Stellaris Dev Diary #48 - Roar! & Boom!

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Metal King

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Long time no seen interstellar explores!

It’s time for me to make another entry about the Sound Design & Music (Jazzhole will write about his music). We want to write about our thoughts and what kind of direction we wanted to go with the music and sound design. But I also want to take the opportunity some of the improvements that will be included in Heinlein.

Sound Design:

Cuteness and Roar in space?!

When I first learned that we were going to create all the grand Guardians in the game my first thought was: “Time to sound even bigger!”. Not only should you notice that grand size of these Guardian by graphics, you should hear the sheer size of these mysterious beings.

If we are going to create big and awesome Dragon in space, you can bet that I’ll really excited to create audio assets. And now it was my time to shine as a VO artist! I wanted to try out my “inner beast” voice. It was great fun but I needed to a lot of test recordings and iterations before I could get the right voice. But I’m pleased with the result and I think that you as a player will hear and notice the Dragon whenever you’re in the same system.


But not only creating audio for when the Dragon is roaring I needed also create assets for when it’s breathing and flying around. *insert your joke about <there is no sound in space> here

As some of you have noticed we’re going to release cute Phenotype portraits along in Story Pack. If they are going to look cute they better sound cute as well! This was a bigger challenge than I thought since I’m used to create more “morbid” audio (I’m looking at you Crusader Kings 2). Since I don’t have such a “cute” voice I got help from coworkers who was very eager to help me creating fitting greetings sound.


Boom! Swoosh! More is More!

During the summer I got a opportunity to read feedback from game journalist, you guys, people in Reddit and so on. There was a lot of good praises on the Sound Design (Thanks a lot!) and especially the music, but I felt that there was headroom for improvement in the soundscape and mix of the game. So during the summer when most of my co-workers were on vacation I started to revisit all audio assets in the game. Now we’re talking about VO, Ambient, SFX and where I made some of the largest improvements: Combat!

To give you guys a reminder here is a video clip with the old combat SFX and mix:


In the last DD that was about Sound Design I mentioned:

But it is easy to forget that the sound effects needs to be consistent with the overall feeling so we didn’t want to go too “Michael Bay” on the sound effects (or just only a few times).

Well after seeing some feedback and not been listening to the mix for a while I realized that the Combat SFX needed more “Michael Bay”. So I started to give all weapons more “attack” and “umphf” whenever they were firing. I also went in the to mix to adjust the volume so there would be better balance from when you are view the space battle from a distance or what to admire the destruction close by.

Not only balancing and mixing I also got the chance to create new weapon SFX since we have created new “XL” weapon types, so I wanted them sound -even- larger than everything else. So the big challenge was to create even bigger sounding weapons in a game there the battles sounds a lot already. And not only that, I needed as well create SFX for Titan Laser which is insanely big and powerful (one shots Battleships).

But enough talking! Here is a video on the space combat will sound after the patch:


Of course there is a bunch more that I have done with the audio, but I’ll let you explore that on your own when we have released the patch and Story Pack.

Music:

Hi there, I am Jazzhole aka Andreas Waldetoft and I am the Senior Music Composer at Paradox.

I was kinda blown away with the response to the vanilla Stellaris Soundtrack and coming back making more music for Leviathans was even more fun and inspiring.

We had already laid the groundwork for the Stellaris atmosphere and mood. Our thoughts was that it should still be that Stellaris style of music, but with a clear emphasis on what Leviathans are all about. That is darker, mystic, bigger, louder, more uptempo and a bit more attitude.

When I studied music there was always this “less is more”, well this time we went with “more is more” which has become mine and Audio Director Björn’s go-to phrases when we just want to go over the top.

The track I want to share with you today is called Dragon Breath. It starts a bit unorthodox with my favourite ⅞ time signature and most of the instruments panned to the right. But when the Dragon finishes his roar and shows himself the sonic landscape widens to fill all of it.


Next week we will talk about new portraits and graphics changes.
 
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MrNibbles

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Metal King

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Awesome dragon roar, I look forward to hear that in-game.

Will each species have its own sound, based on their type and appearance within their group?

Different Phenotypes has their own "Greetings Sound" and different species such as Crystal Entites, Void Clouds and more has their own sound in the game.
 
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Metal King

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Wow, more sounds & music! I really like Andreas' STs and I think the Stellaris ST is his best one. Just one question, how many songs will be included in the Leviathans pack? And btw, fully agree with "More is more" motto! :)

Sometimes "More is More" is a wonderful concept.
 
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Zoft

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Just to be perfectly clear (I hope people are trolling...), I don't care that it is unrealistic that you can hear the dragon roar. It is a dragon in space... Don't you think that I as the project lead would have objected against that primarily?
 
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Jazzhole

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Andreas and Kuma-Kun, you are both godlike when it comes to the audio in the game.

Just a question, if you own the Stellaris Soundtrack on Steam, will you get the new songs?

Thank you!

I'm not sure yet if you will get the new songs if you own the soundtrack on steam. I hope so...I will ask those that handles such things.
 
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Metal King

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Perhaps it may be because I am a "melómano" (music lover), but the new songs in Leviathans are absolutely wonderful and give a totally different atmosphere to the game that fits like a glove in the Alexis Kennedy´s hands. You have created a really good piece of art.

Thank you for your kind words! We put in a lot of effort for this music pack and it's great to hear that you appreciate it so much! :)