Archive for sander

Audio Game: Extant

A short pointer to something we’re working on…Extant! Extant is a free-roaming survival audio game, completely based on sound.

Extant - Zombie Audio Game

Extant - Zombie Audio Game

We released a tech demo for Extant in October 2010, a few days prior to Halloween. The demo allows players to wander freely through an atmospheric, monster-infested world, exploring sites and buildings while fighting off zombies and collecting pickups such as ammo and medicine.

Extant is based on concepts developed back in 2002 for an audio game prototype named “Dark – A Garden Wander”, created by Sander Huiberts, Richard van Tol and Hugo Verweij. One example of such a concept is Moby, the protagonists dog, who can guide the player to certain areas and objects using an innovative command menu.

Through this tech demo we explore the design possibilities of an audio-only game space that is intuitive, immersive and easy to navigate. We found that a space based on spheres meets such requirements best. For example, players wander around on a spherical-shaped world, in a fashion similar to Mario on a small planet in Super Mario Galaxy. This approach frees designers from having to add spatial obstructions in order to constrain the players’ free movement to a specific area. Spatial obstructions can be quite a design challenge in audio games, since walls are usually silent and one does not want the player to constantly bump into them. Each building and site is circular as well, allowing the player to enter from any direction.

The Extant tech demo can be download for free at the Creative Heroes website.

Discuss Extant at the AudioGames Forum.

Top 20 Gaming Sound FX

Recently I came across this online video show of The Game Heroes. They’ve compiled a top 20 of video game sound effects (not music, not speech). They should have added that all examples come from retro games: their focus is merely on the legendary sound icons of 8 bit console games. But still it’s interesting to see they mention sound effects for their effect on the game play experience.

Recently, Richard and I created the Best Game Sound AnswerGarden. Have a look and see what other visitors consider as good game sound. In this garden we see some more recent games like Portal, although this game does of course benefit from its speaking computer (considered by Game Heroes as speech) and game music.

And sorry about the *long* advertisements from blip.tv.

What is your favorite sound effect in games?… at AnswerGarden.ch.

Various sound resources for game design and interaction design students

I teach audio design to game designers and interaction designers at the Utrecht of the Arts. Here are some valuable links for finding audio material and some tools. In case you have something valuable to add, you know where to find the comments section.

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Cool field recording examples

A very cool example of field recording of remarkable sounds from real objects. By Jean-Edouard Miclot.

[via Richard]

Symposium Music Design – Mapping the field 2010 (in Dutch)

Just a quick pointer for those who are interested in a symposium about Music Design in the Netherlands. Mind that the symposium will be held in Dutch. I’ll be presenting my research concerning the cooperation between game designers and music designers (sound designers and composers). For more, click more below the flyer.

Mapping the Field Symposium Music Design

Mapping the Field Symposium Music Design

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Best game sound

Now that we’re in the voting mood…have a look at an AnswerGarden that was added to the Pretty Ugly Gamesound Study. Do you agree with the votes in the garden or do you want to suggest some other games?

Best game sound ever… at AnswerGarden.ch.

Jeep Sound Design

Julian Smith posted this video of a percussion performance with the help of the sounds coming from a Jeep. He claims that all the sounds in this video are the actual sounds from the Jeep and that it took 7 hours of filming to get a solid take. Pretty amazing!

The Future of Game Audio

What’s the next step in game audio? Now it’s your turn…Fill in your own answer or click on an existing one and hit ‘submit’!

What’s the future of Game Audio… at AnswerGarden.ch.

The brother of the Wilhelm Scream

You probably know the Wilhelm Scream. According to the Wilhelm Scream entry on Wikipedia, the sound effect that was recorded in 1951 has been used in about 149 films. A recent example is Inglourious Basterds…but we also find the sound effect cliche in games. The following video shows some of the most common examples of the Wilhelm Scream in movies:

Last week, Creative Heroes released the Helmut Scream, which can be used freely. You’re invited to download and use Wilhelm’s jealous brother in your projects.

Lecture at Festival of Games

Yesterdag Richard and I gave a keynote at the Music Summit of Festival of Games in Utrecht. After visiting many international conferences on audio for games, it’s great to meet all the local peers and professionals. At the bottom of this page, you can find a link to the slides and a special link page.

By the way, it was a great venue, featuring a truly wonderful performance installation by Matthias Oostrik. See the two pictures below I made before the summit started:

Festival of Games in Ottone

Festival of Games in Ottone

Festival of Games in Ottone

Festival of Games in Ottone

[Download the Slides as PDF]
More information and weblinks at FoG.AudioGames.net

See a slideshow below the break.

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