The October’s issue of Developer Magazine is now available in the official website. This time, our beloved “Heard About” section includes an article about the sound of Crackdown 2, with Kristofor Mellroth, who we interviewed some days ago.
When Kristofor Mellroth enrolled at music recording school in 1995, he probably never dreamt that in just a few year’s time he’d be heading up as huge and complex video game audio production employing a plethora of US and UK talent.
Mellroth came to games via boom operating, film sound mixing, working as a temp tech repairing original Xbox devkits and going on the road with Seamus Blackley as demo guy. In fact, an eclectic combination of technical, creative and business experience set him up perfectly for his current audio directorial role at Microsoft within an audio team deadly serious about excellence. No surprise then that his last Crackdown project scooped a BAFTA.
Mellroth’s strong passion and high commitment are self-evident as he enthuses about Crackdown 2’s audio: “I felt we could improve over CD1 making something even more memorable. A special focus was the authoring environment – I wanted ‘best in class’ tools. Using Audiokinetic’s Wwise middleware turned out one of our best early decisions and we pushed it to the max using Soundseed Air and Whoosh a great deal. It’s a big part of why the game sounds the way it does. Competition in the middleware market works to all our benefit and we have no specific mandate about tech but as a concept, audio middleware makes a lot of sense to me – fully featured right out of the box with a solution that would take years to develop from scratch. New features come online as you make your game and your audio programmers can look at game features and not get bogged down in tech support.”
Mellroth’s team used straightforward logic in scripting extensively within the audio tools to achieve a vast amount of detail in replay, with the setting up of switches and real-time parameter controls enabling them to interpret sound triggers accompanied with additional game state/event/character information – all in complex ways using conditional audio choices – and all within the sound designer’s remit and technical control.