Unpacking, the critically-acclaimed indie game, contains over 14,000 different sound effects to replicate the realism of the hundreds of different in-game objects interacting.
In a Twitter thread, Sanatana Mishra, founder and designer of Witch Beam, the studio behind Unpacking, quote tweeted a video showcasing the interactions between objects in the game. Despite only using an air freshener a wide array of sounds can be produced.
Mishra clarified that there isn’t just a sound for each interaction but also unique sounds for different speeds of interaction. “Audio design like this is invisible when it’s done right, and takes literal years of work. But if it was wrong, you’d feel it immediately.”
There are over 14,000 foley wav files in unpacking. https://t.co/F6CAsSq41z
— Sanatana Mishra (@SanatanaMishra) November 4, 2021
Speaking to NME, Mishra praised the work of programmer, Tim Dawson, creative director, Wren Brier, and sound designer, Jeff van Dyck.
The need for precise sound design “was immediately apparent to Jeff. I remember even in the early days of the project he was planning out how the interactions should sound in order for everything to feel satisfying, correct, and playful. Wren had put such care into the art and design detail, Tim had done an amazing job with the physical interactions and placement, the three of them were adamant it was the kind of experience where any detail being out of place could pull you out of the emotional space they wanted players to be in.”
In our review, Alan Wen praised Unpacking as “one of the best surprises of the year.” He described the game as taking “a simple and relatable task and turning it into a meditative and cosy experience that makes the art of environmental storytelling interactive.”