Please be advised that the Audiokinetic offices will close at 3:00 p.m. EST on December 22nd, 2021 for the holiday period, and will reopen on January 4th, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. EST. Learn more.
Blog homepage

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Game Audio (part 1/2)

Game Audio / Sound Design / Wwise Tips & Tools

The_Witcher_3_Wild_Hunt_Blood_and_Wine_Beauclair_is_all_kinds_of_fancy_RGB.png

CD Projekt Red released The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in May of 2015, and critics have been raving about it in consensus, describing it as a truly remarkable and worthwhile gaming experience. While it won a number of Game of the Year awards last year, it has continued to be one of the best games to play in 2016. Set in a nightmarish fantasy world of assassins, monsters, and mythical beasts, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open world, action role-playing video game, and the main story involves the Wild Hunt and its sinister quest. Gamers can, however, also lose themselves in the lavish countryside, and seek out side-quest adventures that elevate their game experience. 

The audio experience achieved by CD Projekt Red in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was surreal.  The music in this game is an immersive story of its own, while the level of attention to detail with every consideration ensures that every sound participates in transporting the gamer into a mystical world and captivates them entirely so that the lines between reality and game are ever so blurred.

 

So, how did they do this?

 

Under the hood

In this short video, Colin Walder, Senior Audio Programmer, presents the audio team behind The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and introduces some context and perspective about their decision to adopt Wwise.

  • Krzysztof Lipka – Sound Team Coordinator
  • Paweł Daudzward – Sr. Sound Designer
  • Marcin Przybyłowicz – Music Director / Composer
  • Colin Walder – St. Audio Programmer

 

 

Ambience

Just before playing some examples of dynamic ambiance, Paweł presents the initial goals for ambiance in the game, such as having:

  • Enough content to fill this huge open world
  • Sound variations to avoid repetition
  • Mechanisms to mimic real world
  • Control mixing on the fly for storytelling purposes
  • Straightforward implementation

 

Paweł then shows how their global weather system has been implemented in Wwise using Blend Containers reacting to wind intensity parameters, rain, and thunderstorms. Custom locations are handled by local ambiences that override the global weather system using an RTPC attached to volume.  

 

Animals are integrated as ambiences as well, reacting to parameters such as time, wind and rain intensity.

 

Colin concludes the ambience portion by demonstrating how it has been implemented in code. He describes this part as “handcrafted” as to provide as much control as possible for the sound designers. He concludes this section of the presentation by explaining how ambient sounds were triggered from geometric volumes set by the team to create ambient zones that follow the listener inside, but that will stay clamped to the zone boundaries when the player exits the area.

 

 

Crowd & Walla, and SFX 

Another objective for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt audio team was extending ambiences to allow for a better sense of presence in regards to surrounding crowds and Walla sounds. These sounds move and turn around the player.  To get a certain sense of proximity and orientation, the crowd system was separated into four quadrants that would calculate the proximity and number of NPCs before sending this information to Wwise through game parameters. This system also tracks if the NPCs are inside or outside as well as their States, such as afraid or not afraid. The automatic volume generation for trees and rivers is also quite impressive.  

Colin then follows with the tools they’ve made available to sound designers for tagging animations, timeline editing, attaching Events to bones, distance culling, and so on. Elements such as how bushes and plants could emit sounds when the main character is walking by were also presented.

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog and, in the meantime, let us know if you'd like to be invited to the next series of Wwise Tour game audio presentations.   

 

Subscribe

 

Audiokinetic wishes to thank CD Projekt Red and everyone on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt team. Thank you for assembling this fascinating educational presentation and sharing it with the Wwise and interactive audio community. Game audio at its finest, these series of Wwise Tour videos are a must watch. We hope you enjoyed them and that you will want to share them with your fellow game audio peers!

 

Audiokinetic

Audiokinetic

Audiokinetic sets new standards in audio production for interactive media and games. The company’s middleware solutions, including the award-winning Wwise® and SoundSeed®, empower sound designers and audio programmers with a cost effective, comprehensive authoring tool and audio engine for creating innovative interactive experiences. Audiokinetic is headquartered in Montréal, QC, Canada, has subsidiaries in Tokyo, Japan, and Shanghai, China, as well as Product Experts in Europe.

 @audiokinetic

Comments

Dejan Petrovik

November 29, 2016 at 03:39 pm

Great tour! Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More articles

Total War: WARHAMMER 2: How we construct and systematically use our music

For those of you who may not be familiar with the Total War series of video games, Total War is a...

14.8.2018 - By Creative Assembly

Dream Job: Ethical Employment in Game Audio

It is with some trepidation I am writing this. I haven’t been an employer that long, and a trusted...

11.9.2018 - By Gordon McGladdery

Reverb Needs Spatialization Too: A Guide to Rooms and Portals in Wwise Spatial Audio

Recently, there has been a lot of hype surrounding spatial audio, but the truth is, “spatial audio”...

26.3.2019 - By Nathan Harris

Integrating Spatial Audio in Unity

Live integration in the Unity Sample - the Wwise Adventure Game, coming soon!

30.4.2020 - By Mads Maretty Sønderup

Wwise Midi Basics: New Super Lucky Tale Foxberry Timer Musical Midi Magic!

Hello there all you Wonderful Wwise users :) The essential skill needed to survive game audio is the...

26.6.2020 - By Aaron Brown

Impacter and Unreal | Controlling the Impacter Plug-in Using Game Physics

Introduction Impacter is a new impact modeling plug-in prototype for Wwise, read this article for a...

26.3.2021 - By Sean Soraghan

More articles

Total War: WARHAMMER 2: How we construct and systematically use our music

For those of you who may not be familiar with the Total War series of video games, Total War is a...

Dream Job: Ethical Employment in Game Audio

It is with some trepidation I am writing this. I haven’t been an employer that long, and a trusted...

Reverb Needs Spatialization Too: A Guide to Rooms and Portals in Wwise Spatial Audio

Recently, there has been a lot of hype surrounding spatial audio, but the truth is, “spatial audio”...