How to Add Sound Effects When Creating a Video Game

Sound is one of the most essential parts of game development that you should include in your game design process. Top game development teams realize the importance of this element in the game and they categorize audio into two types.

The first would be the soundtrack and background music, which gives emotion and energy to the players in different scenes and levels. The second type is sound effects or non-musical sounds, which provide a high-quality gaming experience and add details to the settings. For instance, gunshots, car engine sounds, and the sound of a zombie rushing towards the player are some examples of sound effects. In short, you have to understand game psychology and offer a real experience to the audience.
Benefits of Sounds in Video Games.

Some major benefits of including sound effects in video games are:

Enhanced Gaming Experience

While choosing a game, a gamer considers every little detail such as graphics, controls, and sounds. Therefore, developers need to create the project’s atmosphere through the soundtrack. The combination of soundtracks and sound effects adds up to the atmosphere and gives an incredible experience. However, developers should make sure that the sound perfectly aligns with the scenes and scenarios. So, if you are thinking of stuffing the sound throughout the game, think again. For instance, adding exciting and loud sounds for dynamic scenes creates an energetic and encouraging effect on the players. As a result, players can concentrate on the plot and plan their strategy accordingly.

Adds Emotional Memories

Background music influences players’ performance and helps them memorize the plot. A well-aligned soundtrack creates a mind palace in the player’s mind. This helps them properly recall events even if they play the game after a long time. Furthermore, if you want to stand out in your game, creating a memorable and decent soundtrack would be the best strategy. This will help your game stand out among competitors. What’s more, sound effects make your video game exciting and recognizableand increase brand awareness.

Create Real-Life Experience

While creating a game, you should always try to give players an authentic experience. Whether you are making a racing simulator or a first-person shooter game, you need to include real car and gun sounds. Now you may be wondering how you can record the sounds of each gun or car that you want to include in your game. The best thing to do is to browse through platforms that offer real sound clips for SFX. Keep in mind that the sounds should be realistic, which means that players must be able to differentiate between the sounds of a Lamborghini and Mercedes-Benz in the game.

Increase Game Engagement

When you choose the right soundtrack, players will enjoy the game and feel relaxed. Furthermore, they will perform better as their mind will create an illusion that they are in the real world. When gamers are active and perform well, they will feel happy and want to clear all the stages.
How to Add Sound Effects to Video Games Using Unity

Adding music and sound effects to your game is quite interesting but require deep analysis. While choosing and using sounds for different scenes, you have to consider numerous factors such as sound direction, level, and intensity. Furthermore, you need to check whether the perception of the sound is according to the event or not.

While creating an audio perception, you have to consider two major sound qualities: source position and movement speed. You can learn about Doppler Effect to understand sound perception and how it changes with the object movement. Once you consider the science behind this concept, you can create realistic sound effects.

Identity Sound Components and their Characteristics

If you want to start a career in the games industry, you should learn Unity, as this is one of the most popular game development tools. Once you learn about this tool, you can easily understand any other game development tool without a hitch.

In Unity, you need to study the characteristics of the sound by taking into account the position of the audio source. For instance, the gunfire audio effect's object should match the gun object to create a real-life experience. This establishes a player’s perception based on reality and boosts concentration. Also, when the player comes closer to the object, the sounds become wide and clear.

That said, the point is how one can create a perception for the player? The answer is audio panning. When the player moves away from the gunfire shots, the panning will drive it further relative to the object position. Be sure that you align the object in a way that whenever the player moves away and closer to the gunshot object, the sound keeps changing. You can create the change in perception by automating the sound of the object with the player’s distance. The two major components of audio in Unity are:
  • Audio Listener
  • Audio Source

Before adding sound effects in your video, you need to understand these components:

Audio Listener

When you create a scene, the audio listener automatically connects with the main camera. The component works as a point of perception for the player. Therefore, it would be best to leave the audio perception as it is.

Audio Source

This component plays the sound that you add to the object. While developing the game, creating an empty game object is helpful. Therefore, you need to make it a practice. When you have a separate object as an audio source, you can easily pinpoint this element while adding music, even if the element structure is complex. Usually, when you have a complicated element structure, modifying it later can be a mess.

There are a few audio source component properties that you can tinker with and create a perception. These properties include panning, pitch, and spatial blending. For advanced settings, you can open 3D sound settings, such as volume roll-offs and Doppler effects.

The most interesting part is the AudioClip slot that you will include with the empty object. AudioClip enables you to add sound effects to the object. Keep in mind that Unity supports a few sound formats such as OGG and MP3.

Add Sound Effects on Audio Clip

Adding sound effects to an object is not a big deal for developers, but finding the right music or non-musical sound could be a problem. If game developers don’t have a sound engineer or music producer in their team they can’t create audio according to the scene. It is also worth keeping in mind that hiring a music producer for sound design is expensive.

Choosing a royalty-free for sound effect is one of the finest solutions for game developers. There are plenty of websites that offer thousands of SFX for different game, genres and sound types. For instance, you can choose elements of nature, the sound of destruction, and footsteps. Just browse through different categories and swoop through the list of the sound effects. Once you find the sound that creates a suitable perspective in the scene, download that audio and import it into the project.

It would best to create a new folder specifically for sound effects to keep all sounds organised, including the sounds you want to include in the scene. Thanks to the default settings, your main camera already has an audio listener, so you have to simply add SFX to the audio sources in the relevant objects.

Add Audio Source

Suppose you have a character that is shooting their gun. You need to go to the sound effects folders you already made and attach the sound to an object using an audio source. To create audio sources, go to Add Component → Audio → Audio Source.

Drag the sound effects to the audio clip and remove the tick from the “play on awake” checkbox. By removing the check from the box, you ensure that the sound doesn’t play whenever the object awakens. The object awakens when the game starts. So, if you check this box, the object will repeatedly play this song from the start of the game.

That said, the true magic happens when you define the particular condition the character will make the sounds in. Keep in mind that the audio source contains an audio clip in the slot, and to play that sound, you need to define the time of the action for playing the sound effect. That’s where you need to add some coding and determine the action. Now play the game and test how the effect sounds like.

Final Thoughts

Here is an overview of adding sound effects while creating a video game:
  • Identify and understand each component and its characteristics. Pinpoint the sound that each character will make and what action will trigger that sound.
  • Search for the right sound effects or background music. You can use royalty-free sound websites to download relevant music and sound.
  • Create an individual Object and Audio Source for the character.
  • Include audio in the audio clip and use codes to trigger the sound.
  • Test the sound by playing the scene.
How to Add Sound Effects When Creating a Video Game  How to Add Sound Effects When Creating a Video Game Reviewed by Opus Web Design on November 03, 2021 Rating: 5

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