Ashi Wash had quite a bit of dialog given how short the game is. It was a lot of work, but also it was a lot of fun. During one of the recording sessions, Julian took his phone out and filmed much of the process. I’ve edited the footage down to a short video to give a behind-the-scenes look at what a recording day is like. You’ll see us goofing off, but you’ll also see how many takes we go through to find the perfect line, the way we discuss the emotions and motivations of The Foot, and how we experiment with new ideas. We’ve called this video “Between the Toes.”
The video doesn’t capture everything of course. Before we began recording, we discussed what information The Foot needed to communicate to the player (like not having much time left) and then came up with the actual words for it to say (“You’re running out of time!”). This was all written down in a spreadsheet, along with other notes we needed. We went into recording day with a structured plan.
The video clips are taken from only one recording session. We had three sessions over the process of making the game, so in total, we spent several hours recording dialog. Alex would read the lines from the spreadsheet on his laptop while Troy and Julian listened to the performance, giving feedback. In order to create the final voice of The Foot, several audio effects were used, and Troy listened to how Alex’s delivery sounded with the effects applied in real-time. It’s difficult to consistently stay in character and with the correct emotion, especially when there’s a lot of audio processing involved. If Alex’s performance ever started to not sound quite like The Foot, Troy would guide Alex back into the specific character.
After recording, we had lots of audio to sort. All the different takes were listened to and the best ones were selected to the be in the final game. Minor edits and clean up were done and then the final audio effects were applied. Those audio files then were brought into the game engine.
In the end, we have a character gives the player very practical information for playing the game. We also have a character with a unique and consistent personality. As the audio person on the team, I’m really happy with how The Foot’s dialog came out and it’s what I’m most proud of in Ashi Wash.