“As far as mix and balance goes, you’ve got to ask yourself how do players actually listen to our games,” Fernando Labarthe explained to his audience at Casual Connect Europe. “To answer that, you’ve got to ask yourself how many players actually listen to our games.”
Fernando Labarthe tells us the evolution in the games industry that will most affect Z2 is the development of better and faster processors for mobile devices and better graphic and sound cards. As these become available, he will be pushing for more audio effects in their game engine.
Working at Z2
As Lead Sound Designer at Z2, Fernando Labarthe is in charge of designing the entire sonic scope of a game. He works on elements such as whether sound should be loud or quiet, what the style should be and, probably most important, creating the feelings a player should be feeling at any given moment. He is also tasked with delivering audio assets, implementing, mixing, and balancing the game.
When Labarthe started with Z2, they were looking for a Spanish localization translator and tester, but from the beginning, his goal was to create and develop sound for games. After working in TV, music, film and radio, he realized that nothing can take you farther than your own creativity and passion. “If you walk into the office at 6 a.m. and leave at midnight feeling like it has been five minutes, you know it’s not work, it’s what you were meant to do.” The reward Fernando Labarthe feels in his work comes from knowing friends, family and strangers are fans of a game he helped to develop. He insisted, “Nothing fills me with more joy than knowing someone is a fan of the music and sound I created.”
When he considers the game industry as a whole, he believes the greatest impact will come from better graphic capabilities, so that it will be possible to have higher quality visuals without sacrificing frame rates.
Away From Work
When not composing or working with sound, Labarthe enjoys playing soccer, watching football and soccer games, having a delicious hefeweisen with friends, playing and hosting FIFA tournaments, playing tabletop games, field recording, and finishing the design of his tabletop game.
PlayStation is his preferred platform for gaming, however, at the moment, he is playing Luigi’s Mansion 2 and Fire Emblem Awakening on 3DS. He does intend to get a PS4, because his friends are also planning to buy it and he wants to be able to play some of his favorite titles with them.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.