Before You Hear the Bang
It’s with great pleasure that I get to introduce you all to a new member of our team – MrCoffeeee! He’s actually been with us for a few months, but this is the first opportunity we’ve had to show off some of the fantastic work he’s doing for us.
MrCoffeeee has the unenviable task of punching up the in-engine SFX for the game. While we’re able to lift every sound effect from the original game, they were all very heavily bitcrushed (as was standard for games in the 90s) – so the quality leaves a lot to be desired by modern standards. As well as improving upon the original SFX for us, MrCoffeeee is busy adding to the cockpit soundscape by providing those all-important extras for us – HUD/UI effects, metallic groans as the fuselage feels the stress of tight turns, bombastic explosions and so much more.
In His Own Words
All that said, I’m far from being an audio expert – so let’s hear from the man himself:
“Recreating sounds for Wing Commander 4 turns out to be a task on its own. When playing the old lady again in 2021, it turned out that the game holds some very cool sounds for its time but unfortunately in low audio quality. In order to save space in the 90s all sounds had low sample rates and hard compression. Some are missing or reused several times so it’s time to get a handle on them.
“While the music needs some complete redoing – such as the excellent work already done by FilmCompos3r – redoing the SFX also has some advantages. Our goal to keep the spirit of the original drove us to the decision to keep the existing SFX files and update them. So, every file will be picked up, filled up with new sound material to brighten them up and give them more punch while keeping the original sound. Have a look at this (very early) tech demo where some actual progress has been made.
“Another step is to give missing or new elements new sounds as well. While ODVS made a great prototype of the pause menu, we went a step further and completed it with newly created sounds to make it more interactive.“
As promised, I have updated the online pause menu prototype with MrCoffeeee’s new sound effects. As well as playing a very familiar startup sound, the menu prototype now has background ambient noise and brand new interaction sounds for all the buttons and option selectors. You can check it out here.