Russel Brower, Senior Audio Director for Heroes of the Storm opens the panel and thanks everyone for coming. He introduces each of the panelists, then passes the mic to Pedro Seminario, Senior sound designer for Heroes of the Storm.
Pedro Seminario explains that the hero that you play has louder sound effects and extra sound effects to make you feel central to the gameplay. He passes the mic to Shawn Minoux, Senior Sound Designer for Heroes of the Storm.
Shawn Minoux describes that the sound design focused on creating a digital sound theme while outside of the game such as in the main menu, whereas the sound theme while in a match was created to be more analogue. While dead during a match, players are in “digital purgatory”, where ambient sounds are a mix of digital and analogue. He passes the mic off to Pedro Seminario to talk about sound design for the heroes.
He plays a few sound clips that are characteristic of various characters throughout the Blizzard franchises. Then he explains that heroes have to go through an iteration phase where their sounds are improved and updated. Each hero has three buzzwords to design their sound design around; Stitches has “gross”, “sloppy”, and “lumbering”, Nova has “stealthy”, “techy”, and “precise”, Jaina has “magical”, “icy”, and “sharp”. Several clips are shown of Jaina’s abilities, showcasing the sharpness of her ice-based magic. The mic goes back to Shawn Minoux to talk about the Lost Vikings.
The Lost Vikings, as a whole, have the buzzwords “comical”, “light-hearted”, and “medieval”. Individually though, they’re quite different; Olaf has “stout”, Baelog has “fierce”, and Erik has “swift”. The unique 3-in-1 hero design posed an interesting question of how their sounds would be created. Various video clips are played to showcase each viking’s sound effects.
Pedro takes the mic again. He talks about Thrall, who has the buzzwords “mystical”, “natural”, and “tough”. Video clips are shown again to display abilities and their sound effects.
Justin Dye, writer for Heroes of the Storm, is handed the mic to talk about the writing for each of the heroes’ dialogue. When giving each hero their voice, they have to feel powerful enough to stand the test of time. Also, the number of lines per unit in Heroes of the Storm averages 300, meaning a massive amount of writing has to be done. To talk about sound, the mic is passed to Glenn Stafford, Senior Composer for Heroes of the Storm.
He talks about combined styles, familiar characters, and being in new settings. The game’s opening theme is analyzed, going through its composition step-by-step. He heads over to a keyboard set up on the side of the stage, and explains how he began by choosing chords and progressing from there.
Afterwards, the Q&A portion starts and marks the end of the panel.
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