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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Boss Sounds In Duke Nukem 3D

Face Off wrote and asked the following question:
"Hi Bobby.I have a quick question about Duke Nukem 3D. In fact it's a question I've been wondering about for years: the sounds/growls of the Battlelord and Octabrain, where did you source those sounds from? Were they from real animals??"
One of the good things about finding the old 90's data CD's was that I can give you a more definitive answer to this question than my memory would serve.

These sounds were produced at a very hectic time in the production cycle -- between the release of the shareware version and the full version.

According to Wikipedia:
"The shareware version of the game was originally released on January 29, 1996, while the full version was released on April 19, 1996 as version 1.3d." Duke Nukem 3D - Wikipedia
I received artwork of two bosses (BOSS2.pcx and BOSS3.pcx) on around March 12, 1996. And I do mean "artwork," not animation:


This explains my text to Greg Malone, the project director, when I sent potential effects to him on March 19, 1996. By the time I sent these effects, I had sent thousands of sound files. As with almost all of the projects I have worked on, the earliest potential sound effects I sent were usually the ones that were used, even though I may have sent scores of possibilities after the first one.

Note that "time and sleepiness" mentioned below probably helped me in thinking that this was written in 1995 instead of the actual year, 1996.

March 19, 1995
Hey again! 
Here are some more sfx.  It is difficult to know exactly what route to
take regarding the death sounds without seeing how the bosses die --
but, I tried to hit a happy medium on it. 
As usual, many of these sounds are fairly interchangable, so please
don't let my file names mislead you.  A roam sound may be what you
consider perfect for an attack sound, an attack sound for a pain sound,
etc.  Also, some of these may work for an earlier alien/critter if there
is still some lack there.  I guess plugging things into the game will be
the ultimate test. 
Also, I included a few walking sounds for Boss 3 -- don't know if you
planned on that or not.  I would think that the walking sound _could_
take the place of the roaming sound.  If Boss 3 is the only critter to
have a walking sound, it would set him apart and people would definitely
know that he is coming for them.  I know that the programming aspect
might be the problem with this idea. 
Files included here:
Boss 2 attacks -
B2ATK01  WAV        11,688  03-19-96 11:48p b2atk01.WAV
B2ATK02  WAV        17,494  03-19-96 11:48p b2atk02.WAV
B2ATK03  WAV         8,982  03-19-96 11:48p b2atk03.WAV
B2ATK04  WAV        16,376  03-19-96 11:48p b2atk04.WAV
B2ATK05  WAV        18,018  03-19-96 11:48p b2atk05.WAV
Boss 2 deaths -
B2DIE01  WAV        18,464  03-19-96 11:48p b2die01.WAV
B2DIE02  WAV        27,158  03-19-96 11:49p b2die02.WAV
B2DIE03  WAV        44,828  03-19-96 11:49p b2die03.WAV
Boss 2 pain -
B2PAIN01 WAV        14,132  03-19-96 11:49p b2pain01.WAV
B2PAIN02 WAV         9,732  03-19-96 11:49p b2pain02.WAV
B2PAIN03 WAV        11,950  03-19-96 11:49p b2pain03.WAV
B2PAIN04 WAV         6,182  03-19-96 11:49p b2pain04.WAV
Boss 2 recognize -
B2REC01  WAV        14,576  03-19-96 11:49p b2rec01.WAV
B2REC02  WAV        17,546  03-19-96 11:49p b2rec02.WAV
B2REC03  WAV        18,342  03-19-96 11:49p b2rec03.WAV
B2REC04  WAV        10,656  03-19-96 11:49p b2rec04.WAV
B2REC05  WAV        12,010  03-19-96 11:49p b2rec05.WAV
B2REC06  WAV         6,844  03-19-96 11:49p b2rec06.WAV
Boss 2 roam -
B2ROAM01 WAV        16,850  03-19-96 11:49p b2roam01.WAV
B2ROAM02 WAV        18,248  03-19-96 11:49p b2roam02.WAV
B2ROAM03 WAV        11,698  03-19-96 11:49p b2roam03.WAV
B2ROAM04 WAV        12,698  03-19-96 11:49p b2roam04.WAV
Boss 3 attack -
B3ATK01  WAV        26,882  03-19-96 11:49p b3atk01.WAV
B3ATK03  WAV        17,990  03-19-96 11:49p b3atk03.WAV
Boss 3 death -
B3DIE01  WAV        13,160  03-19-96 11:49p b3die01.WAV
B3DIE02  WAV        32,200  03-19-96 11:49p b3die02.WAV
B3DIE03  WAV        24,104  03-19-96 11:49p b3die03.WAV
B3DIE04  WAV        14,308  03-19-96 11:49p b3die04.WAV
Boss 3 pain -
B3PAIN01 WAV        12,214  03-19-96 11:50p b3pain01.WAV
B3PAIN02 WAV        11,078  03-19-96 11:50p b3pain02.WAV
B3PAIN03 WAV        12,564  03-19-96 11:50p b3pain03.WAV
B3PAIN04 WAV        21,630  03-19-96 11:50p b3pain04.WAV
B3PAIN05 WAV        30,306  03-19-96 11:50p b3pain05.WAV
B3PAIN06 WAV        16,094  03-19-96 11:50p b3pain06.WAV
Boss 3 recognize -
B3REC01  WAV        11,506  03-19-96 11:50p b3rec01.WAV
B3REC02  WAV        18,874  03-19-96 11:50p b3rec02.WAV
B3REC03  WAV        15,482  03-19-96 11:50p b3rec03.WAV
B3REC04  WAV        22,962  03-19-96 11:50p b3rec04.WAV
B3REC05  WAV        12,190  03-19-96 11:50p b3rec05.WAV
B3REC06  WAV        19,264  03-19-96 11:50p b3rec06.WAV
B3REC07  WAV        22,314  03-19-96 11:50p b3rec07.WAV
Boss 3 roam -
B3ROAM01 WAV        22,972  03-19-96 11:50p b3roam01.WAV
B3ROAM02 WAV        29,016  03-19-96 11:50p b3roam02.WAV
B3ROAM03 WAV        21,658  03-19-96 11:50p b3roam03.WAV
Boss 3 walk -
B3WALK01 WAV        14,664  03-19-96 11:50p b3walk01.WAV
B3WALK02 WAV        14,692  03-19-96 11:50p b3walk02.WAV
B3WALK03 WAV        10,334  03-19-96 11:51p b3walk03.WAV 
I will try to do something with the music -- time and sleepiness may
take their toll there.  Wish that George had made these problems known
earlier when there was plenty of time. 
For those of you who were not working/playing on a computer in the DOS days, you should be aware that file names in DOS could be a maximum of 8 characters, followed by a dot, followed by 3 characters. Thus the sometimes cryptic file names. The REC files are "the boss recognizes me" sounds. ROAM are the sounds made when the boss is roaming and "thinking to himself."

