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Topic: How is audio put into games?

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  1. #1

    How is audio put into games?

    Hi guys, I thought it would be good idea to start this forum with a topic with a kind of stupid question.

    If I would need to compose music for game, how should I do it? Ok, I know I must compose the music put in sequencer etc. However, what I don\'t know is how to deliver it so the programmer or what ever can put the music in use in the game. Is there any standards or could I just deliver in waw form?

    I\'ve never composed for games so I know this could sound stupid for some.

    Also, what\'s the difference between scoring for film/ads etc. or games?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Re: How is audio put into games?

    It depends on the project.

    It can be any format that they ask. It could be submixes of different tracks so they can mix in surroudn themselves, it could be 6ch surround stems, it could be stereo wave, it could be protools project, it could be stereo aiff, it could be mp3, it could be ogg vorbis, it could be looped, it could be non looped but with loop markers, it could be adpcm, it could be console format specific/encoded, it could be......uh.. you get the picture [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]


    as for how different it is, well lots of things. It can vfary in length of the project, it can require much more music than film or TV/Ads (2hours or more at times). Unlike TV/Film you deal with a nonlinear medium in terms of \"feeling\". Movies are from point a to point b in regards to whats going on, on the screen. Games go from a to h back to c to e to an alien alphabetic character... [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Its quite difficult to get the balance of \"cool\" and not \"overbearing\", when working with streaming/linear music in a game

    Then there\'s interactive music.... joy... lots of things to think about there.

  3. #3

    Re: How is audio put into games?

    King, so I better have equipment for every format on the planet + alien planets? Uffh... there goes my pay check for 20 years. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  4. #4

    Re: How is audio put into games?

    nope, but if you are pitching on a project, try and find out what they\'ll need, and if you get it, try and get an advance and buy waht you need for it.

  5. #5

    Re: How is audio put into games?

    Originally posted by falcon1:
    Hi guys, I thought it would be good idea to start this forum with a topic with a kind of stupid question.

    If I would need to compose music for game, how should I do it? Ok, I know I must compose the music put in sequencer etc. However, what I don\'t know is how to deliver it so the programmer or what ever can put the music in use in the game. Is there any standards or could I just deliver in waw form?

    I\'ve never composed for games so I know this could sound stupid for some.

    Also, what\'s the difference between scoring for film/ads etc. or games?

    Thanks in advance!
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Ultimately, that\'s the programmer\'s issue. They\'ll specify what they want. There are several forms game audio can take. You\'ll need to work with the game developer to decide which is best.

    As far as scoring differences, mainly, games are dynamic. A movie is set. You write the score and there it is. The same every time you watch the movie. But games offer choices to players. The music, therefore, has to follow what\'s happening in the game to fit.

    Drama is also an issue. Music helps to enhance drama. But drama in a video game is VERY different from drama in a movie. The drama of a video game comes from the players personal investment in the game itself much more than the empathy side of movie drama. In other words, if a character dies in a movie and it makes you cry, its because you related or felt something for that character. In a video game, usually, it\'s really tough to make someone cry over dying unless its because they have to start the level over again. The emotional investment is totally different.

  6. #6

    Re: How is audio put into games?

    Ultimately, that\'s the programmer\'s issue.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">That\'s true, but never bow down to what the programmers want, just because it is \"easier\" or some such thing. Always stick up for what YOU think is best for the project, if a programmer thinks that a simple MIDI engine would be good enough for a heart-stopping, dramatic, horror title, then you\'re going to have to try to change their minds.
    On the other end of the spectrum programmers can have the tendency to \"go overboard\" and keep adding features (I think they never sleep)...you have to know when to stop, because you might start to stretch yourself thin and ultimately make the project suffer for not having a clear, cohesive audio element.
    So, always stick to your audio guns.
    Especially if you\'re doing a FPS!
    [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Re: How is audio put into games?

    C\'mon guys, you can do better than the vauge answers you\'ve given. How about you simply tell us what format(s) the audio was in that you delivered in your last game? [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Don\'t most video games now days simply play standard cd audio tracks during the game?

  8. #8

    Re: How is audio put into games?

    King, you always have ideas that could shine.
    THAT\'S WHY YOUZ THE KING, BABY!
    &lt;ahem&gt;
    :-)

  9. #9

    Re: How is audio put into games?

    Originally posted by keytar:
    C\'mon guys, you can do better than the vauge answers you\'ve given. How about you simply tell us what format(s) the audio was in that you delivered in your last game? [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Don\'t most video games now days simply play standard cd audio tracks during the game?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Okay. For the last game, I delivered a CD with Redbook audio.

    Previous to that, I did a game that required the use of DirectMusic. The sound quality wasn\'t what I wished it could have been. But the game was being published for download...so we had to go with an audio option that kept things small.

    For the game I\'m working on now, it\'ll ultimatly be a mix of various forms.

    There is no answer that isn\'t vague...because each project is unique.

    And I wasn\'t saying you shouldn\'t fight for the best quality of audio you can. Obviously. But if the devloper says he wants mp3 for compression and streaming reasons, you don\'t deliver him .wav. He\'ll just convert it to mp3 anyway and be pissed at you for not doing what he asked.

    That doesn\'t mean you can\'t discuss it with him and try and persuade him to your way of thinking. Not at all.

  10. #10

    Re: How is audio put into games?

    Nowadays most are using MP3,WMA or OGG esp in more complex environments like RPGs or similar. It\'s small in size yet has good quality and you can make a neat dynamic sound engine out of it (which ends in composing loops, though [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img] )

    -Marc

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