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Session Name:

Confronting Our "Audio Nemesis" in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: Maximizing Emotional Resonance in an Open World Environment


After 20 years of developing tightly-woven, first-person linear narrative games such as No One Lives Forever, F.E.A.R. and Condemned, Monolith Productions set out to create the first open world sandbox game set in Middle-earth. On these previous titles, we developed specific principles and techniques for eliciting emotional connections with the player, especially those designed to elicit fear and dread, and we wanted to apply those principles to Shadow of Mordor. But the transition from developing first-person narratives to open world sandbox development presented a host of unexpected challenges. This talk will discuss the technical hurdles we encountered in transitioning from the first-person genre to an open world sandbox environment, as well as some of the audio successes we achieved by using our previous game experience to strengthen emotional impact.

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  • GDC 2015
  • Brian Pamintuan
  • Monolith Productions/WB Games
  • Nathan Grigg
  • Monolith Productions/WB Games
  • Michael Berg
  • Monolith Productions/WB Games
  • free content
  • Audio
  • Audio