The Last Door: Low-Res Graphics, High Suspense

by on Mar.28, 2014, under developer diary, featured, the last door


Sound design is a huge aspect of video game development. Creating believable characters and settings can only get you so far; to take it all the way you’re going to need a killer sound design to fully bring your world to life. The Last Door: Collector’s Edition has all that, and proves that you don’t necessarily need a huge budget to accomplish the task. I recently spoke with Raúl Díez fromThe Game Kitchen (the developers of the game) about the sound design for The Last Door, and he has enlightened me about the various processes used to create the sound for their game.

Crows tearing something into a bloody mess.

Much of the sound design for The Last Door was created by utilizing the free cross-platform audio utility Audacity. The tool allows for easy recording, mixing, and editing of audio, which allows the sound designer to be able to focus more on the creative process. The team also uses Cubase for editing MIDI files and audio tracks, which provides them a cleaner, more professional finishing touch.

Many of the game’s sound effects come from sound libraries, as opposed to being recordings of real-world sounds. Often the process involves taking bits and pieces from different sound effects and putting them together to create a brand new effect that fits what is needed. Sometimes a single effect is just distorted in some way to create a different sound. One such example of this used in the game is the use of a seagull call, but really slowed down.

A haunting string melody, a ticking clock, small gusts of wind.

The music of the game is created the same way as the sound effects; that is, from sound libraries. There are some uses of live instruments however, such as when a certain sound or nuance is needed that can’t be created with the digital libraries available. This is also the case with this specific release of The Last Door; being the Collector’s Edition, all of the music and sound effects have been remastered, new live instruments have been added to support the melodies, and brand new effects and music have been created to correspond with the new game content included in this edition.

A lot of focus goes into the sound design during the development of The Last Door. As each chapter of the game is created, the ideas of sounds wanted are written down. A crow’s caw here, a locked door there. After the chapter has been fully created, the sound team then takes a week to meticulously craft all of the sounds required. This ensures that they are able to create the best sound effects and music possible without having to restart or redo anything if they had created the sound along with the game’s design.

You just might remember this for the rest of your life.

The Last Door: Collector’s Edition features brand new content added to their great narrative inspired by authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft; minimalist graphics which encourage your imagination to draw you into the game; clean and haunting sound effects and music which chill to the bone; and a familiar point-and-click interface that permeates the adventure game genre. All together this promises to be a mysterious and frightening adventure that will keep you coming back for more.

Drew Beardall
Social Media Associate
Phoenix Online Studios

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