As I have mentioned, this semester at University one of my projects is to research and analyse Video Game Sound Design. In This blog post I plan to further examine aspects of this through framework and more understanding.
The history around Game Sound Design is interesting, and something I have taken the time to explore through the course of the project here. However, something that really struck out to me was when relating it back to my biggest example of Nintendo, and the shift towards making things emotive.
In relation to techniques of participation (multimediality, virtuality, interactivity, and connectivity), Sound Design has been developing through the years. Diegetic Connectivity as used in this example, broadcasts the mindset of a more serious sound design, by connecting the aspects that build by definition a good game: Story, Task, and Mechanics. “aesthetics, the visuals and sound of a game, are especially noticeable to players, and we view this presentational layer as especially important for forging diegetic connections.”
Part of the reason why Sound Design is important is the way it enhances the experience, motivation and engagement. “Even basic sounds like footsteps, reloading a weapon or breathing can add tension, excitement and realism to the gaming experience.” Sound creates a connection to the game, and it is the hope that these sound aspects stick with players beyond a screen.
Nostalgia plays a big part of Game Sound Design, especially in regards to sequels and later installments. “Video game jingles have even made it into the music charts…The chances are that game players will always remember the music and sounds associated with their favourite games. The music brings back memories and can trigger a nostalgic reaction.”
In the grand idea, Sound Design is interactive as well. Based on your own game play you will experience different sets of sounds, in relation to different things, which brings in this engagement and connection to the world being built.
Types of participation (interpretation, reconfiguration, construction) can be different from wanting to achieve connectivity in game production. So I’m sure you’re wondering how it relates. Interpretation is important when creating sound aspects, for you want to convey your point and have it translate – no matter what that may be.
A lot of people participate in games such as Animal Crossing simply because of the Sound Design and their interpretation of relaxation, enjoyment and peace. This right here is a great example of the importance and how genre fits into Sound Design. “The music isn’t there to stand out, but rather enhance the inconsequential beat of the everyday…a simple piano melody loops graciously, a crisp refrain that – put to the brisk percussion of a single maraca – conjures perfectly the early stillness of the crack of dawn…There’s sprinklings of cowbell and glockenspiel – inconsequential stuff, but then again, that’s the entire point.”
All of these things come together to make a larger picture, they’re all rolled up in a ball of mechanics, story, ambience in order to provide a captivating game play that you intercept and continue to love long enough to have “Nostalgic Ambience Game Sounds” on youtube with millions of views.
Dazed. (2020, April 24). Going deep on the blissful brilliance of Animal Crossing’s soundtrack. Dazeddigital.Com. https://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/48988/1/going-deep-on-the-blissful-brilliance-animal-crossings-soundtrack-new-horizons
geargods. (2018, April 30). The importance of sound design in video gaming. Geargods.Net. https://geargods.net/editorials/the-importance-of-sound-design-in-video-gaming/
Lane, N., & Prestopnik, N. R. (2017). Diegetic connectivity: Blending work and play with storytelling in serious games. Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play.