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How game developers make the best sounds

Looting never sounded so juicy

Everything sounds better in video games.

This summer, I became hyper-conscious of the sound of gathering, or looting, or “picking things up.” I was editing a gameplay video from an pre-release build of The Outer Worlds, and I heard this Sound.

To be fair, it’s several sounds all played in succession, when the player loots the body of a Marauder. It crawled into my brain like a worm. I thought it ruled. I played it during a pitch meeting and everyone was like, “OK, Simone.”

So I went on a quest to find out how the Sound was made. In my journey I talked to the people who actually made the Sound: Justin Bell and Renzo Heredia from Obsidian Entertainment. And I hit up sound design grad student Hallie Boyd for some crucial background on foley work and the philosophy that made the Sound so juicy and satisfying to hear.

Finally, I decided to do a bit of sound design myself. I learned that it’s way harder than it looks, but exactly as fun as it looks. Watch the video to learn more about the Sound, and see my descent into sound design madness.

If you haven’t subscribed to our YouTube channel yet... go ahead! We’ve got plenty of videos for you to enjoy, and I recommend checking out this video about the mechanics behind Kratos’ axe in God of War, or this one on the particle physics behind Control.

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