Archive Page 2


GDC ’09, sound talk

gdc09GDC is coming up fast, and the sound discussions are as always interesting.  Here‘s a complete list of all discussions.

Peter Kirn of world’s-greatest-blog CDM said something interesting in his GDC writeup:

“Some terrific stuff, but I also can’t help notice what’s missing – not the fault of GDC, but the direction of audio and music in games. There’s a clear bias for big scores, discussions of orchestras and chorus, and linear, non-interactive, Hollywood-style musical narrative…

…it seems like part of the potential spectrum is getting left out, and I can’t say that musical innovation has kept pace with everything that’s happening in experimental game design.”

I couldn’t agree more, allthough there are several people doing interesting things (see previous post about Troels Folmann).

And the same goes for storytelling in games. It might be a bit more Hollywood in its writing, but it’s still the same plot and presentation as ten years ago.
But interesting things are happening there as well. More about that in a future post.


Tomb Raider: Underworld OST free download

TPCOVERPS3CASEvctr108The soundtrack for Tomb Raider: Underworld, composed by Colin O’Malley and Troels Folmann has been released as a free download. I haven’t listened to it yet, and I’ve only played the demo, but what I heard sounded good.

Troels Folmann did some excellent interactive scoring for Tomb Raider: Legend and rightly got a BAFTA award (Best Original Score) for it.

Check out this excellent interview with Troels about micro-scoring for games. It’s a very interesting read.


Fullbright’s MOTY 2008

soil_stradivariusGame designer Steve Gaynor recently posted his Moments of The Year 2008.
Rather than individual games that caught his eye this last year, he chose certain moments from games that for one reason or another made him blink.

And I couldn’t agree more with the choice of Agatha’s Song from Fallout 3: while playing through that quest, I finally realised how good a game it actually was. Bethesda completely compensated for my dissapointment at BioWare’s Mass Effect, and made story relevant again.

Another MOTY for me was in Crysis Warhead the first time i entered stealth mode: all ambient sounds like the wind in the trees, birds chirping and insects buzzing are pitched down, leaving the relevant sounds like an enemy’s footsteps that much more clearer. It was a very effective effect, both for feeling and gameplay.
I think Crysis did it as well, but I’m not sure.


Only ten composers for MGS4? Pfft!

Super Smash Bros. Browl

So I was impressed with MGS 4 using ten different composers.
Only ten? How young and naive I was…

Super Smash Brothers Brawl used no less than 40 different composers for the game’s music.
From a Gamasutra article listing notable industry players in the last year:

Not only a palpable game design mash-up success, [Masahiro] Sakurai assembled over 40 different sound composers to create music for the game, making the project almost a jam band-style get-together. In an age of licensed soundtracks, this is to be applauded.”



MGS4 OST, ten composers?

2uxu6pdSeriously, ten composers for one game? I’m impressed they even managed to fit it together, sound wise.


FMod for iPhone


The FMod sound engine, one of the standards of the industry, now supports the iPhone/iPod Touch, making it the first mobile platform supported by FMod.

At $500, the price seems a bit steep. And since a lot of the iPhone/iPod games are pure hobby projects, it doesn’t compare favorably to FMod’s Shareware/hobbyist license. Is the market for iPhone games really that big, on a per-project basis? Sure, games like Super Monkey Ball sell a ton of copies, but it still feels like a pretty big exception.
None the less, it’s a very interesting move.


Novint Falcon in Snow Hard

b4We’re thinking about adding support for one of these, the Novint Falcon, to our upcoming game. They’re all kinds of awesome.

It’s a bit tricky though. Drivers are missing for both Mac and Linux. And while the game needs to update around 25 frames per second to feel smooth, the Falcon needs to update 1 000 times a second.

Perhaps more importantly, there are very few established conventions for how to use it in games. It’s important that the Falcon actually contributes to the game, lest it becomes a gimmick.

Regardless, it’s a very interesting piece of technology!