Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Sound in games

Sound is prominent in all computer games, whether it be a title theme, or a distant ambient heightening your senses, its there. It engages more of your body's senses, and increases the believability of the game, drawing us into the virtual world. Sound Effects, give us a believability of whats happening, after all what is an explosion without the sound? What is a gun that doesn't go 'bang' (or 'sift' for silent guns). What are humans that speak with only subtitles? Without sound, games would just be fancy graphics, users would be given a nice interactive color show, but wouldn't be drawn in. Sound makes us scared, makes us tense, and makes us feel like we're there.

Just as in films, there are well known game composers too, the people who create the awe inspiring title themes that we hum in our heads for days. Video game composers are no less talented than any other kind of composer.

Here are a few well known composers:

Jeremy Soule - technically, the Soule Brothers, and they comosed the 'Oblivion' theme 'Reign of the Septims' (and the rest of the soundtrack). The Soule Brothers also composed the 'Morrowind' Sound Track, here are the links to the two main themes:

Harry Gregson-Williams is also a well known composer, who composed the theme to the 'metal gear solid' series. The Mgs2 theme tune has always stood out in my mind as being an all time favorite, here it is:

There is also Nobuo Uematsu
, who composed for the final fantasy series.

The most defining moment for me, which I still remember vividly was my first few hours playing 'Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind'. The setting, feeling, visuals and most notably soundtrack struck me. I almost felt compelled to stop playing and just BE part of the game. The music drew me in, made me feel not only see. its hard to explain the effect a good soundtrack has on you, and your memories, but Morrowind still remains one of my all time favorite games, and the soundtrack was a huge factor in that memory.

Nile Rodgers/Bernard Edwards - good times. most influential recording of the 20th centuary?

This is a hard question to answer, but I'd have to disagree, as much as I love the bassline to such an iconic song, it is worth taking into consideration to many other popular bands and recordings of the time. Lets not forget the Beatles, quite possibly responsible for a whole new genre. Other songs like the classic pop song 'I will survive' along with other major artists have also had a massive effect on the music industry as a whole and the industry is constantly being shaped by the songs produced from different bands.

The song 'good times' has had a massive impact , the fact I know the bass line from heart, and I wasn't even born when it was made. Is tribute to that fact, but there were also many other influences that shaped the industry today.

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