The Last of Us Part II is out now for PS4, and players who have been eager to dive into the continuing story of Joel and Ellie for years now are digging deep into every aspect of the game. The sequel, which has sold over 4 million copies, has impressed players with its technical achievements, one of which has now been detailed at length by one of the game’s designers.
Jesse James Garcia, a sound designer at developer Naughty Dog, has detailed how they made the sound of breaking glass in The Last of Us Part II. In a Twitter thread spanning 23 different tweets, Garcia dives deep into why the shattering, tinkling noise of glass being destroyed in the game is so satisfying.
The tweet below is the beginning of the thread, which breaks down as many details as possible.
Since multiple people have asked. The following thread will be about the creation of the sound for “Breaking Glass” in the #TheLastofUsPart2. This was one of the first systems I dove into at ND. 1/23 pic.twitter.com/GC44aTJZek
— Jesse James Garcia (@Jessejames34) June 28, 2020
“The system for glass is made up of many different layers and a few systems that interweave together to give the unique sound and the right feeling,” Garcia writes. He says he spent most of his time on the “feel” of broken glass, more than just the “sound”. “I felt the glass needed to be separated into layers to have the glass feel as realistic as possible,” Garcia writes.
He goes on to detail the different layers of sound, from the initial impact of an object on the glass, through to the crack that follows, the “thump” that makes the action of breaking glass feel powerful, and the “debris” sound, to make sure that the noise “had a nice long tail.” The debris is, Garcia says, the “most important” aspect of the glass break sound design.
Garcia also says that it’s important to sell the story and gameplay impact of the glass breaking. “You as the player are choosing to break the glass,” he says. “Breaking glass has its consequences. An enemy could hear it and be alerted as well as when you walk on glass you make more noise and can be discovered much easier.”
Garcia gets further into detail through the thread, and it’s worth a look if you want to know how much effort went into getting the specific sounds just right.
Sound is an important part of The Last of Us Part II, including music–here’s how a certain Pearl Jam song made its way into the game, despite the fact that it technically would have been released after Outbreak Day.
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