[Written by Rodney Gates for Designing Sound]
It seems perfectly fitting that with the Star Wars films being such an influence for me as a Sound Designer, when the opportunity came up to become the Lead on “Clone Wars Adventures”, a joint venture between Sony Online Entertainment and Lucasarts, it was hard to resist.
Hit the Ground Running
When I started on the game, it was just a month away from its official prototype milestone. Yikes! Except for a couple of temp blaster shots playing in a tower defense minigame, the rest of it was completely void of sound. Plenty to do as I was the only one working on it.
I quickly became acquainted with Christopher Denman and Darragh O’Farrell over at Lucasarts, who began providing assets to me. Now, there is a level of excitement associated with this as original, digitized recordings of a lot Ben Burtt’s work came across the FTP. To be able to listen to the raw power window servo recordings that are the basis of R2-D2 & C-3PO’s movement in the films, or some of the lightsaber elements in their raw form was priceless. When I got R2 rolling around in the game, chirping away, that simple moment felt full-circle for me. I just sat back and smiled.
So, with a little bit of luck and some ridiculous temp voiceover, everything made it in by the December 19th prototype date – to a resounding success. The team knocked it out of the park!
Now here was the rub. This game had to launch the same week as Season 3’s premiere, which was the following September. Less than a year of development time? I wasn’t sure it could happen. Then again, it was a very different and ultimately simpler game than “Transformers: War For Cybertron”, which only had an 18-month cycle, so I wondered.
The holidays came and went and shortly thereafter things became quite busy…too busy for one person to continue handling. When June rolled around, I became San Diego’s Audio Director, so I immediately changed the way our local team was split up and immediately threw everyone onto the game. The three of us managed to get all of the sound, music editing, and dialog recorded and in for the September deadline, even while my wife and I were busy having our second baby the same week. Talk about pressure!
“Clone Wars Adventures” was one of the best-produced projects SOE has had to date, hitting all of its milestones easily and pleasing everyone at both Sony and Lucasarts. It continues to rise in popularity week after week, keeping in lock-step with the series as it airs.