All it Needs is a Little Audio

What I often say whenever developing a game.  No game truly feels like a game without audio, even during the development process a game feels like an empty husk without audio.  You could have all the mechanics implemented and fine tuned, you could have every game system working perfectly and it would still feel dead to me.  Like a wooden puppet longing to be alive.  A Pinocchio!, that’s what it is.  But the moment you put audio into your project and connect all the wires up, figuratively or literally, it comes to life!

It makes me wonder about the early days of silent films, before film technology allowed the use of audio.  It would seem like such a immersion breaking experience, having to read and compute all those captions and try to watch the film as well.  But I’m making a comparison of today’s tech to yesterday’s which isn’t fair.  If I didn’t have the experiences of modern media I too would most likely be totally engrossed in silent films as well.  So how exactly is it made?  How did Star Wars get it’s ‘laser’ sounds or ‘spaceship thruster afterburner in deep space’ sound?  To be honest, I don’t know.

After doing a little research I found something called ‘Foley’.  Basically the process involves using any real world object or objects and interacting with said object/s in any which way you could possibly imagine to achieve the sounds you desire.  Throw those sounds into a modern day audio program and you can manipulate them even further.  The process was named after it’s creator Jack Donovan Foley who essentially gave birth to the sound effects industry for motion pictures in the 1900’s.  The process is still used today, and surprisingly almost every film has all its sound created this way, even dialogue.

Unfortunately, I’m not a sound guy and I never will be.  It’s not my focus, but I decided to create all the placeholder audio for my current project ‘Little Soul’.  It’s all simply a recording of myself making bizarre noises into a microphone for the desired effect.  Anyone walking outside my room during the process probably thought I was deranged, I know my dogs did by the way they were looking at me.  After this I threw all the recording into Adobe Audition to clean them up and trim them down, saved them as a wav. for maximum quality and imported them to the project.  I’m not going to lie, I wish I had the know-how to create some fantastic sound effects that make players smile or fall in love with a character.  But maybe when creating those fantastic sounds doesn’t require so much hands on with a multitude of random objects and the equipment to capture it, I will.

In the meantime though, below is a link to the majority of the placeholder sounds I made for the current project.  It includes ‘before editing’ and ‘after editing’ comparisons of each sound.  Not all the sounds were included otherwise it would’ve been a 5 minute sound byte.  Enjoy:

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