The Chronicles of Spellborn - The Sound of Shorath Mesa
The Chronicles of Spellborn developer Matthew Florianz has penned this new developers journal on The Sound of Shorath Mesa, giving us a look at the way that ambient sound is offered in TCoS.
As you may know, in Spellborn, a map contains several different ambiences all linked to specific areas of the map. A forest for instance, will have a different ambience from the little road next to it, or the field that lies across the road. As the player moves, the sound changes accordingly.
In Shorath Mesa there are several unique locations that will receive their very own ambiences. One of those locations was shown by Environment Artist Frank Bakker here.
It is called the Shrine of Currents and will no doubt play a role in questing. Since I assume the player will not spend a whole lot of time around it I choose to make an ambience that is a bit more musical and abstract than those ambiences found in regular places. As a sort of general rule, places which the players visits more often, sound more natural than those that are rare or unique. A forest will almost always sound like a forest, but for a place like this it is possible to creating something a bit more unexpected.
Please keep in mind that where the above screenshot is taken from, you can barely hear the ambience that you just heard. On this location, you would hear a more natural “swamp” ambience (crickets, birds, water lapping). When you move towards the Shrine, the ambience you just heard in the file will become louder and louder.
As described before, the ambience is probably more dreamlike and soft that what you’d probably expect. The sharpest sounds (the thunder) have been dampened and made to sound a bit surreal and dull. Since most temples and shrines in the game are from a time long past the dreamlike atmosphere helps set a mood of them being from another time.
Of course not the entire area of Shorath Mesa is as specific as the previous sound example. Most of the area is simply nature, trees, wind and rain. The following “mix” takes you from a forest ambience in Shorath Mesa, to a canyon ambience back to the sounds heard in the marsh. These are short clips mixed together from longer ambiences that are specific to small areas of the zone.
As you can hear, some of the musical elements from the previous track remain (slowed down piano) but they are very subtle and silent, letting the natural sounds do most of the “talking”. In the game (which you don’t hear in the mix) the ambiences are complimented by all sorts of locational sounds such as wind, dripping of water from trees, little fires, soft water splashing etc.
Hope you liked it !
See you next time !