What does a games sound designer do?
Sound designers create the soundtrack for a game. This includes the music and foley - sound effects like gunshots, footsteps, crashes, cheers, heavy rain. They make the gameplay more exciting by adding mood, tempo and emotional depth.
Sometimes they are involved in the game’s development right at the start – working from a brief to design what a player is going to hear. Other times they are brought in when a game’s already playable and their job is to add the sounds to the animation.
They usually start by creating a library of sound effects. They might work with a composer, with actors or go out and record sound. They edit, mix and master them to produce the soundtrack for the finished game. As the audio elements are added to the game engine, the sound designer also tests them to make sure they work as intended.
What’s a sound designer good at?
- Music: compose and perform music
- Sound engineering: know how to record, edit, mix and master
- Knowledge of gameplay and platforms: imagine the game, have a sense of timing, understand how audio can improve gameplay and even drive gameplay
- Knowledge of game engines: understand the technical constraints of engines and how sound files become integrated into them
- Communication: work with game designers, other audio artists and QA technicians