Today, we’re talking to Florian Füsslin, Audio Director on Hunt: Showdown, who shares tips for working with audio in CRYENGINE, and reveals how to create a smooth and impactful experience for players.
Hey Florian, how did you become Audio Director at Crytek?
I joined Crytek in February 2006 as an intern and progressed through each level to my current role as Audio Director. It was a mixture of opportunity and trust. When positions opened up I was trusted and empowered to grow and develop myself. I am very happy that I was able to achieve and meet the high expectations at Crytek.
What’s been your most satisfying moment working at Crytek?
There have been many! Obviously, after every release it’s always a great achievement for the team. But I still have this great feeling every time a feature is working successfully. It’s proof that the concept, and following the path we took, was a good decision.
What does a regular day at work look like for you?
Due to my role, these days I am involved in a lot of creative meetings, project planning, and product reviews. But whenever there is time I jump into audio design, grab a small task, or debug an issue that we might have found.
What does it take to do your job well?
Always try to make yourself obsolete! If you succeed, it means things work well without your attention, and you can move on to focus on something which you couldn’t have done otherwise.
Have you got any tips for anyone aspiring to work in your field?
Besides the obvious expertise in recording, editing, and mixing audio, look at the available audio middleware products and experiment with game engines and game audio Implementation. The more you know about how your sound will be implemented and experienced in the final product, the better you can cater the design for it. Know the power of your tools!
I also recommend getting familiar with basic programming and scripting as it helps so much when collaborating with system design or programmers.
What is the most common procedure for you when producing audio in CRYENGINE?
We usually start by creating an AudioTrigger in the AudioControlsEditor and connect it to the appropriate Audio Event in the middleware using a strict naming convention. The sound itself is often a representative placeholder so implementation can start immediately. Once the behavior of the implementation is verified as designed, we spend more time on finalizing and polishing the actual asset.
What is your favorite tool for authoring audio in for CRYENGINE?
CRYENGINE is audio middleware agnostic. Currently we support implementations for Fmod Studio, Wwise, and SDL Mixer. The last is pretty basic, functioning as a starting point to write your own implementation, or for just having some audio playing.
Which one you prefer depends on the type of the project and what the team feels most comfortable with. So far we mostly use Wwise for our internal projects, but some of our licensees, for example, have successfully shipped with Fmod Studio. That’s one of the reasons we offer example projects for the CRYENGINE GameSDK for Wwise & Fmod Studio.
Audio is so important for the game experience. How do you make sure audio has impact for the player in a project?
We usually follow a four layer approach: Feedback + Immersion + Emotion = Experience. Feedback means audio has to provide an acoustic layer of readability to help players understand the game mechanics. Immersion means audio needs to be convincing, so players believe the game world we are presenting. Emotion means audio injecting the player with feelings in certain situations to increase the emotional impact of the narrative.
If done correctly, the user perceives the audio as one smooth but impactful experience. If a review does not mention audio, we have done a good job :).
What are you playing at the moment?
Besides Hunt I am still hooked on World of Tanks. Recently, I also started to check out some classics, like the very first Final Fantasy on my NES Mini. Picking a favorite all time game is difficult, but I think I spent a lot of time with Diablo 2, Left 4 Dead, and the original Day of Defeat :).
If you’re interested in making an impact for players, why not take a look at our open positions? Crytek is recruiting at all levels, across all disciplines, so whether you’re searching for an internship or you have years of experience in game dev, we’d love to hear from you. Don’t forget to check out more of our Meet The Team features, including Thomas Wollenzin, Lead Audio Software Engineer, Chris Bigus, Technical Support Specialist, C# Programmer Michael Bosschert, and Technical Artist Danny Man. Got feedback? Let us know on the forum, Discord, Facebook, and Twitter channels.