Here’s another interesting article published some years ago by Charles Maynes, this time on Gamasutra, talking about his approach on weapon sound effects recording and design. Some things have changed in Charles’ process, but it’s a worth reading anyway. Check:
The romantic notion of sound design is what gets a lot people into film and game sound; that idea of creating sounds that no one has heard before and making a visual element become alive is a pursuit which is almost archetypical. The key concept which dominates the endeavor is “emotional impact.” We want our creations to have an innate relevance to the actions which we hope to attach them to.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Charles Maynes, I am a sound designer and recordist of sound effects for both feature films and video games. I specialize in military related subjects, so I am around weapons and other military gear more than most people in my field.
As to the design philosophies, the principal difference between a game experience and a film is that the film does not repeat itself. It is told in a linear narrative and can get away with a more exaggerated application of sound. A wonderful example of this is the film Dirty Harry, which set the standard for cinematic gunshot sounds for decades.
In the game experience though, we are dealing with scenarios that are far less linear in most cases, and in a FPS type game, the idea of a “towering” action sound would grow tiring in very short order. This of course does not diminish the absolute requirement for the sound to be interesting and, again, emotionally satisfying.