Watch_Dogs 2

Watch_Dogs 2

As part of the Watch_Dogs team in Ubisoft Paris, I worked on Watch_Dogs 2 from pre-production to launch. Among the Paris team assignments, I was responsible for all audio content related to the Marin County area, and the W4tched world story (a series of missions spanning a cohesive narrative arc). I also acted as a liaison between the Paris and Montreal audio teams for most of the project.

Kirby Cove, Marin County – Screenshot by Alexandre Christmann

In Watch_Dogs 2’s fictional Bay Area map, Marin County is the least urban area, which meant having to design unique audio ambiance assets and systems rather than replicating what was used in other areas. This was an opportunity to design and test out new tools that would both make our work easier and, in the end, provide a richer experience for the player.

In this regard, I was able to:

  • design and write specifications for a multi-layers ambiance painting tool, allowing to paint multiple layers of sound ambiances (main pad, rain, wind, random SFXs, reverb settings) separately. The goal was to create an huge number of ambient audio combinations from a few layers of simple painting, which translated to richer ambiances and smoother transitions between them.
  • design, develop and implement Houdini tools for automatic placement of 3D sounds and automatic sound regions painting, based on existing map data (terrain, roads, buildings, meshes, etc.). This enabled us to automatically place all water lapping SFXs along the shorelines, for instance, or paint forest wind where forests had been placed by level artists, in a single operation.

While originally designed with Marin County in mind, there tools were later put in use for the whole map, and enabled us to spend more time actually designing sound rather than integrating them in the world by hand.