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We present City of Titans, a spiritual successor for the superhero MMORPG City of Heroes, being developed by Missing Worlds Media.
5,003 backers pledged $678,189 to help bring this project to life.

A Glorious Noise

Posted by Missing Worlds Media (Creator)

In a game, sound can (and should) be subtle and not overtly noticeable, such as he chirp of a bird, the leaves rustling on the ground underneath it's perch as the breeze gently brushes them or the traffic a block away from the middle of the park your standing in. The everyday, normal auditory breath and life of the city. Sound is the cornerstone of immersion into another world. We believe this is just as important as the other side of the sound coin.

The other side is the obvious sounds. Sounds that make you feel powerful. The sound of electricity leaving your fingertips. The sound of the air cracking as you emit lasers from your eyes. The sound of your armor powering up. The sound of air rushing past as you plunge headlong through the sky or run at super speed down an open freeway. The grunt of the thug you just punched into next week.

It is also those sounds that scream danger; the rumble of the earth quaking as the giant monster stomping its way through the city, the ticking of the bomb you must defuse before it blows, the roar of the blazing fire that threatens the lives of everyone in the building. You know you won't be the only one out there with powers as well, don't you? These sounds can help identify them as well.

You may ask, "But how do you make the large amount of sounds that go into a game like this?" Good question. Honestly, there are a million ways to make a million sounds. Sound design encompasses foley (recording sounds made by people in a studio), "found" sounds (recordings of objects or things out in the world), sound libraries (pre-done libraries of sounds made specifically for sound design use), synthesized sounds (sounds made electronically), etc. Pretty much anything and everything that creates a sound can and will be used. My personal program of choice is Avid's Pro Tools because I am a recording/mixing engineer, but sound design can (and is) done with a multitude of programs. Whatever sounds we make are then exported to create our own sound library, ready to be utilized in the game.

For example, let's say we need the sound of a giant robot's leg as it is moving. Without graphics we would just use our imagination to guess what sounds we need from a description from the Art and Composition departments. With graphics, we need to match the movement, style and general "feel" of the graphic to customize the sound it may make. We could start with machinery sounds such as hydraulics, boilers, presses, forklifts…anything and everything. We then take that audio and hack, smash, slash, hammer and bend the rules of time and space to mold it into what we want. Then we think about what that thing would sound like hitting the concrete…and water… and dirt…and asphalt and start the process over for each sound while making them as cohesive as possible so that they sound like one thing making all this noise.

These things and so much more make up sound design. It is the icing on the (necessarily) graphics intensive cake. Great sound has become an extremely important and ubiquitous part of modern gaming and we are definitely making a modern game. Things like one sound per power, powersets that are annoyingly loud or jarring, immersion breaking noises and too-often repeated sound events are definitely not on the agenda at MWM. Our goal is to make sounds that players will never tire of hearing and help to realize a living, breathing City of Titans.

-Rob “Revolution” Newton, Sound Design Lead

Nancy Rasmussen, Thor, and 70 more people like this update.


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    1. Wanders on

      Sounds great. :)

      If possible, I'd like the environmental sounds to originate from the locations you'd expect to be generating the sounds. Some sounds are more general to a larger area, and it makes sense that those would not be tightly-sourced, I'm thinking more of a fountain or light machinery or clocks or that sort of thing. I expect you'll agree that sound (and especially the blend of multiple sounds) really can convey a feel to an environment.

    2. pud on


    3. Nelson Tavares on

      Yes please. The sounds of CoH were woefully amateurish, especially in latter issues. One of the big reasons I never bothered with quarterstaves was because they sounded like I was banging on a metal trash can lid.

    4. Missing avatar

      Sue Kennedy on

      I am very excited about this game. I miss CoH so much and it's thrilling to know that I can become a hero (or villain) again. We've hit the pledge mark and now comes the waiting.... it's gonna be a long year and a half...

