On the Need For Better In-Game Winter Sounds

I love the random stuff that occasionally pops up on Gamasutra, such as this combination how-to on doing winter field recordings and essay on why we need better ambient winter sounds in games. Part lavish love letter to snow and its various states, part practical considerations, Finnish game sound designer Tapio Liukkonen tells us why this stuff is important and why field recordings can trump studio technology:

More nuance, details, dynamics, crazy ideas, and hard work will raise the quality of game audio. Games get more interesting and unique soundtracks when you try novel techniques.

The play experience will be better, because the player won't hear typical snow sounds — they'll hear real sounds with real surfaces. Suddenly, your games feel fresh. The player might never realise what's different, but the game will feel fresh and new.

After all, I think that winter sounds can be amazingly hard to get, but it's worth it. The versatility of winter sounds is huge, so I really think that they should be taken seriously. I'm not saying that I recommend field recording only for the winter sounds, either. Many things can be done in studio with Foley, but sometimes you have to go outside and make it real.

I can't say I've ever listened terribly attentively to ambient snow noises, but I'm all for nuance and subtlety. As long as I don't have to shovel in-game driveways.

Sounds Of The Snow [Gamasutra]


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