Team Interview! Audio Designer – Creating emotion and realism in sound design
Creating an emotionally impactful theme that is cinematic and gritty, while still respecting the military context of a historical action game is one of the most challenging aspects of composing the music for Atrocity: Field of Hands (FoH), says the game’s Audio Designer & Voice Director Alex Gobbett.
“It’s not just about the guns – there’s also this great story to tell. And after all, the series is called Atrocity. We want to capture the true horror of conflict and the consequences of decisions that are made. The game is designed to take you through a range of emotions, and the music needs to reflect that.”
At the same time, a demanding part of his job at Cold Furnace is focused on getting the sounds of those guns just right. That means a lot of back and forth with the company’s Military Advisors, refining and tweaking gunshot reports and other sounds of war to create true-to-life, realistic audio effects.
“Much of this aspect of the job becomes more technical and precise, getting the right sound that the Military Advisors are looking for to make things realistic as possible,” says Alex. “Then there’s building ambiance into the game, which is a more creative process. All those small sounds and details that breathe life into the player experience and make it really immersive.”
With Atrocity: FoH’s first episode due to launch next summer, a new team of voice actors, sourced from around-the-world talent, is also busy getting into character under Alex’s direction.
This 10-year veteran of sound and music design is juggling quite a bit right now to realize the subtle and not-so-subtle sounds and effects that will set so much of the mood in Cold Furnace’s debut game. But he has high expectations.
“When I read the story and met the management and design team developing this, I knew it was going to be awesome. I’ve been looking for a project like this for a long time.”
Alex, who is based in Wales, has a Master’s Degree in Advanced Sound Production and has worked on a variety of projects, from solo composition writing to sound production for UK bands and audio design and music for short films and digital entertainment. His first video game gig was for The Lord Of The Rings: The One Ring Facebook game. He recently completed a number of films including the sci-fi short, The Lord Inquisitor, and the feature length post-apocalyptic drama, The Last Boy. He has also worked alongside many YouTube businesses to write and design music and soundscapes for their content, including Mini War Gaming. Additional work includes the sound design and mix for a number of fantasy and sci-fi audio dramas by Games Workshop.