There are many aspects that go into creating a video game. From graphics to story, dialogue to functionality. And no video game is complete without sound effects. After all what's the point of a fatality in Mortal Kombat if I can't hear the bones break or trying hide from a serial killer if I can't hear when he steps on a branch.
Sound effects help to truly bring a game to life and have even begun to have an immense effect on the impressiveness of games as well. However, when designing your own video game, it can often appear impossible to get those perfect sound affects you want so bad.
Keep reading to learn how to add the perfect sound effects to your game today!
Hiring a Video Game Sound Designer
One option for finding the right sound effects for your video game is hire a professional video game sound designer. The sound designer is responsible for developing and recording sounds specifically for your game.
One of the benefits to hiring a sound designer is that you are ensured the sounds used in your game are unique. If every game sounded the same, then gamers would get bored pretty quickly with games. There would never be anything new.
The downside to hiring a sound designer however is cost. For major video game companies this isn't a major issue and is a no brainer. They hire the sound designer. But, for smaller independent companies hiring a sound designer may not be within budget.
DIY Video Game Sound Effects
Another option is adding the sound effects yourself. Be careful, however, you can't just use any piece of music or sound effect you come across. Chances are they will be copyright protected. Unless they specifically labeled non copyright sound effects.
There also isn't a need to attend a university program and major in sound design. There are plenty of resources and crash courses in sound design available on the internet. This option however is best for lower quality games or mobile games. Remember the sound effects and music you use should be equal quality to the graphics, story, dialogue, and gameplay. If the quality is too high or low, it will appear out of place and detract from the game as a whole.
Creating an Audio Library
When creating your own sound effects and music you should be creating your own audio library. These sounds will be a collection of sounds to be used in the game. Whether they are concepts, ideas, or final products, having an audio file will help to ensure your using the best sounds possible.
Using Free Third-Party Audio Libraries
These sites allow you to download royalty free sound effects for use in video games, movies, and other audio/video projects. Usually these sites are free, but some doe require a subscription.
A downside to these sites is the inability to use truly unique sounds and music in your game. These are free audio libraries either procured or created by the site owner. Everyone has access to the same audio files as everyone else.
But, when developing an independent video game and budget is an issue, it's pretty difficult to beat free. Licenses can be expensive, copyright owners hard to get ahold of, and there's always the risk of them saying now. These sites help to lessen the chance of these issues happening.
When searching for a free audio library to use do your research. Some sites are entirely free like they claim, while others aren’t what they say they are. The audio files they provide are copyrighted but they didn't obtain the proper licenses. Unfortunately, this means that you are still responsible should you get caught and in trouble.
Bringing Your Game to Life
The right sound effects can easily bring your video game to life. But finding or creating those perfect sound effects can be difficult. There are a few options though.
Hiring a sound designer will ensure your game is full of rich unique music and sound effects, but this can be costly. Teaching by yourself and adding the sounds and music on your own will save you money and still grant provide you with unique content.
However, for those independent developers who are really concerned about finances and time, third-party free audio libraries are the best option. Regardless of the route you choose your video game will take on a life all on its own with the right sound effects and music.