We had a chat with Rob about what goes into creating audio for Good Vibes - the awesome social currency in our game!
🎤 Rob, how did you approach making the sounds for Good Vibes?
Well, before I start making noises, I have to think about what I'm making them for. What's the purpose and what are the challenges?
For Good Vibes, I had these thoughts: I wanted them to sound satisfying when you grab a bunch of them. I love the sound of collecting logs, so I wanted to recreate that feeling.
They couldn't sound too much like logs, because you can collect both at the same time, so they had to be distinct. Good Vibes are a reward for being social, which is one of the coolest things about Sunshine Days. So they had to sound special!
Good Vibes are also a way of expressing yourself in the game, without words. I wanted them to have some personality and melody, not just be a generic UI sound (like "beeps", "boops", "pops").
With that in mind, I started experimenting! The first thing was to find the right voice or instrument. I chose a mix of a Sweepscape pad, which gives a glassy and full "bong" kind of sound, and a vibraphone, which adds some sweetness to the high notes. 🎵
For the actual vibe collect sound, I made lots of quick rising triads (three-note chords), all in different variations of the E Major scale. It's important to match your sounds to the music in the game, otherwise they can clash.
To finish them off, I added a mouth pop. This gives the action of collecting a Good Vibe some clarity. When I was happy with how they sounded, I put them into Unreal!
We also have the boombox item which is a source of many in-game parties. For these I created notes that play randomly from each boombox, but harmonize with each other in E major 7th and E major 9th chords (the latter adds some ✨spice✨).
I used Unreal to make sure the notes don't repeat too often, and I also tweaked the velocity and the pitch slightly to create more variety. Then I placed a bunch of boomboxes and listened to the result!
It’s chaotic, it works and it’s very fun. I hope our players enjoy experimenting with this feature as much as I did!