*check out the new trailer! * With this post we would like to give some insight in the way we designed the audio for the game Cargo Commander. Let’s briefly look at the game’s objective…
The Cargo Commander is stuck at his job in outer space, obtaining cargo from drifting containers. He has to collect a certain amount of lost cargo before he’s allowed to return to his family on earth. Using a giant electromagnet, the Commander docks passing containers to his own, allowing him to embark these big deserted spaces to look for anything valuable. He faces many dangers on his mission; collapsing constructions, hostile robot guards and of course the sheer lack of both oxygen and gravity.
The first order of business for the audio team at Doppler was to create music that could function as a home beacon for the Cargo Commander. We needed a song to be heard all the time on the old fashioned transistor radio stationed at his home container.
We asked Misha Velthuis, singer and frontman of the Tunes, to draft up a bluesy tune for this purpose. The tune should lead the Commander back to his base, and at the same time fill his heart with home-sick nostalgia. Misha did a great job at this with Down the Drain.
We recorded the song with Misha on guitar and lead vocals and added additional (slide)guitars, double bass and percussion. Because the team kept on whistling the chorus all the time whilst on a break, we decided to record some of that as well.
After we mixed it all together, we mutilated the song with filters and drones to fit it in with the game’s solitary atmosphere. We created numerous variations for the different points in the story where the tune would be used.
Later on, we took apart different elements of the song and re-used them in the music we needed for the various containers featured in the game. We stretched out the vocals as far as we could and inverted and processed the guitars until they became barely recognizable. We also had our bass player play his instrument with all kinds of weird objects we found lying around.
We used the sound of junk material (wooden, metal and plastic objects banging on each other) to create some exciting percussion tracks. Different loops were created in multiple layers, allowing the intensity level to be raised or lowered following the game play.
In one of our most disturbing recording session yet we captured the sounds of the mutants and the profane outcries of the Cargo Commander. We were amazed at the huge variety at which our voice actor could shout out the f- word – and so were our studio’s neighbors.
Game development by Serious Brew.