Saturday, April 19, 2008

GTA IV Audio Question and Answer

Posted by Andy at 02:36. Category: General

The movies that we watch, the games that we play... they just wouldn't be the same if it wasn't for the audio. The Grand Theft Auto series is no exception; the ambiance of the city is as important to Grand Theft Auto as the Imperial March is to Star Wars. GTA IV aims to maintain this healthy balance of audio and visual, and on that note, I'm happy to say that GamesRadar has just recently posted a multi-page Audio Q&A for Grand Theft Auto IV.

The Q&A includes Matthew Smith, Craig Conner and Will Morton, all of whom are senior employees with the Rockstar North audio team. Some quotes that we found particularly interesting:

  • "Stand in the street and you’ll hear three different radio stations at any one time coming from passing vehicles, all sounding appropriately tinny or boomy, depending on the type of vehicle and whether its doors are open, its windows broken, etc."
  • "It was our aim that you could place the player in a random position on the map, shut your eyes and listen, and be able to tell where you are, and what time of day it is, and I think we’ve achieved that pretty well."
  • "For multiplayer, we balance [the sound of gunfire] so that guns only really sound dangerously beefy when they’re at a distance you can be hit from, so it’s intuitive what’s threatening and what’s someone else’s private war."
  • "It’s difficult to quantify how many speaking parts there are, but at our last count there were over 740 unique voices in the game. There are over 80,000 individual lines of dialogue, more than 7000 of which are Niko’s lines. If you were to listen to each line back to back, it would take over 29 hours. Also, these figures don’t take the radio, TV, and mo-capped cut-scene dialogue into consideration."
  • "We also decided to make the pedestrian dialogue more realistic in GTA4. As an example, peds in previous games would walk around and randomly chat to themselves if they weren’t doing much else. In real life, people (generally!) don’t go around talking to themselves, so we dropped this behavior from GTA4. However, we realized that the random chat of old GTA games was a good way for the player to pick-up on what sort of personality a ped has, so we created the cell-phone conversations in GTA4 as one realistic way of portraying personality."

The Q&A also includes a handful of new screenshots (which should be enough to satisfy those of you who don't like to read). As always, you can talk about this latest bit of GTA IV info on our forums.

Related Link: GTA IV Audio Q&A at GamesRadar

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