Interview – How Do They Make The Sounds in Diablo 3?


There’s a good interview up on KillScreen Daily with Diablo 3 sound designer Joseph Lawrence in which he discusses how they created the sounds in the game and the lengthy, and sometimes rather messy process, they had to undertake. Sound guys have to be inventive and I think we take audio for granted when we play games, it must be fustrating when you just can’t quite nail that skeleton rattling sound or the squish of a mob exploding. Here’s a snip:

I played as Witch Doctor, so I think a lot of my favorite sounds are those really gushy explosions. How did you get those?

Well when we started this game, we all knew that we were going to need an absolutely metric ton of gushy, gooey, squishy sounds. ‘Cause that kind of stuff is everywhere in the game. Over the years we’ve done numerous sessions for those—we’ve put our hands in giant vats of yogurt, glue. One particularly disgusting session that just lookedhorrible by the time we got done was this pile of stuff I’d been manipulating with my hands—it started off as bits of spaghetti, then I mixed in some yogurt [and] chocolate sauce; I think there were some packing peanuts. All these different liquids have a different viscosity and way they sound sticky. We used all manner of vegetables; by the time it was done there was this big pile of disgusting brown goo. There was even a New York steak at the bottom of it that I was slapping against to make splat sounds.

Read the full interview. Out of interest, what’s your favourite Diablo 3 sound?

Thanks Fmulder for the tip.

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  1. The baskets of skulls found throughout the Halls of Agony make the sweetest clunking sound when they hit the ground.

  2. Some of the smaller monsters when they go “Rha!”

  3. I wish I got paid to squeeze stuff

  4. I have the master volume turned down to zero.

  5. I don’t know if I’d call it a “favorite” but there’s a background noise I call the “whiny meow demon” that plays a lot in Act 1. It always gets my attention because I have a cat who makes a sound very much like that when she feels like she’s been waiting too long for me to feed her. The first few times it played I actually looked around thinking it was her and was surprised to find her still peacefully asleep. 🙂

  6. I love the sound of destroying a khazra drum.

  7. Absolutely the sound of daibos and staves hitting the ground!! My friend and I had a goofy giggling session the first time we heard one drop.

  8. I dunno if this counts but the male Witch Doctor’s “Bbr-rrr-raap!” when casting some spells.

  9. I like the sound of exploding elites.

    ….now I’m wondering whether there was a bowl of spaghetti involved.

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