Alan Wake is one of my favorite games of this year. This dark story really intrigued me. The sound work is also fascinating, and for that, here are a couple of thoughts from Alan Rankin (Soundelux), sound design supervisor of the game.
Supervising Sound Designer and Academy Award-nominee Alan Rankin headed a team of sound designers who, under the direction of Microsoft Game Studios Audio Director Mark Yeend, helped create the spooky atmosphere of the game, widely hailed by critics as the year’s best new release. In its review, Video Gamer magazine called the game’s soundtrack, which also features a score by renowned Finnish composer Petri Alanko, “one of the best and most memorable I’ve ever heard in a video game.”
“Alan Wake” looks and feels more like a supernatural action film than a conventional video game, as players accompany the title character as he tries to locate his missing wife. Alice has mysteriously vanished during their trip to the idyllic small town of Bright Falls in the Pacific Northwest which is populated with authenticly strange and quirky locals.
The sound design created by Rankin, Sound Designer Brad Beaumont and the rest of the DMG crew helps the game attain a cinematic, richness and depth to help draw players through the innumerable plot twists. “The game offered a lot of chances to build creepy, otherworldly ambiences, environments, and in-game sound effects,” recalls Rankin. “There is a real story to be told and the sound design helps immerse the player in that narrative.”
We are currently working on an interview with Audio Director Mark Yeend. You’ll find it here very soon!