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Posted by on Mar 17, 2010 | 1 comment

Game Sound Study – Footsteps

Damian Kastbauer (author of the “Audio Implementation Greats”) has published a really interesting post on his blog with a deep analysis of footsteps in different video games such as Prince of Persia, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Fallout3, Borderlands, Brutal Legent and more. He also gives global concepts about the recording and implementation of footsteps sounds in video games, share links, tips and lots of great info.

Lately, I’ve been taking stock. Not the usual “What have I done with my life?” or “Where is everything headed?” (although those questions perpetually tumble around my brain stem on a regular basis); I somehow found myself obsessed with the minute details of movement sound and system design. If you’re working in games today, chances are good that you’ve recorded, implemented, or designed systems for the playback of character footsteps and Foley at some point during the course of your career. It’s even more likely that you’ve played a game where, at some point during your experience, footstep sound wrestled your focus away from the task at hand and demanded your listening attention.

Yet, let it be said, all footsteps are not created equal – which seems obvious given that no two games are exactly the same, neither should their footsteps or the way in which they are implemented be (necessarily) the same. At the end of the day, as content creators, we should be slaves to the games we are helping to make and not showboating unnecessarily in our own art by accentuating or spending time of things that have little consequence outside of our own satisfaction; however, for a sound type that may be heard for countless hours across every level in a game, surely they deserve more than a passing thought. (or maybe I’m trying to justify my current obsession!)

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1 Comment

  1. I started creating sound for games in 1989 (Access Software; Tex Murphy adventures among others) and certainly gave A LOT of thought to the constantly repeating sound of footsteps. Sometimes we found it was better to leave them out entirely rather than have them beating endlessly over and over for hours on end. Unfortunately, we created a couple of games with the constant beating of footsteps before we figured that out… thanks for thinking of us footstep makers.

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