Monday, 15 March 2010

Music and Sounds in games

Music plays as important a role in games as it does in Film and Televison. It is used to create suspense, a sense of awe and dramatic quick passed action, without sound in our games most would be lifeless and not be able to hold attention long enough for even the first cut scene. My personal favourite is when sound is used to emphasise a vast landscape filled with a safe friendly vibe or sense of mystery. Sound in games however can be used on other levels unlike film and other media. Because a game is interactive, sounds can be used to help the player, or manipulate their own play style. For example, secret areas can be signified by a short twinkle or a dramatic 5 second track, a heartbeat can tell you that your character is low on health or is struggling. The more the player plays along side these sounds the more subconsciously attuned they become to the game and the more enjoyment and reward the player will feel. For me I remember the shrill dramatic sounds of the Tomb Raider games, even finding a secret area ended with a sudden loud chime which almost every time scared the life out of me especially when I was on my toes after a dramatic music build up. Also the cinematic within Halo for me are filled with beautiful orchestral vibes that I just cant get enough of, it really enhances the games feel and drama.

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