Friday, 22 April 2011

Sound in games

I looked back at the blog I’d written last year about the subject of sounds in game and my opinion hasn’t changed in what I think of sound in games and how I feel it can affect the player’s reactions within games.
More of an interesting thought on sound for games has occurred to me through doing work on our group level design project. While we were working through the level design process and creation sound was left in the background as a later thought considering all the other bits and bobs we have going on at the time i.e. modelling, texturing, development of level.
But...during the presentations of our years work it became such a shock on how even small electrical humming sounds or the submersion under water added a whole new impact to the project. I personally had only noticed the impact of using sounds after we had seen it in a different project, our main objective was to get the visual aesthetic correct and then worrying about other parts to add realism later on. Considering we could add around 7 sound effects and ambient sounds into our level doesn’t seem like a lot, but with testing it all out you see the major difference it actually does make to create a whole new feeling. I also feel that it’s more of a difficult thing to achieve than making the assets which we are already know how to do (pretty well), which makes it an very interesting challenge.
The impact of having those, little effects allow the world to become that something more than a simple level. It also adds mood and intensity to the genre of thriller horror. I find that most horror games
sounds is the most important element to be included, its adds suspense, terror and shock to the gameplay, creating a more fulfilling experience. This is were my new thoughts and appreciation for the sound being in games is now, seeing first hand that you work your arse off to create a actual game level and realise that you think you know how sound can affect gameplay, but then you experience its effects first hand through creation and truly realise how important and much of a need there is for it.

The issue that now falls upon me is how to collect, generate and use the sound effectively. We may only have a few areas that need uses of specific sounds it still needs to be understandably real to the environment and use in the setting, for example if our lift has crashed and broken, would it still have sounds being generated? Lift going up? Same with electrical sparks, the volume and intensity needs to be right otherwise it pushes the thought of a player towards questioning what the hell is that. Most of the times you won’t need to think things like this over too much but there are times you’ll just ignore it and this is just as bad.

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