In the middle of the long thread about Plague of Toads, Bashiok digressed into a discussion of how the sound effects are produced for Blizzard games. It’s interesting stuff, but so divorced from the content of the rest of that thread that I thought a separate post would serve it best.
I’m happy that you often mention sounds with skills, though. That is a very, very important aspect of any skill in any game. I hope to hear more about that soon. (pardon the pun).
I know I probably won’t since game companies tend to gloss over sound creation and highlighting those features but it is very important, as was mentioned in some thread about the sound the health globes make. Distinctive and unmistakable is key.
Bashiok: I would love! to have a dedicated feature just to the sound engineering that goes into the game. It’s truly amazing how much of an abilities power and feeling comes from the audio.
Jay had an anecdote at … the last BlizzCon I think, where he talked about seismic slam. It was one of if not the first barbarian abilities created, actually first in the game entirely, and they were working on it and working on it, and just never really happy with it, and then one day the sound came back for it and they got it all working in game, and finally it all came together. It became this stunningly powerful feeling ability. I think that speaks volumes (nyuk nyuk) about how important sound is to the feeling of a game.
That same lesson is true through the development of the game. A new skills goes in and it seems awesome, it looks cool, but until you get the sound attached it just seems incomplete.
Just because a lot of the sounds are early renditions though, as amazing as they are, we’d need to make sure the audio engineers are far enough along where they’d want to showcase them. They’re perfectionists. So hopefully a sound feature is something we can do, but if I had to guess it won’t be for a while yet.
Do you know if Blizzard employees are still doing voice acting and sounds, too? That was always entertaining as well.
Bashiok: As far as I know we do all of our own foley work, and while we do have professional voice actors we have some employees that regularly lend their voices to the games.[/blue]