Intro to game audio

Hello! Are your projects coming along? Are you happy with what you’ve done so far? We are have officially started the second half of the programme. If you wish to make changes to your game or review its scope, you can still do it.

This week, we were lucky to greet Sarah Shin for an intro on game audio. Sarah is an audio engineer, sound designer, composer and music producer. She showed, among other things, that audio can be very effective in creating immersion, giving feedback or making people feel emotions.

Functions of sound

Sounds and music are an integral part of the video game experience. They have multiple functions:

  • Create emotions;
  • Contribute to the game’s æsthetics or stylization
  • Amplify the immersive experience;
  • Provide audio feedback;
  • Sounds can also be the core elements of a game mechanic.

Here are some beautiful examples of game audio soundtrack that enrich the game experience by evoking emotion, expanding the player’s imagination or bringing a strong stylization to the game.

A New Life, by Angela He

Journey, by thatgamecompany

Katamary Damacy REROLL, by Bandai Namco

How to source audio

Once you have established your audio direction, you will need to source audio. You can of course create your own wounds, but there exists a large number of sound database where you can find all the sounds you will need for your game.

Be mindful of creative commons licensing levels of all the sounds you find so you can use, modify and distribute them legally.

How to edit audio

If you chose to use existing sound assets, you will probably want to edit them to shorten or extend them, to make them slower or faster, to create a loop, or to combine them. Here are the main steps to edit audio:

  • Import the sounds in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
  • Modify the sounds, that is
    • Check volumes
    • Add Fades
    • Add FX
  • Export sounds (Bounce)

Wrap up

Vision

  • What do you want sound to do for your project?
  • Make sure art & sound are cohesive – æsthetic matters.
  • Make a list of your sound assets and organize them in priority.

Sources

  • How will you acquire MX, FX et DX? Will you create them? How? If not, where will you find them? Will you modify them? How?
  • Make sure your looped music (MX) and repetitive effects (FX) are sustainable and do not create a sense of annoyance for the players.

Be creative and have fun!

  • You don’t have to follow the same sounds as AAA games.
  • Try layering and combining different sounds.
  • Try recording noises around you
  • Experiment and have fun!

HOMEWORK

  • Continue working on your game prototype.
  • Integrate a complete testable game loop.
  • Make a list of your sound assets and organize them in priority.

Next week, we’ll talk about narrative design.

See you then and have fun making your game!

Posted in Follow Along, News, Pixelles Game Incubator 8
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