Finding New Suns With...
Twin Suns Corp is a new world-class global video game studio developing action games for console and PC.
We believe that great people make great games.
In our "Finding New Suns with..." series, we showcase some of our Trailblazers whose journeys, passion and energy bring our games to life and into the hands of gamers all around the globe.
Daniel Richer, Senior Sound Designer, Twin Suns Trailblazer
Tell us a little about your journey in Sound Design
Before working in game audio, I was studying cinema. As a kid, I loved shooting and editing short flicks with my friends, and that passion for post-production drove me towards pursuing a career in the field. I decided to specialize in audio post-production, but after working on a couple of films, I felt that something was missing. I enjoyed the creative challenges, but linear media made me feel claustrophobic in the sense that once things are on a timeline, they're not changing. The idea of creating sounds set in stone pressured me into overthinking everything.
As an avid gamer, I then started to look into game audio. The interactive nature of the medium allured me and while it required a vastly different skillset, the challenges mesmerized me. And so I decided to seek a way into the industry and landed a functionality QA tester gig. This is where I had a glimpse behind the curtain and finally saw how games were made. The very nature of my job had me engaging with all fields and disciplines of the industry, with a strong emphasis on the production angle. At this point, I knew this was where I wanted to be. Now that I was in and that I had grown very comfortable into my QA position, I knew the time had come to make efforts in redirecting my sights on game audio. So I reached out to one of our audio directors that strongly suggested that I follow an integration course, which I did. Afterwards, I kept in touch and eventually, I grew closer to the team until I finally joined them as a sound designer.
After spending a couple of years and shipping two titles, I felt more confident and more aware of what I wanted from my job. This led me to start searching for new opportunities, and this is when Twin Suns Corp approached me.
So what exactly do you do at Twin Suns Corp?
My job is to make sure that the experience delivers immersion, information and emotions through audio. Working in tandem with all other disciplines of game developpement, the sound team has to make sure to support visuals, gameplay and narrative goals while offering something pleasing and enjoyable along the way. Some days, I have to come up with how something totally made up should sound, while other days I will be coming up with systems to support other game mechanics sonically.
Sound design isn't only 'making cool sounds', it is very much a designer role. The entire audible experience isn't only made up of sounds supporting visuals in a straightforward way; that's just the start. The subjective perspective provided by gaming means that we are responsible for what sounds convey in regards to information/immersion and also how they make players feel. Things need to be coherent, intelligible and more! Pushing past expectations and using audio to enhance the readability of specific features is key!
What gets you the most excited about Twin Suns Corp?
Twin Suns Corp is something special. The core values here aren't just for show, they are pillars in every aspect of the job. Everyone here truly embraces this attitude of positivity, openness and transparency, and that makes for something special. We're working on amazing things here and the team's drive, skillset and knowhow truly amazes me every day. Our monthly wellness surveys ensure that potential issues creeping up don't do so insidiously. Instead, the feedback from these has everyone made aware of how things are going. Then, as a team, we can tackle what isn't working out and move on!
If you could pick a superpower, what would it be?
If I could be at multiple places at the same time, that would be great? I could work/clean the house/cook great food/do family activities/etc.. Either that or time manipulation! Urrrghh, can't decide!
Any advice to others looking to break into Sound Design and also traits you look for in a Sound Designer?
So many things could be said here! Aspiring sound designers, the most important thing needed to find a position in game audio would be to have a short and punchy reel! Everything starts with it, and if you can make a 1 to 3 minute reel that showcases artistic flair and technical skills, you'll stand out. Redesigns are great, but try and add something showcasing interactive. The creation of sounds is one (very important) thing, but the job requires implementation knowledge.
There are a ton of resources online that can help create a solid reel. For me, it was through an online class from the School of Video Game Audio. There are many other avenues, including good old youtube videos and the likes. Once your reel is ready, keep your cool, be authentic and share it with others. The feedback provided can often lead to very insightful reflections that potentially can make you grow as a sound designer!