Combat sound effects in 0.6a

I’ve been working on overhauling most of Starsector’s combat sound effects for the next release and am here to present a short video of some of the new weapon sounds. From 0.6a onwards nearly all weapons will have unique sound assets and players will be able to hear which weapons are being fired just by keeping their ears open!

The video below contains some of the more distinct sounds of the update, like the Gauss Cannon, which, if you can’t spot it being fired from long range, is now easily recognized for the howling sound it makes when fired.

Among other weapons the video also shows how shield and armor impacts have changed – shields now feel more like hard shells around ships, and low-damage fire from conventional weapons on armor or hulls no longer produces bullet ricochet sounds.

Making these new scifi combat sounds based almost completely on sound material I’ve recorded myself has been both extremely arduous and rewarding. My sound design background is mostly in film sound, which, let’s face it, is most of the time about footsteps and the occasional creaky door.

When faced with the task of designing sounds for completely fictional things like phase teleportation devices or plasma cannons, suddenly everything is possible and you can’t really ever know where to begin. So I’ve went and done huge amounts of crazy, experimental recordings creating a pool of sound material from which I pick and combine sounds in order to create something new, never really knowing if something will work until I hear it work.

At first I was afraid that this was a very unprofessional approach to doing things, but after reading a book on scifi sound design and its history, it turns out this is apparently pretty much how everyone else has gone about it as well. Phew!

There’s still bound to be some changes along the way for sounds in 0.6a, but I hope everyone will enjoy the new material and find their new favorite Kabooms and Pew-Pews!

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