Gears: Tactics

Gears Tactics is a fast-paced, turn-based strategy game from one of the most-acclaimed video game franchises – Gears of War.

As a Senior Audio Designer on the project, I was responsible for executions, moment-to-moment gameplay and mixing the game.

Executions

Executions

The executions in Gears: Tactics are a core part of the gameplay loop designed to reward the player for aggressive and bold action. Due to the turn-based nature of the game, there was great opportunity to make these moments significant and exciting.

Executions were built in a modular way. For example - head pops were redesigned and shared across all executions. Additional layers are added dependant on the weapon, execution or action. The chainsaw was a great example of modifying something iconic to suit the unique opportunities in Gears: Tactics.

Moment-To-Moment Gameplay

Moment-To-Moment Gameplay

A great advantage of working in a turn-based format is that the audio story and player experience is reasonably predictable. That gives us a lot of opportunity to make the core experience satisfying every time.

Being a fast-paced Strategy game, making gameplay information clear is tricky as the game is throwing a lot of information at the player simultaneously. We use a combination of HDR and timing adjustments to improve the delivery of that information with sound.

Mixing for Linear Strategy

Mixing for Linear Strategy

Gears is about empowering the player and having them face overwhelming dread and intensity. We can convey that with sound, but as a Strategy game we also have a lot of important information to get across.

Player and Enemy turns have distinct moods and approaches to the mix. Cinematic vs Strategic also have some difference to empower the player. Lastly, we deployed HDR in a few places to focus the mix and improve clarity where needed.