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Audio for games - expected format to Game Developers
Old 11th September 2012
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Audio for games - expected format to Game Developers

How are you providing your game audio to Game Developers? This includes music, voiceover, sound effects, etc.
- Format: wav, mp3, 44.1, 128, etc.
- File Organisation
- Is it mastered or raw?
- Does it have fades or panning or is it just continuous sound from start to end and the developers implement those process in the game application?
- any other audio specifications that should be taken into consideration when providing audio to the Developers?

Is there a website where this information can be found?

Thanks
Old 11th September 2012
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
it's depend.

- Online games ?
- Standalone or downloaded for desktop or mobile ?
- Dev.tools open format capable (ogg) or licensed distributable format (mp3) ?
- Any programmers specs. requeriments ?.

By example, for flash online, I ever work with: mp3/22.1/vbr 320/mono for fx & voices and mp3/44.1/vbr 320/stereo for some (rare) music/fx. Pan, transitions, volume, mix, 3d sim, context/area/scene are fixed by code. Some times vbr320 are downstep/recompress due to specifics requeriments or loading issues.

For this, I expect ever the audio source files in WAV/44/24/Mono or stereo (rare, only some musics with pan/spatial effects generated).

Standalone games or downloadeds game for desktop are very different. Requeriments for loading time, bandwidth & transfer cost enable to work in many different ways.
Old 11th September 2012
  #3
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
agree with above. Depends on platform and requirements of developer. Goes all the way from stereo wavs to fully implemented FMOD.
Old 11th September 2012
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
What are the specs for PC games?

When you supply a sample for a train passing by, do you just give a sample of a train with no fading on the start or end where the train would pass by. It would just be a continuous train sound as though it is not moving and then the developers will just code it to sound like it is panning from left to right, coming in and out.

Where can I source a sample of a spec requirement for audio for games for different platforms?
Old 11th September 2012
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I remember the good old days when we used Trackers for game audio.
Old 11th September 2012
  #6
Gear Addict
 
disinfor's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You should probably ask this question in the Post Production forum. Those guys will probably be able to help.

But for what it's worth, I would give game developers the most uncompressed you can. They can always do batch conversion if they need to.

Never do panning or fades. Let them handle that.

Make sure the sound can loop, if possible.

Organize by type of sound - Music, SFX, Voice. Make sure you label each sound file appropriately (hard_heavy_hit.wave, train_passing.wav, etc.).

Each game house may have different requirements for sound submission, but if you create the sound in 96k, 24bit you'll probably be safe.
Old 11th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by puppee ➡️
What are the specs for PC games?

When you supply a sample for a train passing by, do you just give a sample of a train with no fading on the start or end where the train would pass by. It would just be a continuous train sound as though it is not moving and then the developers will just code it to sound like it is panning from left to right, coming in and out.

Where can I source a sample of a spec requirement for audio for games for different platforms?
From the developer? Because there are millions of different ways to implement the game sound and also different ways of workflow of a game developement team. Some do the conversion by themselves with automated scripts that convert them to the destinations formats of the platforms they support, so 44.1 wav would do.
If it's only a small team that does no wide multiplatform porting, you may have to provide different/specific formats though. Also the question you asked above can only be answered by the developers: On simple web or mobile games the sample may be pre-panned while on 3D games with a 3D sound engine all the positional calculations (including filtering and effects for simulating different environments) is done by the engine.
Old 11th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royaloak ➡️
I remember the good old days when we used Trackers for game audio.
But not for game sfx
I once had to write a tracker-player for a game dev studio that wanted to implement tracker-sound for some "good-old-days" nostalgia and thus contracted a musician who still does his soundtracks in old amiga like trackers.
Old 11th September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by disinfor ➡️
Make sure the sound can loop, if possible.
very very important.
Old 12th September 2012
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
As mentioned already there are an unlimited number of ways you may be asked to deliver audio. The question you are asking is generic and there is no one answer.

I can tell you that the developer you are working with will nearly always give you the specs once you have the gig. If you are proficient with your tools (which you certainly will be if you have the job!) then all of these details won't matter. Don't even worry about it now unless you already have the gig. If you DO and they aren't telling you then that's an entirely different situation.
Old 17th October 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
kraku's Avatar
To get a good picture of what kind of audio needs to be delivered for game developers and how they're used and panned/faded/etc., check this overview video of Wwise, which is one of the most used audio engine/system for medium sized / large games today.



