Why sound designers must focus on realism

In focus: Operation Flashpoint’s audio

Today’s Heard About feature takes a look at the audio design in the Codemasters-developed military game Operation Flashpoint, offering some fascinating insights into how the sound team built a realistic backdrop to the popular shooter.

“Variation is vital or the realism spell gets broken very quickly," proposed audio designer Jethro Dunn. "That’s why we spent a lot of time experimenting with the sound of the wind, creating a dynamically changing envelope that enables a mere 28 seconds of assets to cover 14 hours’ gameplay. It sounds very different depending on the player character’s height above sea level and whether or not they are facing into the wind. I defy anyone to hear the joins.”

In the feature, which looks at how Dunn and his colleagues pursued realism as watchword to ensure they avoided ‘Hollywood-ised’ sound effects, the Codemasters audio team also shed light on the way they tie voice acting dynamically to the events unfolding in the gameplay.

“The choice from pools of speech clips performed at various intensities is hooked to three game states, stealth, normal and high tension, from whispering to heat-of-the-battle barks. We also hook into the morale system covering postivity through general well-being to injured status," revealed audio manager John Davies (pictured). "Marines are trained to believe they’re invincible so it’s a real shock for them to get hit and suddenly face their mortality."

Click here to read the full feature.

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