Ever since I listened to a talk by one of the lead sound designers at the UK-based Electronic Arts about their work on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I’ve been impressed. The actually took the time to incorporate stealth mode with sound (i.e. moving the character slowly enough so that their footsteps are soft enough not to be overheard by the guards) Even rudimentary, this is still more than a lot of other, more serious RPGs can say for themselves. That game also featured, as I recall, an affect-driven musical composing real-time algorithm – e.g. if you are doing well as Harry, the music subtly takes on a more major tonality, more victorious, happy overtones; if you are not progressing well the music takes on darker, minor tones.
The video below is a short overview of the basic sound design process that the UK Harry Potter team has gone through in the latest version of the game. It’s refreshing to see a female audio professional there too for a change!