‘How does bread sound when it’s riding a rocket?’ — That’s one of the many questions I’m now proudly able to answer, it seems, thanks to the chance to create the sound effects for I Am Bread. Not sure it will make me centre of attention at parties but, hey, it’s a skill nonetheless.
It all started with a small flaw at the studio: the lack of a dedicated SFX professional. All of our games to date had sound made by external professionals, and it worked pretty well. But unlike Surgeon Simulator, for instance, I Am Bread is very much work in progress, changing every day, so commissioning sounds was not an option as it would create too much back and forth.
So, I naively volunteered without really knowing what I was getting into, but nothing new here: this is what we do on a daily basis as game developers, after all.
We wanted something original for the game, with texture, realistic. The first step was rule out a soundproofed studio and use true environments, recording the sounds in similar conditions to those taking place in-game. It’s not as elegant, but the trade-off from purity to context seem to have worked. The side effect, of course, is a flat in a sorry state just like the one you end up with in the game.
Case in point, this is my kitchen during one of the recording sessions: “Images speak louder than words” taken to a new level.
Some SFX were trickier than others: how does a bowling bowl hitting a 80’s TV set sound like? Here I fully admit the cheapest of improvisations with a crate of Nerf guns filling in until I’m able to source both a TV and a bowling ball next. Yep, we’ll do that shortly. For real. All in the name of Bread’s Toasted Greatness.
The game still has huge sound gaps to fill, from the trivial such as the skateboard and hairdryer, to the absurdly mental in the new levels the team is brainstorming, but no challenge will be too great to face, and explosions are sure to be involved at some point.
The latest update made the sound in the early levels much better. If you try the game again you’ll surely notice the improvements, particularly on glass materials. We’ll keep at it with every update, making the game sound awesome and original, just like the main theme.
And speaking of originality, we’ve added a cowbell. Because as Bruce ‘ Walken’ Dickinson once said, ‘I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!’ So there you go.
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