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Developer Roundtable 3: New 'n' Tasty's New Beats

We discuss how New 'n' Tasty's new audio fits in.
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We’ve already shown Oddworld fans how New ‘n’ Tasty looks, but we haven’t  talked about how the game sounds yet. This developer diary – the third entry in the series – talks about the game’s audio. We had Spag Gaps Pags ask:

“Will you guys keep the same music style as the first two? Those were far-out ambient tunes!”

Here to fill us in on that topic (and other sound-related topics) is Mike Taylor – our audio engineer.

“What we’re doing with New ‘n’ Tasty is re-doing the original music, keeping to the same style and feel as the original. The cut-scenes in the game are all brand new, and are being re-made from the ground up, so we’re getting new music written and rewritten for those scenes by Michael Bross.

“However, we found the original music from the PSX game in the Oddworld archives, and it was at 44.1 kHz quality. That’s CD quality and is fine for our use. We have, of course, polished it up in some places, just to make it really shine!

A piece of ambience from Monsaic Lines.

“With it being good enough to go into the game more-or-less as is, we’ve been able to spend time making improvements to the original music system. There have been a lot of advances in game music since 1997, and there are a lot less current hardware limitations too.

“In the original game, music changes happened in response to nearby events and reveals. On the PlayStation version of the game, the heavy drum beats that warned the player of danger nearby would often be playing as you were halfway across an empty screen! This was usually caused by the music system loading much slower than the actual game screen, so it would be warning you of the Slig that you were already half a screen closer towards.

With today’s technology, we’ve been able to take that existing system design and tighten all the screws, making it much more responsive and far more in tune with what the player is doing and seeing.

“It’ll make a lot more sense and be a lot more tense, now, when those big heavy drums start beating!

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“You can’t talk about music without talking about the sounds, and sadly we weren’t able to find the original sound effects to reuse this time around. Even if we’d found them, we would have had to work heavily to make them fit for today’s use. Modern gamers expect a higher level of variation and dynamics than in 1997.

“We did find some voice samples, but not at CD quality, and with very limited variations. There was only one voice for the Mudokon Slave, for example – the sound was pitch-shifted up or down depending on environment and location!

“So we turned to Lorne Lanning to provide the iconic voice of Abe and the Sligs. Who else would know best about how to keep the original rhythm and feel of the Abe/Mudokon “Hello / hello / Follow me / OK”?

“And for New ’n’ Tasty, we’ve enlisted the help of the fans to supply us with the array of potential Mudokon voices that we need, as well as a few very special guests.

“The details of who we’ve chosen to include will be coming in a later Dev Diary or Oddworld update. We’re hard at work filing off the edges and slotting them into the game where needed, but we know you want to hear if you’re going to be hearing yourself in-game!”

Well there you have it, Inhabitants! Your first peek into how New ‘n’ Tasty is going to sound. Next time: How New ‘n’ Tasty is going to smell! …Just kidding, television technology haven’t caught up to project the horrors of Abe’s fart stench. And seriously, we hope for Earth’s sake it never will.

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Developer Roundtable 3: New 'n' Tasty's New Beats, 5.0 out of 5 based on 35 ratings

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Comments

  • Joseph Korso

    I was wondering… I have one question concerning New ‘n Tasty:
    The title will be localized in euro/us release? I mean, There will be language options for some versions or not a chance? If, by any chance, it will be localized and south america got brazilian portuguese option, I on it for help. Just sayin’, you know?

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  • Dan Lash

    I loved the old sounds, and I’m really glad you guys don’t change much.
    Speaking of voices, is there a way you could make the localization team for Germany recruit the same voice actors as for Abe’s Exoddus (PS1 version)? I don’t know how much you guys are involved with this, but the German voices for Exoddus were perfect and fit way better than the ones in Oddysee.
    I hope there’s something you could do. Thanks a lot to you!

    Regards-
    D. Lash

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    • Dan Lash

      UPDATE:
      The German recording studio and the voice actors’ names (Exoddus) are:

      Studio:
      Mackensen & Gensch Tonstudio

      Abe’s voice:
      Robert Missler

      Others:
      Robert Poerschke
      Kai-Hendrik Möller
      Uli Plessmann
      Wulf Mey
      Stefan Brönneke
      Ingo Abel

      I hope there is something you can do about it. Please let us Germans enjoy a great localization :)

      Regards
      ~Dan Lash

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  • Shuhia

    So then whats with Ellen Meijers‑Gabriel?? If you want new music with the old taste, why you didnt collaborate with Ellen Meijers to get the old flow?

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  • JoshhMarshh

    Does this mean we will not have the iconic Scrab and Paramite sounds anymore? :(

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  • Miatsu

    Thats good to hear about keeping the same style. Though I would like to share an idea I had while reading this. It’s just something I would think would be cool. So I was thinking of you guys putting in an option to revert the graphics and music to the old 1997 times. I know its not the point of this rebuild, I was just thinking that it would be cool to see some of the new areas in that old style with the old sounds. ^^

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