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From The Depths: Soma's Sound And Story

Next week, Frictional’s Soma [official site] will finally be available. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is five years old and surely everyone is ready for another round of the first-person frighteners? I’ve already played a fairly large chunk of the game and will have a review ready for you before launch, so you can trust me when I say that the “story trailer” below has been carefully edited so as not to spoil any major parts of the story. There’s an awful lot going on.

It’s worth noting that if you plan to go in absolutely cold and have somehow avoided any information about even the basic themes or setting of the game, you should run away now. The video does contain scenes from the first couple of hours but some of the context has been intentionally left out of the picture.

I found a new devblog post by heroically-named audio director Samuel Justice more interesting than the trailer. He discusses the challenges that arise when designing audio for a game about reality and perception set at the bottom of the ocean.

“…we introduced a new system which was never given a formal name, but we’ll call it the room size system for now. What this allows us to do is read how large a room is and play content relative to the size of the space – one prime example is the player’s own sounds. A recent tweet went out saying that SOMA featured over 2000 footstep sounds, and this is due to the room size system. Instead of recording a bunch of footsteps on various surfaces, our foley artist Tapio Liukkonen actually went out and scouted for interesting-sounding locations of varying size.”

Here’s some recording in action:

I’m fascinated by foley work and the whole post, with photos, is a great read. You should also watch Berberian Sound Studio.

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Adam Smith

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