Slowmo Showdown

Sound design for a kinect game

KnapNok Games offered me to make sound design to the computer game Slowmo Showdown. The game is a kinect game and it is played by one or two players. The two players can shoot fireballs at each other and try avoid the ones coming from the opponent. That’s the basics of the game. The twist is that the players can only move in slowmotion speed.

A single section of the music in the game had already been composed by someone else, so I had to go with that genre (dubstep, sigh!). So, what I did was this: more music + game sounds.

The music
I wanted to make the music more dynamic so I composed multiple sections with multiple intensity variations. This way we were able to connect the different sections of the music to different damage situations. One example of that is that the music starts with a section without any rythm. the second one of the palyers receives their first fireball damage the beat kicks in. Another example is when both players are very close to dying – the music changes to a sort of an epic piece with a lush synthesizer lead. Other than that, the intensity of the music pretty much follows the damage level of either of the players. It’s a pretty simple way to connect the players’ feeling of danger to the music – simple but effective.

The sound design
I did lots of damage sounds, interface sounds, cut scene sounds, etc.
I was told that the damage sounds should be something like from an 80’s movie, but the scenery is pretty futuristic and serious. So, the result sits right in between being powerful/dramatic and plain silly. This description more or less fits the overall sound design. Serious and dramatic in the music, but sometimes quite silly in the something which fits.

Making the sound 
I like to challenge myself when making sound design. I usually do this by choosing not to make any of the sounds from other than something that I recorded. This makes it so much more difficult, but also so much more fun. It really feels like a detective/sculpting job when I try to find a proper recording that can then be transformed into something useful.

Examples of the origins of a sound:

  • A ‘snapshot’ sound when a player chooses the look of the character
    = a can being opened
  • A part of the shooting sound
    = Bottle machine in Irma
  • A low pitched part of the shooting sound
    = dogs howling in Greenland
  • All of the little sounds from when a player chooses the look of the character
    = recordings from Game Development Camp 2012 in Odense – thanks to the participants!
  • The wobble bass of some of the music sections
    = chairs being moved on a concrete floor

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