I just got back from my mini vacation in Germany. Had a nice week visiting my parents. I made some time to stop by a nice audio megastore and picked up a portable recorder. The Zoom H4n to be precise. I still need some time before I can give an honest critic, but so far its a very nice addition to my arsenal. I've already used it to record some sounds that I need for Sirius Online.
I spent an hour scavenging through a small barn behind my parents house for some things to record. I ended up punching a metal shelve rack a few times and recorded some intense stuff. I'll probably use it for a layer in the ship metal-on-metal collision impact noise, otherwise it sounds great by itself and can be used in the future for an old metal gate being slammed shut.
Its very difficult to make audio for a game that takes place in space. Everyone knows that there is no sound in space (no means for sound to travel), so everything I create needs to convince the listener otherwise. Its fun because I have a lot of freedom over my sound, but at the same time I need to create things that people can recognize and relate to.
I'll give you a quick scenario. System jump gates. These gates work by building up a form of energy to a point just before overload. Then the energy gets released while thrusting the player way beyond light speed. Given this very basic description, just about anyone can create a scene in their mind of what this thing should sound like. My job is to realize your idea and try to stay within the threshold of human imagination. The jump gate sound I created contains no recorded sounds and uses only synthesis. I found this to be easier, less time consuming, and a higher quality approach in this case.
I will do my best this week to catch up to the team and implement all of our new audio within the game before the release of our next SUP (Saturday Update Program). For those of you who aren't familiar with SUP, its basically a video update with commentary showing off new progress of our game. We reveal as much as possible to keep the community interested in our project but we don't spoil everything, so expect surprises in future demos and pre-beta releases!