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Halo Wars audio designers make birds you can't see


The Halo Wars RTS Chapter on Bungie.net has conducted an interview with Ensemble Studios' Kevin McMullan and JD Smith, the two people in charge of the audio in Halo Wars. Again -- as seems to be a trend with Halo Wars -- you won't find any breathtaking news in the interview, but it does serve as an interesting glimpse into the development process. McMullan and Smith discuss how complex the soundscape is in RTS games, which combine the sounds of combat, dialogue, UI effects, and music all at once. They also talk about the challenge presented by creating sound for a Halo RTS that has to stay true to the series and yet still create its own identity. Finally, and perhaps most interesting, is the discussion of creating ambient sound effects. In particular, Smith mentions creating birds that aren't graphically represented in the game, but instead are represented solely through moving, intelligent sounds. Fascinating stuff. Even more fascinating is Smith's source file he used to create one of the game's bird calls: his 3-year-old daughter. Hit the "read" links below to read the interviews and hear the sound files.

Read - Interview pt. I
Read - Interview pt. II (including sound files)

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