Game Audio – UDK Sound Design Demo
As a game audio professional I needed to show off some sound design, so I decided to create this level in UDK with the help of 3DBuzz.com tutorials. This gave me the opportunity to not only create a playable game audio demo, but it doubled as a way for me to learn the UDK software. All of my prior experience with game audio had been with 3rd party API’s, such as Wwise, FMOD, and XACT, so this was a fresh experience for me and I learned a lot.
I started by replacing all of the sound effects for the Rocket Launcher, Link Gun, and Shock Rifle. I used the existing sound cues for these weapons and had them reference the new sounds I had created and imported into the project. Opening the existing sound cues in UDK’s sound cue editor let me see exactly how the sounds were worked into the UDK game.
The Link Gun was the first gun I worked on, as it is the default gun you spawn with in the level. I mixed and matched a ton of different library electrical sounds, some synthesized white noise, and a small explosion to get the final sound for the primary fire. The sound is mostly characterized by the white noise I synthesized to sound like a classic “laser gun.” The secondary fire was made from several looping electrical files as well as some small servo sounds to accompany the animation of the gun opening up and closing.
The Rocket launcher is made with a ton of servo and gun foley sounds edited and mixed together to sell the complex animations that make up this awesome gun. I used several explosion sounds and steam bursts to make up the firing and rocket explosions.
The Shock Rifle was made with thunder cracks, electrical static, and more servo sounds with a lot of pitch bending. The primary fire is made from thunder and electrical explosion sounds. The secondary fire was characterized by servo sounds being pitched up over time while the combo explosion had a large explosion sound mixed with some decaying electrical static to match the particle effect that lingers after the explosion.
A mixture of drone loops, industrial fan noise, and light hums make up the overall ambience you hear throughout the level no matter where you are. Ambiences that are attached to objects in 3D space include some steam and water pipe loops attached to the water heater-looking static mesh in the first room immediately to the left of where the player spawns and some dishwasher sound loops attached to the couple biohazard looking tanks with a control panel connected directly across from the water heaters. The back room has two large generators that have some industrial machine loops and electrical buzzing sounds attached and the two water tanks to the left of the door have some low pass filtered bubbling water loops.
The footstep cue associated with the player has 20 randomized concrete boot footsteps, 10 gear/cloth foley whooshes, and two low end boom-y footsteps. The cue plays one sound from each category randomly to make up the entire footstep cue. The jump and land sounds have concrete boot jump scuffs and land impacts as well as gear rustle foley. I used my own voice for all of the player grunts accompanied with the double jump, dodge, and land (only plays when landing from higher level fall).
Mechanical Gate, Reverb Zone, and Front End Sounds
The mechanical gate uses a kismet trigger to play a matinee animation as well as some chain link fence and mechanical switch sounds. The fence has four separate sounds made up of closing, opening, fully closed, and fully opened. I created a reverb zone for the back room with the vaulted ceiling that includes a large delay to make the room feel large. I also put in some cool sci-fi-ish interface sounds I designed into the game menus.