Meet the Devs #1 - Ryan Patrick Buckley (with transcript)



  • Hey guys, I know this isn’t new, but I’m going to add them as a separate entity from now on. If I do a video or voice interview, I will add a transcript. This first transcript took forever to do. So here it all is for your enjoyment:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Q0AuoC_bnDw

    Transcript:
    A quick note: I did this interview and newsletter prior to becoming Community Manager, so I was extremely giggly and a tiny bit nervous as I had to have my voice on this. So in this transcript, you are lucky to not have to hear the giggles and insanity that went on this interview. Anyways, this took me forever, so enjoy it! And of course it’s not completely word for word. 43 minutes long - This was also cut down from the original hour and 45 minutes or so that it was…

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    Hey everyone! I’m Kimi, aka Kimiko from the forums and I’m here with Ryan Patrick Buckley, aka Sir Loin, the audio director, sound designer and composer of Torn Banner Studios and the game we all know and love Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. Woo!

    This is actually our first Meet the Devs segment in our newsletter and we’re really going all out here because we’re doing this on voice and the rest of them after this is going to be pretty boring. I’ll have to think of ways to spice them up!

    Thank you everyone on the forums who posted their questions. Please remember I cannot guarantee that all your questions will be asked and/or answered,so I apologize if yours isn’t asked.

    Sir Loin: We are in agreement! (MAA voice)

    Kimiko: So before we begin with the questions, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself. How you got started, if this was always your passion and how hard it was to get into this business…

    Sir Loin: I guess I was a musician first. And so I used to do a lot of recording and video games at the same time and so I used to be the guy who’d record the bands and make the cds and demos and all that. And how I got into video games directly, I was a flyer. I was the guy who’d go around the colleges and hang up all the annoying flyers that were all on the bulletin boards and saw a flyer for QA’ing the game BioShock. So yeah I worked on QA’ing for BioShock when I was there I met the sound team and they were really cool. I met another guy on the QA team, Justin Pappas, who was our Lead Level Designer for Chivalry. I floated the audio guys some of the music. I’ve done and they were like “Hey you should do game sound”. I never thought it was something I could do but they kind of talked me into it. I used to take video game trailers and just kind of resound them - strip the sound out and resound them. My friend pappas floated me an unreal editor and he had a bunch of levels and I learned how to work in the engine and do some in game sounds and stuff. I had so much fun doing it so I just did that for the next few years until I discovered the age of chiv mod. At that point I was working for Turbine, also in QA. I thought it was a great mod and a great mod but thought sound was lacking so I offered my services and long story short ended up working on Chivalry: med warfare.

    Kimiko: Are you accepting questions about birds?

    Sir Loin: I will take questions about birds!

    Kimiko: Okay, so questions from gregcau - Let me just say this, I will probably say everyone’s names wrongs, so I apologize if I mispronounce. So greg asked if you were accepting questions about birds, but he never followed up with an actual question, so I think he’s trying to be funny.

    Sir Loin: I know what he’s asking. I’m glad it came up, because that is my bad. that is the only “my bad” that I’m probably willing to agree to in any interview about Chivalry, because I work my ass off trying not to put a bug in the game! But what actually happened, is that the bird actually existed in Battlegrounds the entire time because it was just supposed to be a little color. They are made to circle over the battlefield - they are buzzards. But when we added the duel maps, but like an idiot I was like, hey i’ve got this bird sound and wanted it to be louder in the desert so I made it louder there which made it louder in the other map and the rest is history and Battlegrounds became one of the most annoying maps to play on and that’s the worst case scenario for a sound guy, accidentally ruining something else. But part of my job - sound takes a lot of space, so you try to reuse sound when you can. File size, the game is already big, so my job is to keep it sound and finding unique ways to reuse old sounds. i feel so ashamed, but this is what I love about our community. They turn it into a fun thing. When I first saw it on the forum that the bird was a problem, I knew right away why and how it happened. But by 10 points they made it into a fun thing. Like turn it into an achievement for killing the bird. The community has been very forgiving about me and my mistake

    Kimiko: Exactly. I actually got used to the sound after awhile, so I kind of miss it.

    Sir Loin: That’s the other thing, one of the things I learned. This isn’t the first game I’ve done sound for that’s been published, but one of the things is once the sound goes out, changing it can be dangerous because a bunch of people can go on the forum and say hey this could sound better, or this sounds annoying, but once you change it, twice as many people come on and are like why did you change it! So you are kind of locked in once you launch in terms of sound. I think most people will be happy the bird is gone. He’s still there, but he’s way up high in the sky - so he’s not a ghost bird.

