Kevin Ragamey, one of the audio designers behind Celestial, detailed how the team created the game’s unique dialogue design.
Celestial is an indie platform game launched in 2018. In the game, players control protagonist Celeste as she climbs a dangerous mountain. The game was critically acclaimed upon release and retains an 88 score on Metacritic.
Fans and critics alike also praised the game’s soundtrack and overall sound design. Ragamey broke down one of the most requested game elements yesterday on Twitter, Celestialthe dialogue of. The dialogue is completely synthesized but sounds as if a human voice could have delivered it.
Ragamey detailed the creation process Celestial‘s in a Tweet thread, indicating that the team began by exploring simple synth noises to find the right tone.
Using Fruity Loops Studio (FL Studio), the team defined the tone and timbre, then began to examine how these sounds would naturally change with the speech patterns.
Essentially, using a parametric EQ in FL Studio, we modeled what are called “formants”, that is, natural spectral peaks in human vowels. These spectral peaks have specific positions and frequency relationships, and they looked like this: pic.twitter.com/m9R3Nd6H6y
– Kevin Regamey (@regameyk) July 17, 2021
The team then broke down the emotional ranges of each character in the game and determined the types of sounds they could produce for each emotional state. The team chose takes they liked for each state, then converted them to FMOD Studio, an audio engine used for video games.
Celestial silently loops speech audio until it is time for a character to speak. The game then sends character portraits into FMOD so the engine can match the appropriate emotional state to a sound.
FMOD runs through a random sequence of syllables, each of which is randomized. The central area for all these audio sounds also allowed Ragamey to fine tune speech when needed.
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