The DICE sound team has been very fortunate with how much knowledge sharing and support that they have received from Skywalker Sound. Over various visits to Skywalker Ranch, members of the team have been able to meet and discuss the sound of Star Wars™, with Star Wars sound design legends Ben Burtt and Matt Wood, and they have also been given access to the original sounds and stems from the films.
As well as asking how the original sounds were created and the stories and reasoning behind them, the team also brought along Frostbite to demonstrate some of the challenges in creating the audio of Star Wars™ Battlefront™, elaborating on how they would build upon the legacy sounds to fill all of the worlds and experiences that lay ahead. The focus and goal was to embrace the original sounds, staying as true as possible to their original feel and intent.
Whilst at Skywalker Ranch, the sound team also recorded Foley sessions with Dennie Thorpe and Jana Vance, to capture audio source material for all the movement and surface interactions in the game, as well as blaster Foley, capes, and other bespoke recordings that goes to make up the unique Star Wars sounds.
Being so close to the original filming location for Endor, it also made sense to go out into the local woods and capture some new material. DICE’s Audio Director Ben Minto continues:
BEN MINTO: What we were really after were recordings of the “air” or the “feel” of the pacific coastal redwoods, which is the location where the forest moon of Endor was filmed. If you can get away from today’s noise pollution, you can experience this very delicate and quiet sound that is something that we strive to add in as a layer when designing ambiences. It really helps to put the player in that specific environment and sell the sensation of being surrounding by those giant trees.
We spent two days recording in different reserves, capturing the “air” and other obvious Endor sounds, but also looking at how sounds travel through a forest. Clean, real recordings like these are very useful for us when making quadraphonic ambiences and for adding the right sense of space and life; being there in person and experiencing those surroundings makes it easier when trying to recreate that feel in the studio.