    Kimiko: I kind of do like that achievement idea. Alright, so the bird isn’t AS loud;)

    Sir Loin: My bad greg, my bad.

    Kimiko: Okay, so we have Felix45. He loves the awesome sound effects from hitting people, decapitation ,and death screams. So, he would like to know how did you make the decapitation sounds SO satisfying.

    Sir Loin: Well, on the basis level that allowed the sounds in the game, I control the whole mix and how loud everything is. I do setup certain groups so all regular hit sounds are around the same level. When it came to decaps and head explosions, I made those the loudest sounds in the game. I think part of the reason why they are so satisfying is because of all the extra blood spattering sounds and those sounds are just water being thrown against the ground is really all it is. Aside from the volume, all that is extra there. A lot of our hits are juicy and all, but I went completely over the top for decaps and stuff because it takes a little skill to pull off and don’t happen that often so just in the sense that it’s hard to do and happens rarer, I have to make the sound kind of reflect that and everyone around you knows that someone lost their head at that moment you might not be looking at a decap, but you’re fighting a guy and you hear it and you know. I went all out on decaps and head explosions.

    Kimiko: I agree, they are quite satisfying.

    Sir Loin: Now these other questions - the regular hit sounds and stuff. The one thing I will say about those, in most FPS games , you don’t hear a lot of the gore because they are mostly from a distance, but in our game, all the battles are fought toe to toe. So when you hit anyone, you hear two sounds. The impact of armor and the impact of the body being hit. And there’s two different sounds getting mixed. And on top of that, we’ve got spears, we’ve swords, we’ve got axes, we’ve got clubs, we’ve got blunts, slash, chop, you know we’ve got these four different sounds, so there’s basically different groups of sounds depending on the weapon and the three types of armor that’s being hit. In the end, I may have 16 different sounds for each of armor and gore… and I’m not going to do the math on it, but it’s like they start to become like snowflakes. You’re not going to hit a guy 3 times with the same weapon and the same armor and hear the same sound and part of that reason is you’re hearing 2 sounds mixed together and that was something I did by design, because the intimacy of the combat begged for it and it also begged for it to be immersive. If you’ve ever played a game like half life and take the crow bar in half life and hit people and if you keep using it and kill someone 12 times with it, you start to recognize the sounds, so what I did was make it as improbable as possible for you to recognize the sound.

    Kimiko: Were any police reports filed due to excessive screaming sounds, people on fire especially, coming from wherever those sounds are recorded?

    Sir Loin: I was worried about it the whole time - almost expected the fire department to come busting in. There was a story once when I was recording Justin Pappas - Level Designer for Chivalry, who is the voice of the Knight, I was doing the line “Help” and I was doing it in a place where other people were around - a studio within another studio basically. And all of a sudden while this guy just busts through the door thinking someone was being crushed by a large filing cabinet or something! We were freaked out, but we’re just like “Sorry, just recording voice overs!” xD. And to Justin’s credit, he very realistically shouted help to the point where a guy would come in expecting to fight off an intruder or something. That was intense

    Kimiko: Ravendice would like to know: “Can we expect packs of optional music in the future? I’d love more variety in my tracks.”
    Sir Loin: When the SDK, some of these things may be possible. We’ve got 16 sounds in our soundbox, so in the future, it would be great. But will I personally be writing songs for optional packs? Definitely not.

    Kimiko: Andrew would like to know other than yourself, who is the sexiest member of Torn Banner

    Sir Loin: Wow, that’s a loaded question. Who don’t I want to bang on the team?? Haha Just kidding. No Comment! Let’s make them all worry! ;)

    Kimiko: Torn Heinous (laugh) would like to know where you drew inspiration from when creating the music. Any particular films, plays, etc?

    Sir Loin: Pretty much how hard my life was at the time, that’s pretty much where my inspiration comes from. The game is about a struggle, so it’s been a fun struggle for me to create the music. I love this composer Elliot Goldenthaw, who did Titus, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire - I like his style. I was definitely inspired by him, and I can’t hold a candle to what he’s done, but I try to reflect some of his style in my music. Thinking about the different scenes in the game, making creepy sounding music like when you poison the water in Dark Forest, etc. The inspiration really comes from the game. If you’re being a good composer, that’s where your inspiration generally comes from. This was my first soundtrack, so if it’s likeable at all, then I did a good job.

    Kimiko: Hunutteri would like to know if crossbow bow sounds be made “more stronger”?

