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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Unit 73: Sound for Computer Games

Understanding Sound Design Theory

1. Animal Crossing New Leaf - 1am (Music)
-Fitting for the time period
-Fitting for the game
-Would not use different music

2. Uncharted 2, Breaking and Entering
-To suit the genre of the game

3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
-Calm and Mystical
-Title screen
-Fitting for the game
-Very atmospheric

4.Final Fantasy X HD (Luca)
-Would use as background music for a city

5.Animal Crossing New Leaf - Roost Cafe
-Nice mood
-Suited instrument for the area

6. Minecraft - Collect XP sound effect
-High pitch (Usually resembles a good thing)


The reason behind why music and sound FX are important within game development is to create a fitting atmosphere for the game and to also lead the player throughout. Some of the sound FX which are used in a game help the player understand whether they are on track. For example, in the outlast, a sound effect is played when the player has achieved their objective and is ready to move on to the next one. Other sound FX are used to create atmosphere. In Amnesia: The dark decent, there are sound FX which are used to create tension. Such as the heavy breathing of your character or the hyperventilating when your character is scared. 
Music is very effective when it comes to creating an atmosphere too. For example; Animal Crossing New Leaf is a calm, easy-going game. They have different music for different times of the day and each piece of music reflects the time of day really well. They use calm and happy music. For other games, music is used for different circumstances. For example, when you are battle, the music changes to something tense and then when you have won the battle, a sound effect will play which symbolise achievement.
This is a quote from the Game Audio Development book written by Aaron Marks, "Sound effects exist specifically to give feedback to players, immerse them inside the virtual realm, and provide an entertaining experience—all of which are key ingredients to a successful video game." 

What is Waveform?

The wavelength of a wave is the distance from any point on one wave to the same point on the next wave along.
Amplitude is the size of the vibration, and this determines how loud the sound is.  We have already seen that larger vibrations make a louder sound.
Frequency is the speed of the vibration, and this determines the pitch of the sound.  It is only useful or meaningful for musical sounds, where there is a strongly regular waveform.
Frequency and pitch describe the same thing, but from different viewpoints.  While frequency measures the cycle rate of the physical waveform, pitch is how high or low it sounds when you hear it. This is directly related to frequency: the higher the frequency of a waveform, the higher the pitch of the sound you hear.
Hertz is the standard unit of measurement for frequency, with it being equal to one cycle per second.
Decibel Level is the degree of loudness of a sound
Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects that are added to film, video, and other media in post-production to enhance audio quality. These reproduced sounds can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass.
Timbre is the quality of the sound made by a particular voice or musical instrument

“Music can capture pretty much the entire spectrum of human emotion. It can cause one to experience profound sadness, extreme joy, anger, fear, longing or triumph. And it does all of this without relying on any external knowledge or concepts, which makes it even more powerful as a unifying agent for people from a wide variety of backgrounds.”

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