0 A.D. Audio Development I signed on as Sound Designer for this Historical RTS currently in production at WildFireGames called 0 A.D. ("zero ay-dee") in March of 2005.
If this is your first time here, you can start at the beginning, and then work your way forward though the archive links. -------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Diversion - Interface SFX
Interface SFX

The sound of tactile feedback, an interactive response that adds an audio cue to an executed command, sometimes directly related to the action, other times at odds. The sound of the user interface alive and kicking out the jams, making it's presence known.
It is at once, the most immediate and also the most subliminal aspect of intense gaming, subtle at times and grating at others.
Finding our way towards the perfect synergy between alarming and soothing, matching the theme of the game with the commonality of sound, this is the task at hand.

Anyone who has played for long periods knows the incessant beeping announcements that go along with a well oiled campaign. Alert: your troops have been attacked, By the Way: that civ center you were building is done, Forgot to Mention: your city has been destroyed...whether you like them or not, they are signposts on the road to pillaging!
Leading the charge in this difficult challenge, is none other than the fearless Carsten Rojahn, champion of justice and maker of exquisite sounds.

We have here for you today an opportunity for you to voice your opinion on what it is about the various alerts, alarms, and announcements that will riddle your 0.A.D. experience with meaningful information.

Provided by Carsten are a few examples with which to whet your taste for Interface Sound Effects:
Straight Synthesized Announcements/Alerts : NO VO
Announcement/Alert : WITH Male VO
Announcement/Alert : WITH Female VO

These examples were provided as referance for the kind of thinking we had been doing over here. The VO was done ONLY to stir your juices and gather some feedback. Any VO work to be done will be in the future by the hired voice talent.

I put the following questions to the team, and summarized their responses below:

Things to consider and feedback to us on:
1. Sythetic vs. "Real"

We will need several different "types" of alerts that should be easily distinguished. The initial thinking is that these will be made up of synthetic noises specific to each "type" of alarm. (i.e. Type = Attack, Alert, Resource Completed, etc...)
"Real" sounds could be used in some instances, but have been heard in most games already. There is the possibilty for blending.

Response from the team:
As long as sounds dont pull the player out of the action/themematic cornerstone of the game, synthesized is ok. Bonus points for incorporating organic elements.

2. To VO or not to VO: that is the question?
With so many different kinds of alerts, should a specific announcement immediately follow a "type" of alarm? (i.e. bling: "Your city is destroyed")
Should it be in civ specific language? (i.e. bling: ROMAN " Your city is destroyed", or bling: IBERIAN " Your city is destroyed")

Response from the team:
Localisation issues, repetitveness/annoyance, and brain processing time working against regular VO.
Civ specific notification, female preffered are possibilities to consider in certain instances.

3. What things have you liked/ not liked about other RTS interface experiences?

Response from the team:
Slight variations on the same FX to add diversity.
"Easy on the Ear" for often used UI sounds.

Thanks to all and if YOU have some suggestions, keep em' coming!


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