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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Unit 73: Sound for Computer Games: Sources and Psychology

Unit 73: Sounds for computer games

Task 1: List a range of music/FX sources


(i) Royalty Free Music sites
(ii) Asset Store
(iii) Producing your own sounds/music
(iv) Buy the rights to the music

Task 2: List 3 or more games and explain the purpose of the music within the game

Until Dawn:


1. Until Dawn
When you are playing the game and are being chased by an enemy in the game, the speed of the music increases as you are being chased. This is done to signify the fact that you need to move fast and adds to the tension to the game. Coupled with the ticking sound effect when you have to make a fast, important decisions, the game can very tense very quickly, especially in the dangerous situations where you have to react quickly to the scenario that you are in. Furthermore, when you discover an object in the game relating to the story or background behind the game, the game uses a sound effect to show that you have found a clue within the game in order let the player know that they have done something right, and are advancing the game. The intro song is called "O, Death" which is a fitting title for the game. This song has a slow tempo. The ending song called "Final Confrontation" is a soundtrack which is very tense and raises in pitch.

2. Super Mario
When you collect a coin, the game makes a sound effect which is like a coin drop that has become iconic within video game sound effects. The sound effect is there in order to signify that you have collected a coin and are therefore gaining points within the game. Furthermore, when you jump on top of an enemy it creates a sound that signifies that the enemy has died.

3. The Last of Us
In The Last of Us the game signifies that there are enemies present as you can hear the sounds that they make. For example, the clickers make clicking sounds surprisingly, and that lets you know that the enemies are around. Furthermore, when the enemy has noticed you, they begin to make a lot more noise, which helps to create an atmosphere of fear and panic. Also, the frequency of the sounds goes up, telling the player that it is time that they started running away fast else they are going to get caught and killed by the enemy. Finally, when all the enemies have been eliminated, the main characters in the game will either have a conversation, or say something that will signify that all the enemies have been defeated, which is done so the player can begin to relax and explore the area in safety without worrying about the threat of dying.
The main theme of the song fits with the game. The mix of the different guitar sounds, the low pitch and the high pitch, and the sound of the shaker percussion create an atmosphere of a wasteland.

Task 3: Legal considerations needed when obtaining or using Music/Fx

Copyright - Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time, with the intention of enabling the creator to receive compensation for their intellectual effort. Copyright law originated in the United Kingdom from a concept of common law; the Statute of Anne 1709. It became statutory with the passing of the Copyright Act 1911. The current act is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The law gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and typographical arrangement of published editions, rights to control the ways in which their material may be used. The rights cover; broadcast and public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending copies to the public. In many cases, the creator will also have the right to be identified as the author and to object to distortions of his work. International conventions give protection in most countries, subject to national laws.

Libel - Libel is a method of defamation expressed by print, writing, pictures, signs, effigies, or any communication embodied in physical form that is injurious to a person's reputation, exposes a person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, or injures a person in his/her business or profession. Libel and slander are types of defamatory statements. Libel is a written defamatory statement, and slander is a spoken or oral defamatory statement.

Terms of use:


ASA - Code of Conduct


PRS - Performing Rights Society

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