    Sir Loin: I’m happy with the bow sounds, but the crossbow sounds I have never been happy with. I’ve done more sounds on the crossbow than any other game. One of the guys on the team sent me the skyrim sound for their crossbow and it just sounded like a gun to me - like a rifle. It’s tough because a real crossbow barely makes any sound. You definitely want to go a bit over the top than reality sometimes. We’re going for hollywood realism with the sound. I tried to go halfway between where it was and the skyrim one - somewhere in the middle. I think I’ve reached the point where I’ve gone over the top as possible.

    Kimiko: jrmftw would like to know what is your favorite taunt and should there more implemented in the game in the future:

    Sir Loin: My favorite is: Your wife is a hobby horse! (in MAA voice)… and will there be more? I’d love for there to be more. After 6 months, people are probably used to all the taunts now. But in AoC, we had 2 voices for all the classes. And we had a certain amount of taunts. I’m happy for the diversity. It was hard to write - funny and things that you’d hear a lot and I think we did a good job. But do I want more? Of course, but will it happen, no idea. And a lot of our taunts come from Shakespeare, just google Shakespeare taunts, they are hilarious. Wrote a lot myself and with some of the actors. But it was hard to keep coming up with funny things to come up with on the battlefield.

    Kimiko: Adamcell6 would like to know why is there no Dost thou even hoist?

    Sir Loin: Does that even come from our game? What is the story behind this phrase?? Lol Is that something that medieval guys say when it comes to lifting? Lol (nothing much to say here)

    Kimiko: Lusse would like to know is there a possibility to add taunts specific to different classes?

    Sir Loin: The possibility is there - we could probably do it. What we’d like would inflate the amount of VO we needed and would take a lot more code support. There are like 3500 VO lines in our game right now. It’s something we’d like to do - to make the game more personal. And that would be the next level we’d like to take this. I’m glad that all the VO and sound stuff has been a huge success and I’m happy to hear all these questions, because the VO is a huge part of the game. And we’ll continue to make things like this.

    Kimiko: People love it. We can have full conversations in game, just using those voices and taunts.

    Sir Loin: It’s great because even if you suck at the game, at least you can harass people with VO

    Kimiko: Exactly! It’s so annoying though when people kill you, they use the laugh and it’s like thanks, just rub it in my face. Haha.

    Sir Loin: (MAA LAUGH goes here)

    Kimiko: Moving on! Bushido chocobo would like to know 3 different questions:

    1. Why is the mason archer so quiet compared to the others

    Sir Loin: He was the shyest of all the voice actors. He has some of the best taunts, and he has an honest vibe about him while everyone else was a bit more over the top. Friend of mine. All the voice actors are friends of mine.

    Kimiko: Question 2) Will the voice menu be expanded? I want a full on Tribes style vgs voice menu.

    Sir Loin: Voice acting is a very expensive part of making video games and we did this one all on the cheap, and we already have a very extensive voicing. But we’ll see in the future.

    Kimiko: Question 3) Which class do you think is the best at yelling?

    Sir Loin: That would be a two way tie between the Agatha Archer or the Mason Knight. Two totally different spectrums of yelling, but it’s really hard to choose.

    Kimiko: Unreal Diego asked: Are you going to add more respect voices, because there should be a difference between respecting a teammate and respecting an enemy.

    Sir Loin: I can “respect” that question… (crickets chirping)… Respect was one of the last things we added in the voice menu. When you get in a good fight you really like it, and that’s why this button exists.But I can’t say it’s going to be coming, because all the amateurs are all over the place, but again it’s expensive to have to fly everyone out and get them to the studio, etc… And the respect button is probably the most underused button in the VO menu.

    Kimiko: Comment from daciajc - he would just like you know that half the fun comes from the voiceovers, the battle cries, the laughs the taunts the death gurgles. Fantastic job!

    Sir Loin: That’s really sweet and I’ll definitely pass that one to all the actors. A lot of people in the community have given a lot of support, so thank you dacia!

    Kimiko: Dokb would like to know do you have any quirky special techniques for when you were doing the different voices? For example did you have to do anything out of the ordinary to achieve the Mason MAA laugh such as maybe blocking your nose or something along those lines?

    Sir Loin: Yes. When I did the Agatha MAA it was just me shouting and imagining me being on the battlefield. With Mason MAA I was trying to do it like Alan Rickman because it’s like he talks through his nose or something. I was trying to close my throat a little bit and fire it through my nose, which led to some of the pain sounds. I was doing VO sounds and would come across some great pain sounds and I would mark those. What we all tried to do is shout our heads off as if we were on a violent medieval battlefield where for anyone to hear you, you’d have to be shredding your vocal chords if you had something really important to say

    Kimiko: Daiyuki wanted to know who did all the voices?

