Random: the 14,000 audio files in the unboxing make it a hell of a game

Picture: Francesco Del Pia

Earlier this week, a Zen unboxing game, unsurprisingly called Unpacking, launched on Nintendo Switch. Since then, it has garnered a lot of attention, both for its players who don’t know what GameCubes are, and for the astonishing amount of detail in the isometric pixel art game.

The latest detail to go viral is one that isn’t generally recognized enough: Foley’s work, produced by BAFTA-winning songwriter and audio designer Jeff van Dyck, who has credits on Total War, Hand of Fate, and a number of EA Sports games.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but to show the audio design you need a video, so here’s one from a senior sound designer, Francesco Del Pia, who (at the time of writing) has more of 9,000 likes:

According to audiophile colleague Maximilien SP, van Dyck has collected over 14,000 audio files just for these sounds. Again: 14,000 files just for picking up and dropping things off. here’s how van Dyck described the process:

“We asked Reaper to render the audio files in a deep folder structure that represented the containers and hierarchy in #Wwise. Then I used a single container template to map all the sounds to the right surface switches. I felt dizzy every time we did this process, it was magic! “

He went on to say that “the game has a lot of space and time for audio,” due to the “impressionistic vibe” and low-res art. “It gives us the opportunity to add that detail through the sound design.”

Have you played Unpacking? Do you continue to pick up and drop off items? Let us know what you think in the comments!


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