GDC Europe 2016 – The Sound of Hyper Light Drifter
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GDC Europe 2016 – The Sound of Hyper Light Drifter
10 October, 2016



During GDC Europe 2016 Heart Machine’s Akash Thakkar talked about sound design process for Hyper Light Drifter indie action adventure RPG.

He noted that the main goal of sound design is to create an emotional impact. In Hyper Light Drifter he wanted the footsteps, monsters to voiceover lines had to invoke some emotion from the player. At the event he demonstrated the immense work that went into creation of different sound effects. He played fragments of sound first and then rolled them together. Some of the effect toke from 3 to 15 layers to make. While working on Hyper Light Drifter Akash used a stethoscope and an old wire recorder to create different sound effects.

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During the speech Akash also gave dev teams some advice about collaborative tools they can use during game creation. He recommended using Slack, Asana and Workflowy. Thakkar also suggested that they hold check-ins meetings with the creative director. This way game studious won’t forget about employees who work outside of them.

Hyper Light Drifter video game is designed like a lot of classic 16-bit projects with modern designs and mechanics. Players assume a role of a Drifter – a collector of lost technologies and knowledge. He is stricken with an insatiable illness and tries to find a cure for it in the lands of Buried Time.

Akash Thakkar works as a composer and sound designer for animation, film and video games. His latest work includes such games as Destiny, Ironclad Tactics, Infinifactory and City Quest. Thakkar is a professor of game audio at Seattle film institute.

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