FORT A.P. HILL, Va. – The video game industry has popularized the genre of military action games. Red Storm Entertainment, the North Carolina-based development studio for one of the world’s premier video game companies, Ubisoft, recently reached out to the North Carolina National Guard for assistance capturing sound effects related to the AH-64D Longbow Apache Attack helicopter.
Sound designers and authenticity staff accompanied the aviators and ground crews of the 1-130th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) during their recent gunnery operations at Annual Training here.
Red Storm/Ubisoft is well-known for founding and developing Ubisoft’s popular Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon video game series. The Audio and Authenticity staff joined the 130th, also known as the Panthers, to record real sounds of the aircraft, in addition to cockpit chatter to be used in a future video game.
Gunnery operations during annual training was the end state of a year’s worth of hard work that was invested by aviators, crews and support personnel. The many hours of training and preparation paid off for the unit after the first “thump-thump-thump” sounds of the 30-millimeter gun and the whooshing crack of 2.75 Hydra rockets deployed downrange.
Travis Getz, Authenticity Coordinator at Red Strom Entertainment is dedicated to providing the tools and maintaining the relationships that help make their military video games as immersive as possible. The Red Storm team goes to great lengths to gather real imagery and audio from all branches of Service which helps shape the experiences of Ubisoft gamers.
“Ubisoft and Red Storm’s investment of time and talent to try and get it right is a way of showing our appreciation for what is done in real life” said Getz.
After capturing a 20-minute Longbow start up and take off procedure, Red Storm Audio Director Justin Drust explained how valuable recorded sound assets like these can be.
“Being able to capture high quality audio to utilize in our titles is extremely useful for us,” said Drust. ”In addition to “fly bys” and distant recordings, a full continuous start up and take off allows us to manipulate the sound in real-time by altering the pitch of the assets as the helicopter is flying within the game world. These longer “loops” enable us to make the sounds match exactly what the aircraft simulation is doing in-game.”
While the technical aspects of what Red Storm does is impressive, the quality of the games is reflected in Red Storm’s history of portraying the United States Military as a positive and necessary force in world events.
When the Armament Crew learned that Red Storm was personally responsible for the authentic content of many of their favorite military-style games, they met the Red Storm crew with enthusiasm and did their best to support their efforts.
After the Panthers’ successful interaction with Red Storm, the unit hopes that this engagement will lead to future opportunities to provide similar support.
The N.C. Guard also has armor, artillery and infantry units as well as attack aviation, which could lead to future collaborations between Red Storm and other combat arms units in the state.
Much like the relationship the Panthers have developed with Red Storm, the unit is no stranger in collaborating with technical experts in the entertainment industry. The Panthers were also involved in the filming of the movie Transformers and G.I. Joe.
Who knows, maybe someday in the near future the sounds a video game player hears when an M-1 Abrams battle tank fires a Sabot penetration round or cracks off multiple rounds from a .50 Caliber machine gun will actually be the sounds of the combat assets from the North Carolina National Guard?
EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: To see more photos from the Red Storm Entertainment visit, please visit our Flickr Page at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncngpao/sets/72157633042737346/. For any questions, please contact the North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (919) 664-6242. For more NCNG news, visit our website: www.nc.ngb.army.mil/. To become a Facebook fan of the NCNG, please visit www.facebook.com/NCnationalguard or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NCnationalguard. To view additional pictures from this and other events, visit www.flickr.com/photos/ncngpao.