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Developer Game Freak attended the CEDEC Awards panel in Japan, and they shared a ton of insight into the development of Pokémon Scarlet/Violet during the event. While we’ve already seen concept art and heard details pertaining to the game’s visuals, today we get all sorts of info on the game’s sound design.

Game Freak Sound Designer Go Ichinose, Connect+Echo Audio Director Kazuki Kitamura, and freelance Sound Programmer Sho Iwamoto offered never-before-heard details on the environmental sounds and Pokémon cries in the game, along with the history of environmental sounds in the series. You can see a bullet point breakdown of the info below. (h/t Siliconera)

  • Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda doesn’t allow realistic animal bug/sounds in Pokémon games
  • this is done because the world of Pokémon only has Pokémon, not real animals
  • environmental sounds and Pokémon cries were first introduced with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
  • the goal with Scarlet/Violet was to “realistically express the sounds of a natural environment where the only living creatures are Pokémon.”
  • the team did an experiment where they placed small speakers in the forest, played Pokémon sounds, and recorded them
  • Kitamura noticed during his time in the wilderness that insect sounds are similar to the electronic sounds of synthesizers
  • Kitamura thought that if the audio team at Game Freak could simulate the way sound echoes in a space, and simulate the diffraction of sound waves caused by plants and trees, Pokémon would begin to sound more realistic
  • due to the sheer amount of Pokémon, the sound team could not reasonably create many variations of Pokémon cries
  • there are a few variations based on the Pokémon’s mood, including calls of joy, anger, and sadness
  • Kitamura was offered the following direction when tackling the sound design challenge:
  1. Creativity is key.
  2. Pokémon are “mysterious creatures,” not animals.
  3. Will the player be pleased with the sound?
  • Kitamura visited mountains and zoos to take note of various animal habitats
  • Kitamura found that body size creates an effect on how an animal sounds
  • the team used a specialized program called PokéSynth to create the game’s sounds
  • PokéSynth was used to add nuance to Pokémon sounds
  • a large number of Pokémon cries were successfully created and manipulated to allow variants
  • PokéSynth makes it possible for Game Freak to create a multitude of Pokémon cry variants

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Comments (5)

kingbroly

9M ago

'we had to make sure the soundtrack stayed consistent with the framerate'


conangiga

9M ago

'this is done because the world of Pokémon only has Pokémon, not real animals'
Then why does the Pokédex state stuff like 'Pikachu: The mouse Pokémon'? Doesn't make much sense, right? I always expected Ash to say something like 'What is a dog?' after some of those entries.

'environmental sounds and Pokémon cries were first introduced with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire'
Not quite sure what they mean, since we had Pokémon cries since Red and Blue.

Edited 1 time

cinnamonrobin

9M ago

@conangiga

They're referring to Pokémon cries and other sounds playing in the overworld, rather than just in battle.

Edited 1 time

pc2

9M ago

Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda doesn’t allow realistic animal bug/sounds in Pokémon games

Wooloo's cry is literally a sheep sound effect.


There were Pokémon cries in the overworld in Ruby & Sapphire? It's been ages since I've played them but I can't remember anything like that at all.