Visceral – who has been closed for a long time by now – will be remembered for Dead Space, which had a scene with outstanding audio design. Glen Schofield, the creator and executive producer of Dead Space (he’s now the general manager and co-founder of Sledgehammer Games), talked about its creation.
In the first Dead Space, there’s a zero-gravity section on the Ishimura, and after that, an airlock door is required to use (which brings back proper sound and gravity). It sounds terrifying in a good way. It’s heard at around 1:51:40 in the video below.
The sound is originating from none other than the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, US. Ars Technica’s War Stories series, which reveals behind-the-scenes information about popular games’ development, has an episode on Dead Space, where Schofield talked about how they implemented the train’s sound in the game.
„Sound is so important in a videogame, to me. A lot of games, sound design was sort of the thing that came in last… But right from the start, we said sound design and the music and the audio are key,” Schofield said. He added that Dan Veca, the audio director, talked with him about his experiences on a BART train (if you don’t believe how insane they could sound, listen to this clip), and then, a sound team hopped on board with their microphones, and recorded the metallic sounds to provide some scary moments without monsters in Dead Space.
Sometimes, you can indeed create scary, haunting sounds with some effecting from simple, everyday noises. Dead Space is a prime example of it.