Nov 2016

During our initial meetings with DICE they outlined their ambition for the project was to create a historically accurate and authentic sounding WW1 game.  So this was SIDE’s challenge.  The battles needed to sound like real battles.  The soldiers needed to sound like common men fighting.  The dialogue needed to feel like the actual voices of the men from this period.


Our research showed us that the majority of men fighting in WW1 campaigns were not trained soldiers but ordinary men fighting in extraordinary situations.  Consequently, we felt that our soldiers would not necessarily respond to battle situations in a skilled, professional way.  So, while recording events such as incoming artillery or grenades, we carefully directed the varying levels of emotional involvement and response that a soldier would have.  From, say, blind panic to reckless boldness.  We then added to this a set level of proficiency to stop our soldiers sounding too skilled or efficient.


Most WW1 soldiers were fighting for the first time in their lives, away in foreign countries, away from their loved ones.  So we needed to demonstrate the inevitable brotherhood that flourished within these units and battalions of men.  To do this, we chose to record with large groups of actors in big, open studios, allowing them space to move freely and, importantly, play their lines off each other, spontaneously.  Using this technique we were able to create an authentic energy, a bravura and camaraderie that we felt would have existed among the despair and hopelessness.



The advent of mechanical warfare brought threats and assaults to soldiers, never experienced before on a battlefield.  We wanted to hear these tensions and agonies in the voices of our men.  To do this we placed our actors under physical stress.  We got them to wear rucksacks with heavy rocks in, carry poles supporting sandbags, even pull each other along on ropes.  All this, while they were actually delivering the lines.  We kept them breathless and on the move – a real workout.  They were directed to always imagine that they were doing something other than simply holding a gun: nursing a bleeding wound; pulling an injured colleague; wading through thick mud etc.


Our dialogue also needed to feel contemporary and spontaneous.  So our actors were directed to first respond emotionally to a situation then allow the words to come afterwards – like the first thing that came to mind.  Using this method our responses sounded more instantaneous and genuine.  Dialogue was meticulously researched.  We used slang found everywhere from firsthand letters to historical slang dictionaries.  Sometimes, however, we found that to maintain a Player’s emersion in the experience, period language had to be trimmed and more familiar contemporary phrases added instead.


SIDE experimented with these methods when recording the British army here in London.  Once we were satisfied that we had got as close as we could to the real vocal sounds of a WW1 battlefield we travelled the globe with these techniques to record actors in the different nations that fought in WW1.  From London to Paris, Istanbul to Moscow, resulting in an authentic sounding game from all sides of the battlefields.


Catching Up With SIDE LA

Jul 2017

Get Even

Jun 2017

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III

Apr 2017

SIDE LA Officially Opens With Launch Party

Mar 2017

Natalie Dormer and BioWare visit Side

Mar 2017

The Latest Side LA Recruits

Feb 2017


Jan 2017

New hires for Side LA and Side leadership promotions

Nov 2016

Bringing the Battlefields of WW1 to Life

Nov 2016

Playstation VR Worlds

Oct 2016

Side Goes Stateside: Announcing Side LA

Sep 2016

Side Wins at 2016 Develop Awards

Jul 2016

Develop Awards Finalist

May 2016

Side work on 10 BAFTA nominated titles

Mar 2016

SIDE & Star Citizen Squadron 42

Feb 2016

Side Clients Nominated at D.I.C.E. Awards

Jan 2016

The Force Awakens at Side

Dec 2015

Side Win at TIGA Awards

Nov 2015


Sep 2015

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Aug 2015

Side wins at Develop Awards

Jul 2015


Jun 2015

Develop Awards Finalist

May 2015

The Story of Grey Goo

Apr 2015

Ashes to Ashes

Mar 2015

And the Award Goes To …

Feb 2015

Stars of Game of Thrones

Dec 2014

Andy Serkis in the Volume

Dec 2014

SIDE wins Industry Award

Nov 2014

Hugh Laurie to join LBP3 cast

Oct 2014

Bioware at Side with Inquistion

Sep 2014

Alien Isolation behind the scenes

Sep 2014

Witcher 3 storms Gamescom

Aug 2014

David Tennant Cast in First Video Game

Mar 2014

Side contributes to G.A.N.G Award Finalists

Mar 2014

BAFTA Video Game Award Nominees

Feb 2014

Performance Nominations for Press Awards

Jan 2014

Stunning CGI Short Synchronicity

Nov 2013

Performances for Ryse: Son of Rome

Oct 2013

E3 Awards for Witcher 3

Jun 2013

Behind the scenes for Merlin: The Game

Apr 2013

Facial Capture for Divinity: Dragon Commander

Mar 2013

Performance Capture for Crysis 3

Feb 2013

BBC Radio 1 at Side

Nov 2012