Battle Cry of Freedom, brings brutal real-time first and third person combat set in the 19th Century America, presenting players with the opportunity to re-fight the American Civil War as either the Union or the Confederates. It features a wide range of Troop Types, ranging from the common soldiers to musicians and artillery, all with their own purpose and tasks.
Welcome to the 23rd Developer blog for Battle Cry of Freedom.
This time around we will take a look at some of the sound work that’s going on behind the scenes. Currently FSE is getting closer and closer to implementing sounds into the game itself and for that FSE has a large sound library of both purchased and recorded sounds.
I also recently had the privilege of attending an American Civil War reenactment event courtesy of the ‘Living History Resource Group’. Special thanks to George385, Zac and TomahawkAU for helping me get into the event and special thanks to George385 for assisting me in recording on the day of the event and introducing me to the organizers.
The main goal of my visit was to record sounds that we didn’t have in our library and to record sounds overall for mixing/editing and general ambiance. For the most part, FSE has a large sound library but we were missing some essential sounds such as bayonets being fastened and unfastened etc.
Additionally, some sounds may seem great to the listener’s ear but in-game there are often complications in regards to sounds. For example; they may seem out of place or out of sync with what is actually going on and may not blend into the gameplay or game environment. Sometimes editing or mixing will help while other times there’s just nothing you can do except start again.
But without further ado here are some of the sounds that were recorded at the event, mixed together into a small showcase. Some of these sounds you may see in-game while some you may not. Again it all depends on how it will sound in-game:
Some of you may remember the reload animation video that was uploaded by Olaf a while back. Here is that same video with some of the reload sounds being played over it. This was just a test to see if the recorded sounds from the event could be edited to synchronize with the animation and are by no means final:
The volume of each action is normalized for now but may be lowered later, either manually or by the engine itself.
One of the biggest concerns for BCOF’s sounds will be the rifle and cannon sounds. Having had the privilege of standing a few meters in front of a 58 caliber Springfield Rifle at a 45 degree angle, my eyebrows can safely say that the thud of the gun itself is like a miniature cannon. How on earth to do it justice in a game? Well… the fact of the matter is that every microphone, be it professional or amateur, will record differing frequencies that will all be impacted by numerous variables from the location to the preamp. At the end of the day however; the main thing is that it blends into the game.
Our live fire sound libraries had the deep bass thud but lacked a nice treble crack. On the other hand my close up recordings of rifle fire (Using 2 condenser microphones and 2 dynamic microphones via 4 track recording) had a nice treble crack but didn’t pick up much bass. So mixing the two seemed like a logical experiment. Here’s some of the current close up mixed sounds that I am experimenting with. It has been recorded while playing Napoleonic Wars DLC as a test using Michael Tsarouhas’ voice who is one of our voice actors:
I also had time to record more distant firing sounds and have experimented mixing these with our sound library, which also contain some distant firing sounds for period rifles. If all goes well we hope to have different sounds for distant firing as compared to sounds for close up firing (I was recording further away from the in-game NPCs so the sound is quite low):
Note: Still work in progress and sounds are all subject to change. Treble or bass frequencies may be lowered or sounds remixed/replaced etc.
Thanks for reading!
Flying Squirrel Entertainment
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