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Let Sound be your Ally
Engaging Sound Design
All sound design starts with a story or experience. There’s no magical formula here as every project is unique and calls for it’s own particular approach. However, 15 years of experience in linear media has thought me many techniques, principles and concepts that can all help to build this unique approach driven by the goals and expectations of the project. Such techniques might vary from character or environment design to setting moods, invoking emotional responses or guiding the player’s relationship to the narrative.
Compelling Audio Development
Do I need middleware and why? Great question! Thanks for asking.
Middleware is not just a tool to allow any sound designer to work on your game. All middleware solutions have their merits and drawbacks, strengths and weaknesses. Therefore it’s crucial to carefully choose the middleware that best suits your project. Many aspects should be taken into consideration, e.g.:
– the game engine used: do not underestimate the power of your engine. Unreal for example has a great built in audio engine, which provides amazing flexibility for creating adaptive audio. Obviously, the closer you can keep your sound to your game design and code, the more flexibility and creative freedom you have to build an adaptive and interactive sound experience.
– spatialization: depending on the game you’re developing, your needs for spatialization will differ. For compelling game environments and high quality binauralisation, in general the best results are achieved by letting the engine handle spatialization, possibly in conjunction with dedicated spatialization tools. Some middleware solution allow seamless integration in such scenarios, while others ‘hijack’ the master mix, eliminiating the possibility of using high fidelity binauralisation, which is desirable for VR and immersive games.
– level geometry: some middleware and spatialization tools are better suited for working with complex geometries, while others work better for simple shaped rooms and environments. Several questions come to mind when choosing the right solutions for your project, e.g. do you need complex raytracing for sound propagation and acoustics? Are you dynamic geometries? Etc…
– use of adaptive music, its structure and the desired interaction with your game
– dialogue systems and localisation
– sonic complexity, desired amount of simultaneous sounds, performance and target platforms.