    5. Missing avatar

      Sue Kennedy on

      I am very excited about this game. I miss CoH so much and it's thrilling to know that I can become a hero (or villain) again. We've hit the pledge mark and now comes the waiting.... it's gonna be a long year and a half...

    6. Missing avatar

      Hans Grohmann on

      ...and the giant robot stops walking, aims its weapon at the gathered heroes, and a new sound effect plays:


    7. Bruce T - Yorian of Phoenix Rising on

      I really enjoy the updates as well. It's reassuring that what I loved about COH are the same things at you love!

    8. Missing Worlds Media Creator on

      @Sacha - Someone identified the second easter egg so far. Wonder who will find the rest....

    9. Duane S on

      Now the sounds of fists pummeling that giant robot before it tries to destroy City Hall.

    10. Tiara Walker on

      Thanks so much for all the updates! Reading them has reminded me how much I still miss CoX. They have made me really optimistic and excited about the things to come with this game. Great job.

    11. Robin Harvey on

      Fantastic Update! I was so excited last night I couldn't get to sleep. This is going to be a long work day but it was worth it to be able to see the kickstarter reach $300k! *high five

    12. Missing avatar

      Benjamin Senghaas on

      I love the weight that was conveyed in the sound bite. Gives me images of something big and heavy, like some sort of bipedal construction machinery. Great job guys! Really amped for this game to spread it's wings!

    13. Grace - Phoenix Rising Medic on

      Ohmygosh, Ohmygosh, Ohmygosh!!

      Keep these updates coming. I've already pledged,but it's getting me pumped even more... I cannot wait to immerse myself in this universe.

    14. Missing avatar

      Sacha Hartmann on

      Neil Diamond reference. Nice!

      That was a Neil Diamond reference, wasn't it? >.>

    15. Missing avatar

      David on

      I look forward to hearing and seeing more in this vein - City of Heroes had an really enduring sound and animation design, that made every power and character memorable even in the old days. This is also a really interesting topic because you guys have to make some executive decision about what certain universal concepts like "shoot a blast of energy" or "control someone's mind" look and sound like.

    16. Rae 'Tonwen' Hadley, Phoenix Rising on

      I'm having a great time watching the pledged amount nudge up and up. I was a pretty casual player of CoX, but I really miss the game and am SO excited about City of Titans. I only wish I could donate more. Keep the terrific updates coming.

    17. Doug McNabb on

      This just shows that we as a community never left. We still yearn to fly, jump, run, teleport and to pound the crap out of some villains and you are giving us this opportunity to give us back what we lost. We can hardly wait hence the reason we are close to our goal so quickly. Thanks for all of your work we really do appreciate it.

    18. Zoser - Phoenix Rising Cookie Guardian on

      I love that this, much your other publications, this post shows a love and attention to the details that matter. Thanks for being our heroes. :)

    19. Roy Coker on

      Aaaaah. The sound of levelling up.... I miss that!

    20. Missing avatar

      VoiceOfTheAbbey on

      I love these posts but.. c'mon, what I really wanto to hear you say is " o boy oboy o boy - we're gonna make it! WE'RE GONNA MAKE IT!! Thanks to these Crazy COH Lovers- Good Lord... We're Gonna DO IT!"

    21. Grant L. Thompson on

      Ohboyohboyohboy! The noises of all the different powersets in CoX were definitely some of my favorite parts of that game. It -sounds- like you guys are gonna turn 'em up to 11!

    22. Afterglow--Rising Phoenix Heatmiser on

      Thrilled to hear a sound engineer is in charge of the sounds! :-) That was very well written and has got me very pumped up for the game. I wish we could learn a bit about all of the MWM "volunteers." Your names, your stories, and titles would make you look more credible to those on the fence about giving (more). And errr where can I download that hydraulic powered robo-foot smash? Would make a great text alert. Just sayin

    23. Christopher on

      you know whats an amazing sound, 2000+ backers rejoicing that we just hit 300K funded as this was posted!!!