Art day: Sound design
With the World of Warcraft patch 5.2: The Thunder King, among other things, came new creatures. One of the new world critters is the Patch is the Zandalari Battlesaur. Often one forgets what goes into creating new content. Not only programming and graphical design, but also sound design is an important part of new content material.
Blizzard employee Nethaera points out that there are several layers in simultaneous relation, when designing sound for a creature in the game. These sounds are recorded, mixed and mastered individually and then put together.
In the case of the Zandalari Battlesaur, here are the individual sounds in the process.
A voice actor: We pulled in some of the best voice talent in the industry who excel in making creature sounds. In this case, we were able to bring in Jon Olson who also did the non-Voice Over sounds for sha and hozen mobs. What you hear is an edit of two takes that form a base layer of performance and sound that other layers and effects are crafted around.
Bear: Early last year, senior Sound Designer Chris Kowalski took his recording gear and his courage to Big Bear to gather some scary up-close source material from several of the wild animals at Predators in Action. The bear recordings from that visit were used to add size and embellish some of what the actor did.
Tiger: While at Predators in Action, Chris was also given the opportunity to record the tiger that was used in the movie Gladiator. This resulted in a ton of great material, including a lot of big cat chest rumbles and roars you may hear mixed into several creatures across Pandaria.
Final Sound: The final mix is comprised of all the layers above along with additional processing and mastering that make it fit within the world.
Here’s how the individual sounds for this particular creature correlate.