New World's latest Forged in Aeternum dev video is audio-focused, which is fitting given the ongoing Medleyfaire Festival in Aeternum. In the nearly twenty-minute video, the MMO's audio team talks about creating music that helps tell the story and a little throat singing in the mix.
The recent video posted to the New World YouTube channel sees the audio team behind the Amazon MMO break down the audio creation process for the MMO, from the soundscape of its various Expeditions to getting the voice-over work to fit naturally with the various bosses in Aeternum.
"Dungeons, compared to the open world, they're like a very curated sort of experience," Senior Sound Designer Michael Finley says in the video. "So we can do some crazy things."
The discussion starts off by talking about one of those crazy things: inspirations of how bosses are meant to sound. Talking about the Neishatun boss in Myrkgaard, Finley talks about how the team had the idea to create the boss' voice simply be omnipresent around the character.
"I know some cool, cool things that we did that we wouldn't normally do is we'd have like the voice; it's just this omnipresent voice," Finley says.
Audio Director Jean-Edouard Miclot chimed in, saying that players never actually complained about that fact, especially since it changes the whole audio mix when it happens.
On this week's Forged in Aeternum, the sound team joins us to show how their work deepens the experience beyond the gameplay you know and love.Full video here!?? https://t.co/YfqpUZUm6k pic.twitter.com/IqmXMPqQbV— New World (@playnewworld) July 17, 2023
"It's really cool because we have like a dynamic mixing system," Miclot says. "Things actually get ducked lower by that voice, like we use the term HDR - high dynamic range mixing, right? It's like we have little faders basically and when we crank up that voice, everything that is not as important just gets lowered."
The video also reveals that the Mykgaard dungeon was actually the first one where Finley actually worked alongside composers Ramin Djawadi (of Game of Thrones and Westworld fame) and Brandon Campbell to help create the music that worked well with the visuals.
As far as how the team uses its music to tell a story, especially in a dungeon, Sound Designer Tony Martinez And Miclot breaks down why it works so well in a dungeon versus the open world. Talking about the Nereid dungeon, the sound team talks about how the music and voices foreshadow what's to come and draw the player into the the dungeon itself.
"Yeah, that was also pretty cool about that dungeon where we use music to tell the story and build on the actual layers of it," Martinez added. "Like we just starting off with the, well, first siren calls and then building up to the music."
"That's something we can't do in the open world, where it's much harder because there's so many like random aspects that can happen at any moment," Miclot mentions as a follow-up.
"Because it's a dungeon, as you said at the beginning, it's more linear so we can create like a story."
You can check out the full discussion in the embed above. The Medleyfaire festival is happening now in the New World MMO, and it's focused on music. Players will unlock rewards by completing tasks and taking part in jam sessions with the various instruments that bring player music to the world of Aeternum. Last week the team talked about the music creation process for Brimstone Sands, specifically the latest Season's music that dropped this month.