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Game Demo Looks Great, Sound Mix Needs Work

posted by fleet on - last edited - Viewed by 664 users

I loved the demo. It looks like you guys have managed to capture some of the excitement and charm of the animated shorts and I am really looking forward to seeing it all in the context of the overall story for the episode. The look of the game is also really good. This feels like Wallace & Gromit.

Where I think the game fails is in the sound mixing. There are a few problems, but the biggest is that the sound effects and music drown out the dialogue and make it really hard to discern what the characters are saying. I am a fan of sound mixes that bring the music to the forefront, but it is always a balance. The music either has to drop down in volume during the dialogue, be written to be quieter or less busy during the dialogue, or written so that it doesn't trample on the same frequencies as the dialogue occupies so that the dialogue is still clear while the music is louder.

The sound effects at times were also too loud or too prominent in the same frequencies as the dialogue, especially during the scene with the truck where the wind sound made the Wallace's voice seem very distant and hard to discern.

Finally, while the music was great and had the right style to it, it is too busy. The music in the demo tends to have a lot of movement to it and a bit of an urgency or excitement, but during scenes of dialogue like out on the street it doesn't fit well. The music for the end scene in the demo was great as that was an exciting scene that benefited from the music that was used. The music out on the street when talking to the old soldier (can't remember his name) by comparison was very out of place. The style of the music and the themes in it made some sense given what he had to say, but not having heard it yet when you first approach him it seemed far to busy for the scene that you were presented with. Even after you hear what he has to say the music sounds as if the action should be taking place right then and there. The music could hint at the action to come, even picking up a little when he starts to get excited, but overall it needs to be a lot more laid back and in the background.

The way the music is now, and the way it has always been in Sam & Max, it doesn't really foreshadow anything or really take part in the storytelling, it is just background music that paints very broad strokes of mood – and not always the right kind of mood. I love the music in both of these series so far but in the game it would be nice if they were more a part of telling the story.

In Sam & Max the music often gets in the way of the dialogue and has many of the same problems that I have outlined here but it allows you to adjust the mix between effects, voice, and music so the voice track can be brought out and the music track dropped down to compensate. At the very least it would be nice to see these options added to Wallace & Gromit so that, all things remaining the same, the voice track can be brought out to compensate for the lack of clarity in parts.

Obviously I understand that these games are being done on a much smaller budget than big titles or hollywood film mixes. Still, I think there is a huge amount of potential for what Telltale can do with the sound in their games to make the experience and storytelling better.

26 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Weeblerjake said: Now this is probably my computer's fault, but the dialogue would would repeat sometimes. Like that that. So is that just DirectX, or what?

    Its your graphic settings... try going into your game settings and turning down the graphic quality a bit

  • Also try updating your drivers, I had that issue with Sam and Max: Season One. Works like magic, them updates.

  • This should not have been moved to the support section. It is feedback on the game and constructive criticism of problems many of us have with the sound mix. The problems with the sound and dialogue clarity are not technical.

  • Can we please get a separate volume setting for music? I want to turn it off completely, it's annoying.

  • The music is okayish.
    But it is much too loud. I am not a native englisch speaker but I had no problems understanding the spoken words except for the "Flight-sequence" in the demo. The Music was just too loud to make out what Wallace (?) was saying.

  • @der_ketzer said: The music is okayish.
    But it is much too loud. I am not a native englisch speaker but I had no problems understanding the spoken words except for the "Flight-sequence" in the demo. The Music was just too loud to make out what Wallace (?) was saying.

    I think I need to clarify my previous complaint. The music isn't bad. But my hearing is, and on top of that I'm not a native speaker of English. I turn off music in all games that I play. (Conversely, I don't play games where I can't turn it off.)

  • Just chiming in that the music in the demo was far too loud for me as well. Had to turn on the subtitles to make out everything the characters were saying.

  • I came to the support forums to ask about the same issue with the music being way too loud, glad I'm not the only one.

    My wife and I bought and played through both Season 1 and 2 of S&M, and always had the same issue with too-loud music in those games. But that wasn't a big deal since there was a separate music volume slider. Now that option isn't available in W&G and the demo is frankly unplayable, we didn't even finish it because trying to make out what the characters were saying was driving us mad.

  • The mix in the final game seemed to be a lot better. It sounded as if the music was brought down just slightly and the voices were easier to hear. I also have to say that the music was exceptionally well done in the game. The music on the street with the Colonel was a little busy as I stated before but it didn't seem that any of the other music was out of place in the context that it was used. The music captured the feel of Wallace & Gromit very well - especially the music in the foyer of Wallace's house.

    Very well done and much better than the demo as far as sound goes.

  • Yeah, just to clarify, the sound mix in the demo was definitely wrong. The sound mix in the final game was tweaked significantly after the demo went out so that it should be much better.

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