In a new in-depth article
on the sound mix for Activision and Radical Entertainment's Prototype 2
, audio lead Rob Bridgett writes about his team's solution to deal with players' wide array of sound setups.
"Even when a game is perfectly balanced, it can be ruined when the player has a poor audio setup," Bridgett writes.
Some players have high-end setups with multiple speakers; others play with the sound from their televisions. Prototype 2
, he writes, "is the first time we have introduced a setting in the sound options that caters for either the home theater set-up or the TV speakers."
"In the past we have attempted to do both with one single mix setting, by mixing in our high end mix theater, and then by 'tweaking' that same mix while listening through TV speakers; however, this compromised the home theater mix we had spent so much time on," he writes.
"These are essentially two different mixes of the game, the home theater version being the one with the most dynamic range... while the TV speaker setting adds some subtle compression to the overall output, allowing players to hear quieter sounds in a more noisy home environment, and also pushes up some of the overall levels of dialogue."
This was especially challenging for the team, writes Bridgett, as the game's mix of outlandish action and story presented overall challenges in presenting in-game dialogue.
"By allowing two completely different mixes to co-exist and be chosen by the user, we seem to have got around the issue of supporting the two most common listening environments available among our audience."
The full feature offers a wealth of insights gleaned from the mix process for Prototype 2
, and is live now on Gamasutra