At Mundfish, we are very particular about sound. The music and sound in Atomic Heart is extremely important, not just because we consider ourselves serious audiophiles, but also because we are of the firm belief that that sound and music account for a half of the whole vibe of the game, half of the impact, and half of the emotions that players experience while playing the game. That’s half the success of any creative idea.
Sound should also perform not only an artistic function in a project like Atomic Heart, but also a technical one. In a sense, we want our players to experience a kind of synesthesia: Sound should represent the structure, fabric, and origin of objects in the game’s world, and their applied function should to tell us which way we should go. This is how Andrey Bugrov, our sound director, outlined his approach, his method of solving this creative, and at the same time technical, problem, and, of course, our composer, Igor Gribov, fully supported him.
Even at the very beginning of the project, at the start of the testing and pre-production phase, we set ourselves a very high bar in terms of sound quality. To make this happen, we armed ourselves with a hammer and a sound recorder and started knocking on all the surfaces around us in a small office room. Since then, we’ve gradually accumulated our own sound library, which includes an unimaginable number of recordings of string vibrations, and resonances of iron sheets, rods, barrels, chains, and car doors in various studios. We’ve smashed several dozen pounds of fruit and vegetables and torn apart an entire closet of clothes!
We went looking for the sounds of the Atomic Heart world in joint field recordings of electromagnetic waves on Ether sound receivers from Soma Lab together with their creator Vlad Kreimer. The highly-advanced sound devices of Soma Labs are the basis of the technological sound design of the game’s world.
It’s also no secret that we are working with a legend of the gaming industry, Mick Gordon—the famous Australian composer who created the sound environment for DOOM.
Mick Gordon’s mind-blowing sound solutions and his special take on the Russian classics immerse players into the exciting atmosphere of the story of agent P-3. Just imagine the whirlwind action movie Atomica combined with the soundtrack of Swan Lake, where techno and metal intertwine with each other in the most incredible way.