard him as Winnie the Poo or Tigger.  Jim sometimes goes off script giving us great out-takes like these.  (By the way, the music in the background is a special sneak-peak theme for one of our yet to be announced races. Big thank to Carbine’s Composer,  Jeff Kurtenacker!)

Jim Cummings Outtakes (plays via js)

I’ll be sharing lots more about the happenings in the Audio Department in future posts.  For now, you can stay up-to-date with the latest WildStar news by following our Twitter feed @Team_Wildstar  or checking out the WildStar Facebook page .  

Thanks for your time!

-Charley

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