Notes on Creative Direction
My goal with the sound design was to imbue the scene with a sense of "chaotic energy and surprising calm" through means both overt and subtle.
From the beginning, the train implores you to enter into the city with a digital, disembodied voice. In many regards, "digital" is an important aesthetic for this sound design. The turnstile welcomes the player with a static cheer and even the doors have a digital edge. Personally, my favorite touch is the sound of the digital water and gentle chords emanating from the 3D fish sculpture as the player exits the station.
It was also important for me to give a proper sense of pacing to the scene. At first, I wanted the player to feel the weight of the city above them through the use of darker ambiences. As the player moves through the station, the general ambience gets lighter and lighter until, upon reaching the top of the stairs, there is only the echo of their footsteps. This acts as a palette cleanser so that, once the station doors open, the player is hit with the energy of the city they are called to explore.
Drawing Inspiration from References
I was very excited to learn that Deus Ex is serving as a major inspiration for this project as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is one of my all time favorites. The sound design in Deus Ex wonderfully mixes the digital, mechanical, and atmospheric -- particularly in the way it employs ambiences.
The ambiences I created for this sound design test bridge the gap between sound design and music as atmospheres and tones blend in and out of the cityscape. The goal is to create an environment that is both compelling and suspenseful in much the same way as Deus Ex by using the same techniques employed by their sound team.
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