Saturday, 15 March 2014

Elements of Game Technology: Sound

Sound is a vital part of our experiences with media, it is where media started from with radio. Sound within interactive media is if anything more important than it is within film. The immersion can be easily broken if sound does not fit or if it is implemented poorly. Sound is such a key part to conveying emotion and atmosphere that games have used it from the very early ages to adjust the player's mentality to be receptive to what they are being presented with.

If its the simple, cheer-y and fast paced sound of Tetris or the melodic, calm and classical epic grandeur of Morrowind it is key to realise how important music is to creating the correct environment.

Personally I found that the most effective soundtrack was that of the Quake series, perhaps the artists being some of my favourite artists helped with that but Nine Inch Nails and Front Line Assembly did a great job in creating an atmosphere of getting things done! The speed and intensity of the game was perfectly accented by the speed and intensity of the music. What I personally enjoyed the most was where Sonic Mayhem and Front Line Assembly worked together to make a variation of musical styles which cover the the different play styles of different maps. Here is a compilation of the tracks.

After the sound tracks comes the foley and voice acting which is something that is still being vitally tweaked by modern games. This video documenting the making of "The Last of Us" is really good at showing how sound is being implemented and how acting, not just voice acting, has become a vital aspect to games. The section on sound starts at 47 minutes through.

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