    Sir Loin: Brandon Blaire - guy from Texas did the Agatha Archer remotely; wrote his own lines. He also did two of the vendors in the Tavern map
    Justin Pappas - He’s our lead level designer - did both Knights and has a 4 year theater degree so he’s really good at that.
    I did both Man at Arms which we talked about already.
    My good friend Matthew Snook did the Agatha Vanguard
    Another good friend Bobby Wark did the Mason Vanguard and they were both the most psychotic of the voices so that’s why they got the Vanguards.
    John Gilbert, a dude I used to work with did Mason Archer.

    Kimiko: Daiyuki’s second question was As for the sounds, was there a lot of foley involved or was it mostly making software mimic sounds?

    Sir Loin: There was some foley involved. The magic of our combat sounds is I would literally take sounds that were car crashes or metallic that you wouldn’t necessarily think you’d hear in a medieval time. You take apart pieces from different sounds and you’d be amazed what you can find. Was I out in a junkyard smashing cars with hammers to get the sounds? No. But did I record a toaster popping bread up to get a better crossbow sound? Yes.
    Don’t use stock sound and use sounds that are meant for different reasons. Imagine what you want them to be and in the end it’s your ears. You can listen to a 20 second sound of a car crash and .5 seconds might be the perfect mace hitting plate mail sound in that sound.

    Kimiko: So I think this goes into what Dr. Zob wanted to know was if you used real weapons to create the weapon sound

    Sir Loin: No, I own no real weapons.

    Kimiko: He has a second question and this is one we talked about before. Why does the voiceover in Hillside pronounce pronounce trebuchet incorrectly? It should be pronounced trebu-shay and not trebu-shet.

    Sir Loin: I knew this was going to be a problem when I was deciding on which pronunciation to use. I was listening to The Game of Thrones, during the battle of blackwater and Roy Dotrice pronounced them trebu-shets and I went to dictionary.com and the pronunciation for both were there.

    ((This part wasn’t in the interview, but we had talked about this previously on our own and he also mentioned that he went with the English way of pronouncing trebu-shet as opposed to the French way of trebu-shay as it was more fitting for the theme of the game))

    Kimiko: Dr. Nick would like to know - are there any other games that inspired you with their sounds while working on Chivalry.

    Sir Loin: I’m going to say no, as there are no medieval games that I like to play. That’s the reason this motley crew of developers got together to make this game. But really there were no examples to pull from. Are there other medieval games that sound good?

    Kimiko: Dr. Nick also asks, what was the hardest sound to get right

    Sir Loin: Crossbow. Crossbows are the hardest sound to get right. I literally worked on a crossbow sound for 4-5 years. I’m only convincing myself that I’m finally done it so I can get on with my life.

    Kimiko: Ex Lead programmer Mike, would like to know who your favorite ex dev is.

    Sir Loin: Favorite ex dev? Well it would have been Michael Bao, but he’s so humble he just assumed it’s going to be him.

    Kimiko: Haha sorry Mike!

    Sir Loin: Yeah dude you’re out. You should have given me more sound code.

    Kimiko: Gauntlet would like to know are there plans for adding a nice shot or complimentary VO to the classes. I would really like to compliment teammates on a job well done. Preferably one that doesn’t distinguish friend from foe, so it can work both ways.

    Sir Loin: It’s a great idea. Just say if we did a Chivalry 2 - do I keep the same actors and same VO? Probably. Should all these things be available all the time - yes. When you’re playing a video game you have your eyes and ears. And ears are often neglected and what I’m hearing from the community is that we’ve hit a vein. We need a week where we fly all these amateur voice actors out and do a couple extra things. I’m inspired by the question but it’s one I can’t answer . It’s something I’d love to do and it’s a great idea.

    Kimiko: ReMixx would like you to read some of your favorite lines from your character in game with complete facial and body animations so basically this means you have to go on video and do that

    Sir Loin: Yeah tell him to PM me and he’ll get a private show. HAHA

    Kimiko: You can at least say something though!

    Sir Loin: My absolute favorite voice line is the Agatha Vanguard is a laugh and it’s the hohoho blasphemy. It’s awesome. It’s the Chivalry VO jackpart.

    Kimiko: And you need to do you your favorite MAA lines. This is your specialty.

