"The Sound of Monument Valley"

All things gaming. From design to implementation.
Post Reply
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 412
Joined: June 6th, 2013, 4:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Sound Designer

"The Sound of Monument Valley"

Post by MikeQuell » June 13th, 2014, 9:28 am

“I started out creating background ambiences based on realistic sounds – and this extended to my approach for materials, say stone-dragging sounds for large slabs of marble sliding against each other, but over a period we realised I was chasing my tail a bit... I was looking for better, smoother material sounds and more perfect ambience, but it became apparent that something more abstract was needed, including sounds with musical tonality.

“The result was that both individual object sounds and the ambient backdrop became very musical – and the more we went on, the less we found we wanted audio realism. Once this principle was established, it completely unlocked my design approach so that I could focus on the mood of each chapter in the journey, and how the story was being told. It became a much more artistic kind of approach.”

Conscious that he was now moving from his usual pure sound design role into the realm of music writing, Bawler turned to his trusty vintage hardware synths for inspiration – a Yamaha A4000 sampler, a Roland JX3P, a JV2080, and a Wardolf Blofeld, and in doing so, whether by accident or design, gave Monument’s audio a distinct sonic identity.

Bawler adds: “The Blofeld is a very flexible wave table synth – almost like a modular synth. Known for its idiosyncrasies, it can create complex tones and fluctuations that aren’t necessarily under your control, but I quite like the unpredictability! In-game, we have a soundscape bed, on top of which, many small musical elements and stings are triggered as you interact with objects and solve puzzles. All this content shares the same instrument sets so you’ve got this amazing interactive experience with all these rotating and slide-able and drag-able objects that play musical notes as you manipulate them, including a clever system of arpeggios programmed by UsTwo, the musical sequences of which are generated at run-time to play back a set of musical samples in memory which are in tune with, and blend with, the backdrop audio. I edited the sounds and musical elements using Sound Forge and Vegas and we integrated them into the game using Tazman’s Fabric plug-in for game engine Unity. We were able to run the most recent build of the game and manipulate and edit the audio in real-time using Fabric.

Read the whole article here: http://www.audiomedia.com/games/0007/th ... alley/1177

User avatar
Critical Listener
Posts: 11
Joined: April 15th, 2014, 9:07 am
Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Re: "The Sound of Monument Valley"

Post by chagelskjaer » November 14th, 2014, 2:09 pm

Just recently played Monument Valley - and I must say I really enjoyed that musical approach. Apart from the game itself, which, of course, is pretty mindblowingly beautiful and weird.

Post Reply