Independent studio Witch Beam Games has released its new video game this month, Unpacking, a curious work that takes us to various settings pixel-art in isometric perspective to do just what its name suggests: unpack boxes. It is a curious experience that draws attention both for its aesthetics and for its peculiar idea, but it also has a detail that the players have noticed and that resides in its detailed sound section.
A Twitter user, Francesco Del Pia, post a video of Unpacking in which it showed how the same object (a cleaning spray) makes different sounds when placed on different surfaces. In many cases the difference is very slight, but there are others in which it is more noticeable: if we try to place this object on a bed it will sound soft and spongy, while if we place it on a wooden table we will hear a dry bang. You can check it out for yourself below:
This short video has gone viral and has caught the attention of one of the game’s developers, Jeff van Dyck, who has basically been in charge of this section and the soundtrack of Unpacking. In a tweet published from his personal account has explained that the game has 14,000 sound effects They are arranged with a deep hierarchy system for realistic sound in virtually every possible combination.
Yup 🙂 We had Reaper render the audio files into a deep folder structure that represented the containers & hierarchy in #Wwise. Then used a single template container to map all sounds to the correct surface switches. I felt giddy every time we did this process, it was magical!— Jeff van Dyck (@jeff_van_dyck) November 4, 2021
The composer explains that the minimalist graphic aspect of Unpacking has allowed them to add that extra layer of depth through the sound, which seems to have worked quite well. And in case you wonder if that huge figure of 14,000 sound effects is normal or not for a video game, one of the audio programmers of the recently delayed Diablo IV, Michael Bartnett, has explained that in a triple A There can be between 5,000 and 10,000 sound events in which an average of between 20,000 and 50,000 sound effects.
Unpacking ya is available en Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch y Xbox Game Pass.