As we all know, the game is not only about gameplay, sound effects add a lot to the production value. The more unique, the better the result.

What are the steps to get a decent quality sound from reality into a game environment?

And some tips probably, as whether I should cover multiple cases of the "sound": normal, echo and other. Or this can/should be done within the engine itself, or post-processed after normal sound?


Sound production for games is not that much different from film or animation. While the game isn't chronological (which poses a bigger challenge to music composers) the sound effects are usually short and played at certain events.

In most of the cases, you don't want to record your sounds outside. A studio environment is preferable where you can align your recording devices perfectly and where you're sure there won't be any background noise. A lot of sounds in films and games are actually faked (mimicked) and not recordings of the "real" object. This is usually done by a Foley artist.

Usually it's cheaper to buy existing sound-effects, as recording your own with decent quality requires good equipment and experience. Creating your own sound-effects can make your game stand out, so if you feel comfortable doing so, go ahead!

As for the different "states" of a sound-effect (eg. echo, etc.): I'd say it depends on your target-platform and the type of game. It's always cheaper (in terms of processing power) to have your assets ready without the need for further processing.

If your game runs on a mobile device, then there's a high probability that you can't do much realtime sound processing. Things look different on a modern desktop PC though. But it also highly depends on the type of game and the use of sound-effects within. If you have very dynamic effects that sound differently in almost every scene, then it's probably better to try to calculate the effects in real-time or pre-process them at loading of the level. But if your game isn't revolving around the sound-effects (eg. sound-effects are an important part of gameplay), most people won't notice the nuances in the sound and you can boil it down to 1-2 pre-fabricated assets.

| improve this answer | |
  • \$\begingroup\$ Too bad I can only vote this answer up once =) As I've understood it, for most movies made today, nearly 100% of the audio is re-created after the fact, sometimes even including all voice acting. \$\endgroup\$ – Jari Komppa Dec 7 '11 at 8:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ most people won't notice the nuances, unless the nuances are on every step they make.. \$\endgroup\$ – joltmode Dec 7 '11 at 8:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tom that has to be proven (eg. tested). If the sound-effects aren't an integral part of game-play (eg. people need to pay attention to sound), people won't notice slight variation in effects. \$\endgroup\$ – bummzack Dec 7 '11 at 8:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd say that still depends. Repetition can become painfully obvious, and it will bother some people more than others. Only 1-2 assets for a repeated effect seems pretty spartan to me, especially for footsteps, even on a single material. \$\endgroup\$ – michael.bartnett Dec 7 '11 at 10:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not mine, but I just had to leave this here: youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=jwxN8sCIOOE - quite interesting what you can archieve with a mic and your own voice, isn't it? \$\endgroup\$ – Exilyth Dec 7 '11 at 13:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.