Pure Immersion: The Soundtrack of Matchday Champions

In the world of Matchday Champions, the roar of the crowd isn't just background noise, it's a dynamic, interactive football experience. We sat down for a minute with Walter Fiorini from Demute, responsible for the emotive soundscape within Matchday Champions.

Walter, an experienced Technical Sound Designer, tells us about the importance of sound in enhancing both the authenticity and the gameplay experience in Matchday Champions. “Unlike other mobile games where sound might be a secondary consideration, Matchday Champions integrates sound with gameplay to create a truly immersive environment.” Walter explains that the game’s sound design is guided by the three main pillars of being charmingly playful, distinctively football, and delightfully crafted.

As Walter points out, there are challenges of creating sounds that are both realistic and conducive to authentic football. Everyone remembers vuvuzelas, and for some it’s not such a pleasant memory. “For instance, sounds like referees’ whistles and air horns are integral to a football match, but they can become overwhelming in a game environment, especially in menus and in between gameplay.” The key is finding sounds that enhance the atmosphere without overwhelming the player, making each session enjoyable without grating.

Chant like you mean it

One of the most exciting features discussed and currently in the planning stage is the ability to personalise crowd sounds. Imagine leading your team in a nail-biting match, and as the clock ticks down, it’s your own custom chant that reverberates around the stadium, spurring your players on. “The tech is there, everyone is holding a microphone in their hands already.” says Walter. With current and future technology, recording your chants into the game is all the user input needed to create a chant that can build, swell and evolve in the virtual stands, making each match feel personal and alive.

This personalisation of sound also plays into immersion and ownership, like having your own personal club crest, owning the cards used in the game, and possible future features like assistants with personalities that could be unique to your game. It is your club, so naturally, hearing your own virtual supporters belting out a rendition as you shift momentum against a rival away match up, can really hit a level of emotional resonance we’ve never seen (or heard) in a football game.

“We hope that Matchday Champions will be the game that has users reaching for their headphones or earbuds.” says Walter.

Home or Away

Beyond personalisation of sounds on a club level, Walter noted how different the game of football sounds in different parts of the world. Goal celebrations, fouls and near misses elicit different reactions in different hemispheres. It’s not just the commentary language, but the cadence and vocal cues produced by the crowds watching. Matchday Champions is a global game, and part of that means representing football in an authentic way to each player. It also means the opportunity of bringing football from South America to Northern Europe, samba to Stockholm, and so much more. There’s a huge difference between a small and large stadium in the same league, let alone between leagues. It’s a challenge Walter relishes tackling.

We haven’t even touched upon the idea of commentary, something that previously involved hundred of hours of recording lines, only for the user to notice immediately when one was repeated more than a couple of times. With advancements in text to speech processing, not only might it be possible to have commentary on a match, but to provide it in hundreds of languages, each with their own cultural nuances.

Matchday Champions continues to push and pioneer new ways to experience football. The sound design of Matchday Champions is set to be as dynamic and engaging as the gameplay itself. Stay tuned as we continue to build a game worth chanting for.

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