Crank it up! Video Game Music & Sound

Insights4 minutes read

Gaming audio has evolved dramatically in recent years. Audio engineering, editing, mixing and modern game composition are held to the self-same standard. Oftentimes the same folks who create Hollywood blockbusters are involved in lending their talents to AAA titles. Guys like Hank Azaria, Liam Neeson, and Snoop Dog are some of the more well-known voice talents out there.

Gaming is no longer the exclusive domain of nerds; it has evolved into a multi-billion-dollar industry. It's a fusion of artistry and blistering entertainment. The sound that goes into creating engaging social games includes high-end audio, quality vocals and awesome music. Some folks may even be anticipating Games of Thrones: Season 23 in the form of an interactive audio-visual entertainment masterpiece streaming on PS10s.

Video Games Music is Ever-Evolving

Social gaming has been hailed by some and dismissed by others. Some games even gained Grammy award nominations for their audio, including Heavy Rain, Assassin's Creed, Journey and Messy Effect. Social gaming is attempting to find a balance between profitability, gameplay and its place in the gaming world. There is no doubt that social gaming has exploded onto the scene, with mobile games and social games leading the pack.

Audio has not featured prominently in what constitutes a good gaming experience. This begs the question: is audio really all that important when it comes to playing social games?

Yes! Stellar video game sound provides players with top-tier, holistic experiences.

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What's the Deal with Video Game Sound?

Many gaming developers have not placed all that much emphasis on video game sound, and or music. Consider the fact that most players typically play for short amount of time, with multiple browser windows open simultaneously. A lot of players actually even have their own music playing in the background. Some mobile players turn their audio off, because they are in a public setting. Up until recently there have also been loads of technical limitations on what can be done with audio. For example, mobile and browser games have to work within very narrow parameters in terms of bandwidth, hardware requirements, and storage capacity if they’re going to work on all devices and computers. If players are forced to choose between audio and graphics, the latter always wins out.

This may have sufficed for many social games, but players are becoming more demanding. Players expect high octane entertainment, and an all-round audio-visual experience. Technology is catching up too; limitations are few and far between. Broadband is quicker, hence it processing power is increasing and people with broadband connections are everywhere. Now is the time to re-examine the role of video games sound!

Superior Sound for Video Games

Social gaming is quickly bridging the gap between traditional platform offerings, and it's important to revisit the sound issue. This is no small undertaking. It doesn't always start great, and certainly is not always ground-breaking, but it is always important, for any game and its evolution.

The goal should always be to create and deliver an immersive experience to players. Audio makes it relativlely easy to add content; much easier than in-game animation or CGI cinematics. 

How to Create Epic Video Game Music

One of the most important aspects of video game sound, is video game music. As part of the holistic approach to gaming, video game music has great importance in games (think of Super Mario's theme, for example). Video game music can immediately associate a game to a theme, or vice versa. In order to do so, game developers should, and very often do, cooperate with composers who can take a vision and make it reality. This is done by merging the actual musical art, together with the game in question. 

Due to the importance and popularity of music in video games, composers very often specialize in the field of video games. In return, developers spend huge amounts of budget on sound, to make it unique, polished and easily memorable.

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Summing Up

Does great audio make a difference? Absolutely! Not only does it complete a game as an audio-visual experience, but it can stick with a player for, literally, years. Just like the example of the Super Mario theme, there are plenty more, such as Monkey Island and Legend of Zelda, to name a few.

As technology is continuously improving, video games' music and sound only get better day after day. Video gaming is the new frontier, and players expect a complete audio-visual package. High-speed internet, better hardware and superior gaming technology is here to stay. 

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