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Issues with Cuphead's sound design . . .

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ScOULaris

Member


So I've been looking forward to Cuphead and its gorgeous hand-drawn animation for years now, and the release is nearly upon us. Every time I've seen footage of the game, however, the muted sound effects always stuck out to me. I was giving the game the benefit of the doubt, assuming that sound effects would be ironed out and finalized toward the end of development for an indie project like this.

But now I see current footage of the near-final build of the game, and it still has the same troubled sound design.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMkCIdGikmk

Maybe one of the devs will see this thread and weigh in on the matter. I'm still getting the game either way, but I feel that the sound design severely deflates the impact of the shoot 'em up gameplay. All of the sound effects are nearly silent and sound like placeholders still.

The music and voice-overs sound great, though, so hopefully the sound effects will be greatly improved in time for release.
 

Vinc

Member
Maybe that's to fit the style... but yeah, I wasn't aware of this before but this video sure doesn't make it sound convincing. But damn this game looks gorgeous.
 

ghosthouse

Neo Member
The entire game is based off of the silent films/cartoons era. Having any sound at all besides music was probably a big sacrifice that the devs had to make to their vision in order to add some responsiveness to the gameplay.
 

ScOULaris

Member
Seems deliberate to fit the time period and the type of music.

A nearly silent sound to accompany the shooting seems deliberate? I dunno.

Other than the music (which is great) it's like playing a silent movie. Shooting and enemy deaths should be accompanied by punchy sound effects in a game like this. Otherwise the action just feels flat.
 

h3ro

Member
I love the sound design in this game!

It mimics the scratchy pops you get from old vinyl record players nicely and definitely fits the aesthetic. This game looks and sounds aces.
 

bosh

Member
This is definitely a design choice. The music is also on point. Judging from the clip they muted the other sound effects to give you music at full tilt.
 
Definitely deliberate. Watch any old cartoon from that era and it’s essentially the same thing.

This is why devs don’t take risks these days. 🙄
 

Orca

Member
Given the amount of shooting they probably didn't want to overwhelm everything else, but I think it fits the game's look better than blaring ACK ACK ACK ACK would have as well.
 

dugdug

Member
The only thing that stuck out to me was the wimpy shooting sounds. Time-appropriate or not, it just doesn't sound very exciting.
 

MUnited83

For you.
A nearly silent sound to accompany the shooting seems deliberate? I dunno.

Other than the music (which is great) it's like playing a silent movie. Shooting and enemy deaths should be accompanied by punchy sound effects in a game like this. Otherwise the action just feels flat.
That's like the whole point lol. The game is heavily inspired by silent movies. The sound effects sound a lot like the kind of sound effects that would be produced in theaters to accompany silent movies. It fits perfectly.
 
the amazing music is doing enough. Hearing a constant sound effect from gunfire would turn this in to contra and it would lose the charm this game has become known for.
 

ScOULaris

Member
That's like the whole point lol. The game is heavily inspired by silent movies. The sound effects sound a lot like the kind of sound effects that would be produced in theaters to accompany silent movies. It fits perfectly.

Yeah, and I completely get that. I like some of the ambient sound effects going on during gameplay, but I think that the sound effect for shooting should be made louder at the very least. It just dulls the impact of shooting too much, IMO.
 

Truant

Member
Yeah, and what's with the graphics? Can't wait for the over-sharpened user created texture pack lacking any artistic direction that for some insane reason will get super popular.
 

MaLDo

Member
This is definitely a design choice. The music is also on point. Judging from the clip they muted the other sound effects to give you music at full tilt.

It's deliberate. But seriously damages the fun (at least in my case).
 
Sounds great to me. I'd much rather listen to the amazing soundtrack than the bullet sounds for the entire game, and it evokes the silent era it's supposed to come from while still having some satisfying feedback.
 