As for the sounds used, many were animal sounds. I used a lot of animal growls, grunts, screams, hisses and such. For BOSS3, I added mechanical/metallic sounds for his walk.

As I've mentioned in at least one other post, I record sounds whenever I travel (or hear some local, usable sound). I've been to quite a few zoos, several rain forests and other places where I might luck up on some really usable sounds. Of course, I've made use of sound effect CD's too.

A lot of the mechanical sounds I used in Duke 3D were recorded at Apogee headquarters. The coke machine: coin servo, drink supply mechanism, coins dropping in the change slot, hum of the refrigeration unit, etc. The copier cycling. The urinal flushing. The general "buzz" of multiple conversations at one time. The sky was the limit.

In recent years, I have saved the multitrack audio software files and all of the tracks' raw effects, settings, audio effects, etc. so I know how I came up with the sounds.

For Duke 3D, in those megabyte hard drive days, I would not have had disk space to store all of the raw effects I used, especially given the number of final effects that were required. Besides the effects, I also edited all of the voice over files, and there were many hundred's of those since the final voice overs were not chosen until the edited ones were completed. Add to that the rush of having to complete sound effects "yesterday," there was really no time to think about keeping track of anything more than getting things done.

I'm not trying to gain any sympathy here. My wording is an attempt to show the time pressure toward the end of the project.

It's too bad that Blogger doesn't give audio in a blog the same respect as video. It would be nice just to have an audio widget built in. Note that these are mono files, so on SoundCloud they will play on the left only. The link provided is private to keep it from cluttering up the song files up there.

Hear them here: SoundCloud

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