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.

5 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    Man I love foley work. It’s so fascinating yet ridiculous at the same time. The idea that the majority of sound effects we hear are actually people just knocking pots and pans together or rattling keys just tickles me in all the right places.

  2. Pink Gregory says:

    I remember being particularly impressed by the sounds of footsteps on snow in Penumbra Overture. Lovely crunch.

  3. KDR_11k says:

    No, no no. From The Depths is a different game.

  4. felisc says:

    As a fellow sound designer, I envy them for the opportunity of exploring so much underwater sounds. Often hydrophones are just used for rare circumstantial sounds or for the kick of the different sound material they provide, it seems they found plenty of use for them here and went… I really can’t wait to hear what they did :) quite curious how the monsters audio will be handled too.

  5. golem09 says:

    Nobody should watch Berberian Sound Studio, ever.It’s a 2 minute short film stretched out two feature length.