Kevin Ragamey, one of the sound designers behind Celeste, detailed how the team crafted the game’s unique dialogue design.
Celeste is an indie platformer released in 2018. In the game, the player controls the main character Celeste as she journeys up a dangerous mountain. The game was critically acclaimed upon release and maintained a score of 88 upon release Metacritic.
Fans and critics alike praised the game’s soundtrack and overall sound design. Ragamey broke one of the most requested game elements yesterday on Twitter, Celestedialogue’s. The dialogue is fully synthesized but it looks like a human voice may have conveyed it.
Ragamey details the creation process CelesteOne Tweet thread’s dialogue, says the team started by exploring simple synthesizing noises to find the right tune.
Using Fruity Loops Studio (FL Studio), the team set up the melodies and timbres, then set out to learn how those sounds would naturally change according to voice patterns.
Essentially, using Parameter EQ in FL Studio, we modeled what are known as “formulators” – i.e., naturally occurring spectral peaks in human vowels. These spectral peaks have specific locations and frequency relationships, and they look like this: pic.twitter.com/m9R3Nd6H6y
– Kevin Regamey (@regameyk) July 17, 2021
The team then subdivided the emotional range for each character in the game and figured out what kind of sound they could make for each emotional state. The team worked on the content they were happy with for each state and then converted it into FMOD Studio, an audio engine used for video games.
Celeste repeat speech sounds silently until it’s time for a character to speak. The game then sends the character portrait into the FMOD so the engine can match the emotional state to the sound.
FMOD cycles through a random sequence of syllables, each chosen at random. The central area for all these sounds also allows Ragamey to fine-tune the voice as needed.
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