Sound Design

Sonoria: Vaz’kin’rai – Binaural Tabletop Ambiences

As part of my Animancer tabletop publishing endeavours, I produced a collection of free soundscapes and audio effects for use with my most recent release. I produced three fully loopable ambiences in both binaural and stereo mixes, as well as a collection of five sound effects, all designed to bring the adventure to life sonically.

All three binaural ambiences are available on the Animancer YouTube channel.

Honours Project: JVerb Dynamic Reverb System v1

For my final year Honours Project I created a dynamic reverb system for Unreal Engine 4, JVerb, demonstrated below. The system works in real-time and is based on ray-traced geometric acoustics, modelling specular and diffuse early reflections, late reverberation, air and material absorption effects, occlusion, and diffraction. This version of the system is implemented in UE4 blueprints and functions dynamically without any input from the sound designer, building on the core Unreal audio pipeline and removing the need to create audio volumes and reverb presets, as well as allowing reverberation to react to changes in the environment in real-time.

I produced v1 of JVerb in 12 weeks and while the system is too performance intensive to see real use, it functions as a proof of concept that I’m proud of and look forward to building on in the future.

Games Sound Design 2 Main Coursework

The video below shows my submission for my final year game sound module, Games Sound Design 2. This module was focused on using middleware for audio implementation (FMOD). The university partnered with Polish studio Beffio to use their City Tour assets, and we were tasked with designing a game around that theme, and doing sound design for it. This aspect of the brief was left quite open, so I created a game where you must break out of a dystopian “Treason Rehabilitation Simulation” by finding irregularities and glitches.

Every sound in the video below is one I recorded (or produced synthetically using Serum, for example), and I did all the writing and voice acting in the game. The game makes extensive use of variables and the sound design is a lot more player-reactive than the Games Sound 1 coursework. Here’s some highlights:

  • Horace’s dialogue, and the irregularities, are panned binaurally. Horace is panned pseudorandomly around the player’s head to give him a sinister feel, as if he’s right by the player’s ear. Panning the irregularities binaurally is done to aid localisation, as the main game loop is finding and interacting with irregularities.
  • All vehicle sounds are complex and run by a variety of parameters. They vary with vehicle type, vehicle speed, and engine RPM on the vehicles that support it.
  • Music animates irregularities on each beat, and varies with game progress. In the freeroam section of the game a number of different musical instruments have a chance to be triggered that rises with game progress, so the music becomes more lively and energetic as the player approaches completion of their goal.

Overall I’m very pleased with the work I did for the module and the end result I achieved (receiving the highest grade in the module among my cohort), and loved the features and flexibility that working with FMOD provided me.

Games Sound Design 1 Main Coursework

The video below shows a playthrough of my main coursework completed for my Games Sound Design 1 module as part of my degree. The level was supplied with some programming and we were tasked with creating and implementing audio and music for the game. The sound effects in my submission are sourced partially from ones I recorded myself, and partially from online libraries. Other sounds (like steam, fire, and sparks) were implemented generatively through the UE4 modular synthesiser. The music is implemented entirely within UE4 and is generative, with instruments and tempo based on game progress. I also wrote and performed all the dialogue in the game.

My submission received a near-perfect grade and I remain proud of the work I did for it.