It’s one of the best moment with my job.
“Wow, now my game is alive!”
Yes before sound came in your game, your interactive software was dead. Before audio came in, your game wasn’t really existing on its own. Like if it was all black and white and with sound I just made it colorful and vibrant. *snaps fingers*
It’s great to see people’s faces illuminating with the medium that really triggers the “it’s really finished!” feeling, sound. It probably comes from that baby moment when s/he cries and that we finally know that everything is all right now. Maybe.
On the other hand audio is always and still treated at the very last second, on the very last amount of money left.
It’s a damn shame considering how happy people are when they get to like the audio and how it dramatically changes your relationship to the said game. Journey without music wouldn’t work as well, I will always remember how Triple Town on Facebook came out without sound and how people were like, “dude, it feels dead an stale where my sound fxs at?”
So you need a sound director in pre-production. You need as much iteration and collaboration with sound that you need for visuals and gameplay I know, it sounds fancy but it’s not. Whatever thing you’re crafting craft is a long process, and I would add even more with audio! Because it’s invisible, because it’s about feel and flow more than visuals, things are not instantly obvious. Furthermore the sound director is going to help with consistency, give ideas that visual peeps or game designers don’t necessarily think of because, sound.
Don’t think about your game with layers in mind. Think about it in terms of blend of ingredients. Or like architecture, you’re building a house, shaping up walls and I have to be here to tell you that you need to punch holes there and there for electrical wires, before you can’t do it at all.
So I really like this Wikipedia entry, describing my job as it’s going on in India and Asia in the movie industry:
Director of Audiography is a technical role blending leadership, management and administrative skills with creative audiography ranging over pre-production, production and post-production – constrained only by the Director’s vision and the production’s schedule and budget.
I like this audiography term, as pompous as creative director but more scientific. Sound or audio director sound good too.
By production I mean everything about game design*features/budget, the rest is pretty explanatory. Also, it looks like the respiratory system and I like that. Nice analogy.
I’m really digging the impact of sound these days. The amount of memories, thoughts, feelings that sound triggers through a simple ringtone is amazing. Goose bumps.
No visuals can do that.