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Kris Giampa, sound director for Diablo IV, has explained some of the decisions and goals of the soundscape within the game. However, this doesn’t include music, which they do not want to go in-depth on just yet. Instead, the post focuses on ambient sound effects.
Giampa starts by explaining how sound is the invisible glue that supports storytelling in games. “A lot of the time it’s subtle, and other times it’s over the top, but always there to support the moment-to-moment gameplay.”
He also says that the experience shouldn’t be diminished for those who are hearing impaired. “we are taking measures to broaden the experience to be inclusive for people with hearing or visual disabilities. There are various accessibility features underway that we hope to talk about more in the future.”
One of the highlighted principles is the idea of randomness. In essence, every time something is heard, it should be slightly different and rarely listened to the same way twice in a row. Giampa goes into more detail in the post, with examples from various game areas.
“One of the most fun things about working on a Diablo game is the vast amount and variance of monsters that exist. This makes monsters ripe for both experimental and more traditional sound design, so let’s dig into some monster sound design for foley and voice,” he says.
Another goal for Diablo IV is “living audio”. This is the idea that a soundscape is constantly changing and is especially important for ambience. “Since the player might be in the open world for a large amount of time, we wanted to support each exterior region with unique-sounding environments that also include subtle changes to the audio mix over time,” Giampa explains.
Elsewhere, a new trailer for Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy introduces Cosmo the dog, who has changed a little since his time as a soviet cosmonaut.