Thought this was gonna be about the sound of one of the guns that sounds like spitballs lol


That sound infuriated me in one of the gameplay demos but I'm pretty sure thats an OCD thing on my part
 

ScOULaris

Member
You want to play a 1950's style cartoon with Rap-Rock or Alternative music in the background? The music is perfect

No. As I stated in the OP the music is great. It's not the overall direction that they're taking that I have any issue with. I love the audiovisual presentation and how closely it tries to stick to the 1930's style.

But that shooting sound needs to be made louder, at the very least.

I think that people are misunderstanding my point-of-view here because of my poor choice of wording in the thread title. I don't have a problem with the approach that the devs are taking with sound design at all. I like it. I just think that the satisfaction that comes with shooting in a side-scrolling shooter like this is compromised a bit too much by that overly muted shooting sound effect.
 

hawk2025

Member
Design choice or not, it sacrifices gameplay feedback for style.

I don't think it was necessary at all. The music and graphics were more than enough.

Punchy feedback in a shooter is essential.
 

hotcyder

Member
A nearly silent sound to accompany the shooting seems deliberate? I dunno.

Other than the music (which is great) it's like playing a silent movie. Shooting and enemy deaths should be accompanied by punchy sound effects in a game like this. Otherwise the action just feels flat.

Yeah I think everyone in this thread has totally missed the point at what you were saying

THE MUSIC IS FINE

But the fact there's no audio cues for shooting or hitting enemies is a little disconcerting

Design choice or not, it sacrifices gameplay feedback for style.

I don't think it was necessary at all. The music and graphics were more than enough.

Punchy feedback in a shooter is essential.

Basically between this and the tutorial, Cuphead is putting it's aesthetic a little ahead of user experience. But - sure we'll find out next week when all the reviews come in.
 

MUnited83

For you.
Yeah, and I completely get that. I like some of the ambient sound effects going on during gameplay, but I think that the sound effect for shooting should be made louder at the very least. It just dulls the impact of shooting too much, IMO.
Considering you spend the entire game shooting non stop, having it be louder would quickly get annoying.
 
Yeah, and I completely get that. I like some of the ambient sound effects going on during gameplay, but I think that the sound effect for shooting should be made louder at the very least. It just dulls the impact of shooting too much, IMO.

Are there sound effect volume sliders in the Options? That would help (not wholly, but some) with this issue...

...and while I see the point made ad nauseam by the posters that this choice is intentional, I also see your point. Perhaps there may be rumble feedback for shooting to compensate for the lack of audio cues when shooting?
 
Cuphead's retro aesthetic is incredible, but I think it's fundamentally incompatible with Vlambeer-style intense gamefeel.

Something that could combine the two would be a real work of genius.
 
I feel with the time and effort that went into the soundtrack and voice overs on this game, the pure love that both of those things were crafted with, would you really want to hear "pew pew pew" or some variation of that? when I think by an hour in, most people would just mute it anyways.
 

Kaako

Felium Defensor
Design choice or not, it sacrifices gameplay feedback for style.

I don't think it was necessary at all. The music and graphics were more than enough.

Punchy feedback in a shooter is essential.
Well put when it comes to the shooting feedback in this beautiful game.
 
Considering you spend the entire game shooting non stop, having it be louder would quickly get annoying.

It totally would and it would definitely ruin the ambiance for me as well. All of the other sound effects would be drowned out.

Regardless, there are still sounds from shooting. I'm having trouble figuring out why people aren't hearing it. There are also cue's from hits as well. Granted, they are much softer and silent than the other sound affects. But I like that because the other sound effects are fantastically and classically done. In older cartoons, there would be very few sound layers/samples played on top of one another. It fits and modernizing it would ruin the affect and style that the artists worked so hard to accomplish.
 
I think in some ways it sounds too good, the drums are a bit too crisp, especially the high hats. I'd like them to downsample the sound a bit more tbh and add even more deliberate fuzz and pop from an old record player.
It would be cool if the sound washed out from time to time like a radio losing it's signal, or like a bit of dust got caught under a record needle. Maybe some record skips as well when you take damage.

Anyway, I'm super exited to play this game. Can't wait!
 
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