At a Cafe with my Best Friend (Game)

Over the last week or two Seb and I have been doing project planning for a new project we’re working on, a game called At a Cafe with my Best Friend. Initially I expected to be able to try my hand at FMOD with this project, but since then the game designers have told us that they would be doing all of the implementation of audio themselves through Unity directly (and no middleware). I’m a little bit disappointed by this, as I was looking forward to testing a new skill. Since we aren’t responsible for the implementation of the audio directly, we are basically just creating a sample library for them to use.

The game is single-player and revolves around you making conversation with an NPC (non-player character) about, or interacting with different objects in the cafe. The player is stationary and interacts with other game objects just by looking and/or clicking on them. The assets we have been asked to create include street ambience, cafe ambience (kitchen sounds, murmurs), some noise coming from the radio, some scribbling sounds for when the player writes about their activities in their journal, some footsteps and some sounds that will indicate dialogue (not full dialogue, as this will be done through on-screen text).

Demo of At a Cafe with my Best Friend

On Thursday we recorded some murmur and footstep sounds in the C24 studio. We recorded footsteps of joggers (running shoes) for the customers, and leather shoes for the waiters. We also recorded the footsteps on different surfaces (wood and vinyl), as we weren’t sure of the material of the floor of the cafe, and it was previously mentioned that the game designers wanted a sound of a chair sliding on wood. We also researched various lines of dialogue that are used to create a murmur track, which produced some rather funny results. Such lines included “rhubarb rhubarb” ,”natter natter, grommish grommish”, “carrots and peas” and the one that was impossible to keep a straight face recording “watermelon canteloupe”.

On Friday Seb and I spent the day recording some foley for the project at my house, including sounds of cutlery, cash register sounds, pots and pans, doors closing, salt shakers, a coffee machine, a dishwasher, knife chopping and sharpening, scribbling on paper and some static coming from my speakers to use for the radio, among others.

This leaves a few samples left to record such as street noise, which we plan to record at the streets near SAE, the sound of a cat, and some female dialogue cues for the player and the friend. We now plan to edit (surgical EQ, top and tail, and normalise) the samples we’ve recorded, then apply some EQ and where necessary some reverb to match the game stylistically, as well as some minimal sound design (as most of the sounds in the game are natural and only require foley). I’ll keep you updated on our progress.