Interview with Vladimir Savin (Sound Designer & Lighting Artist)

We present to you an interview with one-man-orchestra, Vladimir Dargalon Savin. He manages to combine work on sound design and lighting of locations in the Survarium! How difficult is it to work on the locations? When will the rain and evening maps appear in the game? And finally: how often do you have to complete tasks in a non-standard way Dargalon answered these and many other questions.

Read the interview below!

Tell us, how did it happen that the employee in charge of the sound design in Survarium began to work on game locations?

A Very few people know, but I have a completed education in art, not related to music :) The talent for drawing as a child brought me to art school, and then ... I'm a lighting artist :) Actually, the love for graphics and the whole CGI thing has been with me for a long time. I like to create worlds in every sense: sound, music and image. It is a pity that the capabilities of the PC of most our players doesn't allow me to reveal the entire graphic potential of the Vostok Engine.

How hard is this work specifically?

The work is more fascinating. It becomes complex when you need to combine a good picture and allow the user to play. Photorealism in the new Vostok Engine Renderer is now available like never before, and it has become much more difficult to use methods to allow the player to see what the camera can not see even in the real world. After all, we now have the same tools as, say, a photographer.

How long does it take to complete one location?

This is a comprehensive activity. There are 3 ways to light a location, and all take a very different amount of time. For example, you can go on a simple path and illuminate the location in a couple of minutes. This method is suitable for creating dynamic weather or the time of day. The image at the same time leaves much to be desired, and additional visual effects are needed to improve such a picture that not all the PCs of our users can draw.

You can go along the path of photorealism, and one location could take 3 days. The result will be logical from the point of view of the real world. Unfortunately, playing with such lighting will not be comfortable.

The last option; Make it so that photorealism does not interfere with the game. For example, a sunny day will not allow you to see a dark room from the street, but inside - on the contrary, the room is seen well, but the street looks like a white wall in which it is difficult to see something. This method takes approximately 2 weeks of hard work and a lot of tests to ensure that most players are happy. This is not easy to do.

The lighting of the "Tarakanovsky Fort" is almost complete. The next step is the "Vector Laboratory". How soon will we be able to experience the changes?

I try to use the maximum amount of time to do the lighting once so there will be no need to come back to this. The history of lighting locations Survarium is full of alterations, and now we are trying to avoid this in principle. I hope the nearest PTS will include locations: "Fort" and "Vector".

How long until the daylight remaster of other locations?

We are trying to complete the work for daylight in several weeks. This means that in the near future all locations will receive new daylight. I hope that nothing will interfere with our plans.

Evening and rainy locations. Is it more difficult to work on them? When will we see them in the Survarium?

Evening locations like rain etc. are not more difficult than daylight. After the completion of work on the day versions, the evening will be ready soon. Rainy maps, in turn, are waiting for several missing effects: wet surfaces and so on. Without them, the rainy weather will feel incorrect, since just walking in the rain is not enough :)

How difficult was it to make the winter in Survarium? Example: The Olivier Mall.

This is also a fascinating process. The creation of a winter location was not difficult: the particle system was always able to create both rain and snow. We only slightly expanded the functionality, giving the opportunity to choose the texture not only of rain drops, but also snowflakes. The rest is working with models, decals and so on.

Is it possible to make a winter version of the old locations in the future? For example, on New Year's holiday?

To do this, it is necessary to prepare all the game geometry in terms of textures and shaders, because simply replacing the texture to snow will not work. Otherwise, the texture maybe in the room (where snow usually does not fall). Violating this rule makes no sense. So we do not plan to translate old locations into snowfields. We like making new locations :)

Night locations. How can they be introduced, and will they ever be in Survarium?

There is a concept of how to do it. There are no technical problems either. The only thing, in the case of photorealism - this implies the introduction of flashlights and / or PNV. And this, certainly is useful piece of equipment in the game, but at this point we are not ready to discuss it.

Let's return to sound. What tasks are facing you in the near future?

In the near future, I really want to improve the system of explosions in the game and translate it into a modular one, as a weapon. I want the explosion to be different in every concrete place: different types of premises and open spaces. Also I want to improve the sound of firearms and additionally fix / modify some reloading sounds.

How often do you perform tasks in an unconventional way? Can you tell us about such cases?

I am constantly perform work tasks in a non-standard way! One should at least recall the laboratory of the Atlant complex in the cooperative mission. The howling sound behind one of the doors is nothing more than a recorded "glitch" of plumbing from the old Vostok Games office, which became the atmospheric part of this complex :)

Do you travel often. Can you combine that with work?

Sometimes yes, sometimes not. My laptop is always with me, a couple of recorders, a small set of microphones. For example, I cannot stop recording the acoustic properties of the streets of Pripyat, the atmosphere of the city, day and night. I visited Pripyat from the 25th to the night of the 26th of April this year. A few weeks ago, as part of a trip to Europe, record a rare sound event - gun shots in the valley of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. Or a recent trip to Tarakanovskiy Fort to collect sound and photo materials.

Discuss this interview on forum