The April’s Issue of Develop Magazine (Digital Edition) is available for download now. The audio section is featuring an article with audio manager and composer Matt Black and lead sound designer Richard Blackley about the audio mix of “Dead to Rights: Retribution“.
Dead to Rights: Retribution is a Noir-ish ground-up reinvention of the classic franchise in which you experience the origins of vice cop Jack Slate and his faithful, albeit deadly, canine sidekick. There’s fighting a-plenty with ‘seamlessly integrated combat’ allowing you to freely switch between gunplay, brawling and use of your AI mutt, Shadow.
Audio-wise, it’s quite simply the largest production undertaken by Mssrs Black and Blackley – in scope of content, size of team, supporting technology and budget, featuring as it does a cast of actors recorded in LA and a one-and-a-half hour music score, the orchestral aspects of which were laid down at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.
With the immensity of the task before them, the team chose to integrate the FMOD audio engine with extensive in-house world editor code. Sounds could be positioned in real-time while game-connected and relevant replay and DSP parameters tweaked with immediate in- game auditioning. Explains Blackley: “You don’t really know if something works until you hear it in context so implementing sound live in the game really upped our productivity, and we were able to mix as we went along. We’re using a lot of run-time DSP for environmental FX and also for creative FX like when the player’s taking damage (we pretty much filter out everything).