Demo Reel 2: Realistic Super Mario World

In this occasion I made a realistic version of Super Mario World. This involved lots of different sounds and it was definitely a challenge.

This demo reel, just like the Need For Speed one, is part of an assessment of Elliot Callaghan’s Game Audio 101 & 201 course (which btw I have already finished and will be uploading a review soon!)

The rules for this assessment were:

· To hit picture accurately.

· To resemble what the sounds represent visually.

· To use different reverbs when under ground and above ground.

· To use enough volume and panning automation so that the mix makes sense.

Steps

The idea behind the steps was to make them cartoon-like and slightly comical as that was the way I found how Mario walks. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t put a lot of thought into it: I just put some footstep textures together with some grass sounds and EQ and that was the result!

For jumping I used a footstep on wood so there was a change in intensity in comparison to normal steps.

For turns I wanted to follow the comical aspect of it, so it sounds like when one slides on a wet wooden floor.

Evolving

There are two different sounds here: eating a mushroom and eating a flower.

For the mushroom, I tried to imagine what would happen in reality: you eat a mushroom and you become bigger. Therefore, your body has to expand. So I put some flesh sounds in there added with biting some vegetables.

For the flower, I tried to represent rather the visual part of it. There’s a colour effect when Mario eats it that appears to act kind of clockwise, so I used a phaser to create that same effect with sounds. Since after eating it, Mario can throw fireballs, I used a crackling fire sound for it with some hard EQ.

Slide

For the slide I wanted a shhh sound, so I went straight for a storm with blowing wind. I could have done it as well with gray sound, but it was easier to make with the storm sfx as it already had that motion in it. Thus, I just had to EQ it so it really sounded like sliding through the grass. I also added a bit of grass rustling and that was the result.

Fireballs and Hits

The fireballs were hard to picture at the beginning. However, I got some help from the r/Gameaudio’s subreddit (thanks a lot to everyone who answered!).

The recommendations I found most useful for spells in general were to think of them as 2 different parts: a woosh and crackling sounds (ice, fire, etc). By layering you can create whatever you have in mind. Another user also recommended me to add distortion to these layered sounds.

Hence, I used some crackling fire layers, wooshes and distortion and that was the result! I know it’s not great, but step by step and I’ll get there.

Furthermore, for enemy hits in general, I added and edited the sound of someone hitting themselves on the face. I basically down-pitched the sound and processed it with EQ.

Finally, I was inspired by Eytan Krief’s video on “How to design the sound of an explosion” for making the fireball hits on enemies. He basically talks about using different parts of a drum set, distortion and compression to create a explosion sound.

Enemies

Dinosaur

I was quite lost when it came to how the dinosaur’s steps would sound. So all I did was experimenting: I imagined something between highly tuned and dog steps. I tried to recreate this by pouring some water on the ground and stepping onto it. Then, I edited it with some EQ and compression. I’m not super happy with the result, but at least it’s done.

Flower

The flower’s sound was quite simple to make: it consisted on a tuned-down chewing sound. I wanted it to be annoying in a way, so when you’re close to it, you feel the need to make it stop. Flowers are dangerous in this game, so the sound had to be somehow paired with that fact.

Bullet

I was completely lost with how these bullets would sound. So I went for the obvious one: airplanes. I gathered a few sounds and textures, put them together, added distortion and that was the result.

Final Boss

For the final boss, I recorded slaps on a metal chest to recreate the armor as well as my voice saying huh when he dies. I also mixed it with a texture of me stepping on heavy boots to add some impact and lows to the sound.

Other Elements

Coins

I’m quite happy with the coins as they sound exactly how I pictured it. It’s just some coins in a bag being shaken. I put some compression and EQ to make it sound brighter and that was it.

Rock Blocks

I had a hard time with this sound as I wanted it to feel satisfying when one is destroying rock blocks. I took a library sound of a heavy stone falling and added some EQ, reverb and delay. Moreover, I used the sound of some stones hitting each other for the ending (or release) of the first sfx.

Tunnel

For Mario entering the tunnel, I added some reverb with automations for the steps so it feels like he walks deep into it, giving some depth.

For Mario exiting the tunnel, I used 3 different layers of wind and storms and automated EQ to give it some more motion. I’m quite content with the final result.

Checkpoints

The checkpoints are just what one sees: the sound of a broken stick. I layered 5 different sounds with different EQs until I found what I was looking for. I edited this same sound for the final checkpoint so it sounded darker and deeper.

Sliding Mushroom

For the sliding mushroom I created the sound starting from gray noise. I just processed it with some EQ until it sounded like a rustling snake.

Also, for the very first mushroom, I added a really basic woosh sound.

Underground Cave

For the cave, I changed some of the sounds and created some ambiance.

The ambiance was created from EQing a storm (yep, lots of storm sounds) with a band pass filter. I was very happy about finding out this sound on my own, as I think it it quite cool and it gives that underground vibe. I also added some water drops so it sounded like a proper cave.

Furthermore, I created a cave-like reverb for all of the sounds so it gives a feeling of a biggish space with an absorbent material (rocks in this case).

Finally, I changed the grass texture in the footsteps for a rocky one. I think it just sounds like it’s supposed to.

Conclusion

I hope you liked the demo reel and the post. To be honest, I was overwhelmed at the beginning with the amount of sounds and panning I had to make. Moreover, now that I see it in retrospective, I feel like the overall mix is missing something (presence among other things).

However I’m happy I’m over with this assessment as I think it sounds decently and it is the very first piece I make this long.

What do you think? Let me know in a comment!

+2% EXP in Sound Design/Editing

+2% EXP in Mixing

+1% EXP in Foley

+2% EXP in Studio Recording

+13% Overall EXP

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