Also check its Youtube tutorials to get much more in-depth look into how things are done these days.

The other widely used audio system is FMOD. You can find tutorials for it also on Youtube.

If you end up making audio for games, you might need to use a system like Wwise or FMOD, so learning how to work with their editors would be really beneficial to you.
Old 18th October 2012
  #12
ST.
Gear Addict
 
ST.'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Kraku

Great info! I've been checking in on this thread as I'm interested in the topic as well.

There is some great info in general in this thread. I'd like to learn more about what it takes to get into making game music/sound effects.

Thanks everyone!
Old 18th October 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
kraku's Avatar
I'd suggest starting with excellent foley sounds instead of music. There are tons of musicians applying for each game development company but very few of the applicants offer foley sounds / SFX.
Old 18th October 2012 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraku ➡️
I'd suggest starting with excellent foley sounds instead of music. There are tons of musicians applying for each game development company but very few of the applicants offer foley sounds / SFX.
That's a good Idea, there are many comercial SFX-collections out there, but nobody wants his customers to say: "hey, I know that sample from <gameXY>".
Funny, though, my first contact with computer based sound production was back in the time when I was a game developer and there weren't any affordable comercial SFX-libs - so it was getting a mic and a tape recorder and walking around looking for the sounds we needed for our games. I left the game industry but am about to build up a decent home recording studio now, so in a certain way my carrer went the opposite way
Old 19th October 2012 | Show parent
  #15
ST.
Gear Addict
 
ST.'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraku ➡️
I'd suggest starting with excellent foley sounds instead of music. There are tons of musicians applying for each game development company but very few of the applicants offer foley sounds / SFX.
Thank you for taking the time to give your advice. Actually, I love making music, and have always liked how certain games have music that can loop over and over without it getting tiring.

However, lately I've really started to respect all of those old sound effects! Some are really creative. I'm not really into anime, but I recently rented a Gundam (which is like a space robot thing) DVD because I was curious about the sound effects. There's a lot of fancy synth work, that's for sure!

So would it be worth while to build a portfolio of random foley/SFX stuff? In that case, I would imagine that .wav files would be a good format at least for storage purposes. What's your opinion, if you don't mind?
Old 19th October 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
kraku's Avatar
For portfolio purposes the sound effects by themselves don't tell much about your talent, so I suggest you create foley sounds to a video. Then it's much easier for the potential clients to see the context of the sounds and analyse how well they actually work.

Many pros do the foley sounds this way during the game project. The developer first captures a video of the game scene where the sound effect is needed and then sends it to the audio guy with any needed spex. Then the audio guy gets to work, playing each iteration of the sound effect over the video. When the sound seems to do it's purpose just right, it's time to send the WAV file to the developer and get feedback on it.
Old 22nd October 2012
  #17
ST.
Gear Addict
 
ST.'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Kraku,

Thanks again! I appreciate your reply.

I've learned a lot from your advice. Making foley sound effects to video sounds like a fun project to try.
Old 23rd October 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
kraku's Avatar
Glad to be of service to you sir
And good luck!
Old 23rd October 2012 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
PoxyMusic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ST. ➡️
So would it be worth while to build a portfolio of random foley/SFX stuff? In that case, I would imagine that .wav files would be a good format at least for storage purposes. What's your opinion, if you don't mind?
I work for a game developer, and .wavs would be the best format for delivery. The bit depth and sample rate (in my opinion) isn't that important; Personally, I'd send 24/48...but 16/44 is fine also. As mentioned, developers tend to do the conversions themselves. Naming the files can correctly and consistently can look good. (i.e. FS_Boot_LargeMetal_Run0(x).wav or FS_Heels_Wood_Walk0(x).wav)

FS=footsteps, shoe type, surface, action, number 01-xx
Don't have any illegal characters like @$^":, or any blank spaces in the file name.

Along with footsteps, consider making:
Creature sounds
•attacks
•wounds
•deaths
If you want to be awesome, deliver 5-10 variations for each category. Game audio is all about variations. See if you can get some video captures of a creature to include with your variations

Some other catergories:
User Interface sounds
Levelup sounds
Spells
Backgrounds
Old 24th October 2012
  #20
ST.
Gear Addict
 
ST.'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Wow! This place sure is great.

PoxyMusic, thank you for the tips. I think I'll make a word doc to save all of the useful info in this thread to refer to in the future.

About variations- while I really appreciate older games, some of the repetitive (and annoying) sound effects have ruined some for me!

Thanks again guys!
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