21 Jan 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!