    Sir Loin: Well I already did the hobby horse one…
    “You should be women and yet your beards forbid me from interpreting that you are so” (in MAA voice)
    That voice is so hard to pull off. Try reading Shakespeare in a different voice. That is all from Shakespeare by the way.

    Kimiko: I have a question for you from me. I would like to know what was your favorite thing to work on, in the game. That made you the happiest. What are you most proud of.

    Sir Loin: My favorite thing to work on was the tutorial. That was really fun and looking forward to doing more single player experiences.
    The thing I’m most proud of is the VO. Half the VO pulling in friends and getting them to scream til they lose their voices was hard. And beer helped, showing them a good time. I was shy when I was doing the VO and only Justin Pappas was ready to do it. And why it was so successful was to make people feel comfortable and help people write the lines. And while I did the majority of the writing, I would tell them the situation and you’re saying “yes” so their own personalities came out - they weren’t reading from a sheet of paper. I’d tell them what the basic line was - like “retreat” and they’d have to come out with their own ways to say it. Also the catapult sound cool… when they work! And the ballistas are awesome. When you can pin 3 guys and one is from your own team, you’re like “oh worth it!”.

    Kimiko: Alright, well that was that! Thank you everyone for your questions and taking part in this wonderful first interview.

    Sir Loin: And thanks for your interest in the game and sound. And you guys go on other video game forums and you give the sound guys hell!

    Kimiko: And thank you as well for doing our first official Meet the Devs segment of our newsletter.

    Sir Loin: You’re welcome! It’s downhill from here.

    Kimiko: Lol downhill. The rest of you devs have a LOT to live up to!

    Sir Loin: (laughs in MAA voice).

    Kimiko: Ta ta!

    You can also download it here: http://www.chivalrythegame.com/transcri … rLoin.docx



  • Thank you for the transcript. Many people have no idea how important this is.



  • Holy Damn! Kimi, you are like an excitable child in a candy store!

    Oh, and it’s the Mason Man at Arms! cool! 8-)



  • @YarnuTheDog:

    Holy Damn! Kimi, you are like an excitable child in a candy store!

    Oh, and it’s the Mason Man at Arms! cool! 8-)

    I suppose :P I’ve been more excitable in my life ;)



  • Loved the in-depth behind the scenes.
    Great to hear all the work that goes into the creation of the things we love so much.

    Cos we all know, we love running around, spamming V.O’s all game long.



  • That was very interesting to hear Sir Loin talk about all the audio !

    You guys did a great job !
    Thanks ;)



  • @Kimiko:

    I suppose :P I’ve been more excitable in my life ;)

    pics

    (stay away Bob Kimi can look after herself).



  • @gregcau:

    @Kimiko:

    I suppose :P I’ve been more excitable in my life ;)

    pics

    (stay away Bob Kimi can look after herself).

    Pics of me being excitable?? Never!



  • A word of critisim and how you can improve the actual video of you want to do more yourself. Your using stereo sound which is good but I’m hearing your voice only through my right ear and Ryan’s voice only through my left ear. Its always better to have each voice come through both speakers. Otherwise it can be distracting and annoying for some people.

    Just saying. And this was the sound guys interveiw too and I’m complaining about the sound lol.



  • @lemonater47:

    A word of critisim and how you can improve the actual video of you want to do more yourself. Your using stereo sound which is good but I’m hearing your voice only through my right ear and Ryan’s voice only through my left ear. Its always better to have each voice come through both speakers. Otherwise it can be distracting and annoying for some people.

    Just saying. And this was the sound guys interveiw too and I’m complaining about the sound lol.

    Sir Loin is the one who did it and he preferred it that way :P



  • @Kimiko:

    @lemonater47:

    A word of critisim and how you can improve the actual video of you want to do more yourself. Your using stereo sound which is good but I’m hearing your voice only through my right ear and Ryan’s voice only through my left ear. Its always better to have each voice come through both speakers. Otherwise it can be distracting and annoying for some people.

    Just saying. And this was the sound guys interveiw too and I’m complaining about the sound lol.

    Sir Loin is the one who did it and he preferred it that way :P

    Fire him.

    In all seriousness what he did is all good for speakers, its a nice speaker effect. As you can still hear it in both ears and it gives he illusion that you’re listening to two people on either side.

    But with headphones its like you have two pipes jammed in your ears and are listening to a person through each pipe.

    Live performances = great

    YouTube video = not so great for people who have headphones. And that’s becoming the majority now.


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