Bob Bridgett has published a new fantastic article at Gamasutra, this time exploring common examples of dynamics from horror cinema and how those rules can be adapted to game design and game audio in any genre through graphic visualisation and planning techniques.
‘Design’ is one of the most important areas of sound design, in that the sound designer needs to sit down, over the course of many planning meetings, with game designers and plot out and map the intended experience from start to finish.
This is done via each and every mission and cinematic and decide where the game needs to deliver the biggest impact, both from a macro-cosmic level for the entire game, and potentially a microcosmic level for each mission stage. This is, in effect, designing the dynamic range of the game experience and mapping where audio will follow that curve or any areas where audio needs to play against that curve.
Audio clearly needs to be involved in this planning process as music, sound and dialogue are some of the more potent tools for delivering subtlety and intensity in a game. This process is one of the many aspects of sound design that doesn’t involve sitting in a studio designing sound effects and tuning game audio, it is potentially the most important to the integrity of the whole soundtrack, as it will dictate where music, fx and dialogue all need to work together with the game flow.