For gamers, there’s few things more important than sound. Having the right sound can not only improve your experience of a game, but can even improve your skills, especially when it comes to multiplayers. With the right sound set-up, it becomes much easier for you to detect your enemies, and in many cases using sound cues is just as important as taking in visual cues. With new-gen gaming now here, sound in video games has never been more important, or more appreciated.
GameByte was recently invited to an online event hosted by EPOS, one of the biggest movers and shakers in the world of gaming audio. Lead audio experts shared just how the “Power of Audio” can open more doors in the world of gaming, taking a look at the production of gaming headsets and the future of EPOS. We also got to discover some of the world’s leading sound designers’ opinions on gaming, and their favourite and most memorial audio moments in games.
Whether it’s ominous footsteps in your favourite horror or a celebratory jingle when a puzzle has been solved, here’s some of the audio industry’s favourite sound design successes in video games.
Martin Kvale, Sound Designer, NokNokAudio
“My last biggest ‘wow’ moment was playing Astral Chain. I’m working on this other sci-fi game right now, and I’m thinking about UI sounds a lot. [Astral Chain] had this little ping when you clicked on something in the menu, and I found that really characteristic and really different. There was a little click sound that made me go, ‘That’s really amazing. Wow. Wow.’”
Andy Gibson, audio director, Rev Rooms
“I think [for me] it’s either being chased by dogs, or the really weird flesh monster from Inside. Definitely a highlight for me. One of the best games ever, and certainly one of the best sound design moments in games, I think!”
Bjørn Jacobsen, Sound Designer, Cujo Sound
“Now that Andy has stolen my Inside moment…I think as a more complete experience, I remember when playing Red Dead Redemption 2 and just listening to birds and environments. The whole thing about just being able to go to a pond and fish and enjoying small water puddles and so on. I thought it was really, really well done […] I really enjoyed just walking around the forest, because the forest itself sounded really awesome. I think that was one of the more modern complete experiences for me.”
Dominic Vega, Lead Sound Designer, Avalanche Studios Group
“I think any designer in games is going to pick Playdead stuff, so Inside and Limbo. I can’t count the number of moments where you’re just blown away by how they’re able to get the audio to drive something. But one of my favourites, it’s very old, but it’s completing a map in Age of Empires 2. There’s this brass stinger at the end.
“That game probably has more hours in my Steam playtime than anything else! [The sound is] so fitting for the game and the IP and I just love that signalling that you’re done, you’ve completed it. I love the experience of that, and it’s something that’s very downsampled, but it was so perfect for what it was.”
Andreas Jessen Senior Director, EPOS Gaming
“Diablo. When there’s a legendary drop and you can almost feel the heartbreak or not when you hear that heavy thump and the ‘zwing.’ That’s definitely a favourite audio moment for me, besides from Inside!”
There’s endless sound moments to be celebrated in video games. An honourable mention was also given to the Clickers from Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, the cordyceps-infected subhumans who react to sound.
If you’re keen to hear more (no pun intended) on what’s to come from EPOS and the future of sound peripherals in gaming, check out the full Future of Audio in Gaming panel event here, or find out more about EPOS products and services in the video here.
What’s your favourite audio moment in gaming? Let us know across our social media channels!
Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games/Naughty Dog/Blizzard/Playdead/PlatinumGames