Sound Design

Vertical Slice

Vertical Slice is an arcade platform puzzle game where the player takes the role of Tatsuo. The goal of the game is to reach the roof tops of the city by utilizing blocks falling from the sky. The game itself is really fast paced and requires a lot of multitasking since you have to control Tatsuo and at the same time place the falling blocks.

The city is placed in a futuristic cyberpunk world, so the atmosphere is really digital and glitchy which was just perfect for my personal aesthetics for music. For this game I decided to make use of the middleware Wwise by Audiokinetic for several reasons. For one, although the game is an arcade game, one round can take quit a long time, so it was necessary to make the background music loopable, but not repetitive. The background music consists of several parts, like percussion, a bass line, synthetic pads and a melody line. Each part is available in multiple variations. Every time the loop plays, one variation of each part is selected at random. This way, every loop sounds different without changing the general mood of the music.

While the player tries to build a way up to the top, he is also being chased by an entity called "the void". To build up the pressure, the game designer asked me to give an acoustic feedback of the proximity of the void. So I designed a synthetic bass line, that sounds really distorted and destructive but plays well with the rest of the background music. The closer the void gets to the player the louder this bass line gets.

Another special thing I used for this project where the sounds, when the player destroys some of the blocks. It was requested for these events to sound digital and glitchy as this is the aesthetics of this game. I thought, the best way to get a sound that sounds like a digital software was destroyed, was to actually destroy a software. For this, I used some of my own software code and changed the header file of the executable to be recognised by an OS as an audio file and this was all that was necessary to produces these glitchy sounds which perfectly hit the requirements of the game designer.

The game is available on itch for free.

Pew Pew Battle Colloseum

Pew Pew Battle Colloseum is an extremely fast paced multiplayer combat area shooter. Up to 4 players can play locally, and the screen is static, so the whole area can get really crowded. But there is one special thing about this game, that makes it really hard to play: The characters don't move just by moving the joystick. Per default, the characters fall down, obeying the laws of gravity. To move the character, the player has to utilise the recoil of their guns. And if that wasn't already hard enough: every now and then, one of the walls of the area is removed and replaced with a laser, that on touch kills the player, so it is impossible to just crouch in a corner and wait to win.

For this game we did not use a middleware since the programmers already created their own randomisation engine. To make the gameplay appear even more chaotic and intense a whole variety of sounds was necessary. Therefore the background music was really quiet and just there to fill out the void in between. On the other hand, the sounds where pretty loud and upfront.

Every character of the game has its own special weapon. The game designer wanted this to be reflected in the soundscape. For this reason, every character got its own set of sounds for their weapons.

The game is available on itch for free.

Disclaimer: The music that plays during the trailer was NOT written by me.

Planetary Excavation Workforce

Planetary Excavation Workforce (P.E.W) is a local mutliplayer top down shooter. The players form a team and it is their task to land on a monster infested planet and clean out a certain area to setup a beacon.

For this project again I decided to make use of the middleware Wwise. As for the monsters, the game designer wanted them to make random noises not only when they attack or are being attacked, but also when they are just idling so the players may have a chance to hear them before the actual encounter. I created some basic sounds to have a set for a language the monsters communicated in. Depending on the situation, this voice set was manipulated and layered with other sounds.

The game goes from being somewhat tense, when the team is not in a battle but constantly on the edge and just waiting to be attacked to being realy crowded, chaotic and dangerous when there is an actual fight. The game designer wanted that to be represented in the music. There are three separate parts for the music that play one during exploration, another as a warning for combat and the third during a fight. Depending on the situation these parts fade seamlessly and loop. Every loop consists of several music- and melody parts that play at random and extend the range of the tensity and variety.

The game is available on itch for free.