Sound Loop Assignment Research/Project Cars Analysis

Sound in Project Cars:

The majority of diegetic sounds in Project Cars, and most other racing simulation games, are the sounds of the cars themselves. This may include revving, accelerating, skidding and driving in general. With the capabilities of games increasing, the attention to detail required to create a polished experience to meet the majority of today’s audience’s expectations is much higher than it used to be. The sound of rain hitting the windshield while your windscreen wipers scrub them off is something that is not important in regards to the actual game play, but rather for the overall user experience and immersion that the gamer wants to feel when playing that game. Environment sounds usually take a backseat in driving and racing simulation games, with the sound of the car itself usually overpowering any background noises. However, to create an immersive experience, the use of environmental sounds to create moods for the various racing tracks help keep the player immersed and engaged.

Different maps and tracks have different ambient and background sound effects, some might have thunder rumbling overhead accompanied by a steady downpour of rain hitting your windshield while others might have the roar of the wind ripping past you as you speed along the track pursued by the other racers and cars.

In regards to non-diegetic sounds, there barely are any. Most of the time the game tries to keep you immersed by presenting only sounds you would expect to hear from inside the car that you are currently racing. Most of the non-diegetic sounds are revolved around the menus and loading screen, with the soundtrack accompanying your menu screens and voices providing tutorials and rules for certain races, tracks and mechanics.

The sounds present in Project Cars are usually triggered via the player interacting with the game, such as pushing a button to increase speed/rev the car. The game seems to aim for realistic sounds to couple with the realistic graphics and game engine. With the aim being the authenticity of the cars, a sacrifice is made in regards to the overall user experience, an example being how pleasant the sound of a speeding formula one car is when right next to your ear. With the player being the driver of these cars, the sounds will of course be loud. How this comes across will vary from player to player. Obviously, the game has a specific target audience; car and racing enthusiasts. This, however, leaves out a large demographic of potential buyers. The graphics and authenticity might entice buyers that are usually not interested in this genre but the authenticity of the sound might turn away a few. This is not exactly the case however for all of the cars, there are plenty whose sounds do not fatigue the ears. This can possibly cause a bias for some people, choosing cars on the grounds of their sound rather than how well they perform inside the game. The sounds of all the cars vary from pleasant to fatiguing, as I mentioned above this can turn away many people, entice hardcore fans or create a bias for certain cars and car types. Editing of the sounds to make them more pleasant for the average gamer would detract from the realistic and authentic aspects and goals of the game but make it more accessible for the general public and casual gamer.

The sounds themselves seem quite authentic, climbing in volume and pitch as the cars increase speed and cutting to and fro from that iconic sound of a car speeding along a race track as it brakes or shifts gears. The sounds have a short fade in and out with the idle engine sound playing when the car is not in motion. The idle engine sounds differ from car to car, showing the dedication of the game development team in regards to the authenticity they have tried to create through the capturing of the sounds for this game. There are usually transitional sounds that accompany the fading in and out of the different sounds that have been triggered by the player.

Most of the sounds in the game are the sounds of the cars, with the only silence being before the cars start driving and if you stop your car without any others around you. During this time the only sounds present are from the engine of the car, playing its idle sounds.

Overall, the majority of the sounds in the game are focused around authenticity and accuracy, aiming to create a realistic and immersive driving experience by surrounding the player with realistic sounds collected from life; recorded from the virtual cars’ real life counterparts.

 

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Closing In – Recorded Sounds Experiment

We recently recorded sounds to use in an audio track. This exercise was quite open ended and allowed a lot of freedom which was quite enjoyable. I utilised the sounds I recorded to create a creepy audio track of footsteps closing in with scraping metal being dragged up stairs. Garageband is still quite new to me so I struggled editing the audio and had to convert the file types to be able to import them into the program.

Here is the audio track:

https://soundcloud.com/user-84452911/closing-in-recorded-sounds

(this track does not seem to have an embed link, this is probably a fault on my part in regards to how I uploaded it to Soundcloud and the format that I saved it as.)

Garage Band Intro – Music and Sound

We have recently been learning how to useĀ Garage Band, this is the result of me testing out the software. (warning: very loud, turn down your volume)

 

Updated/Slightly Edited Version:

I am extremely new to Garage Band and making music so creating this was quite challenging and interesting. This tutorial created by our teacher was very useful and helpful.

Game Sounds – Diegetic and Non-Diegetic

Diegetic vs Non-Diagetic:

Diegetic:

Sounds heard by the characters and are found within the environment

Non-Diegetic:

Sounds that are added in post, such as music scores

Overwatch:

Diegetic:

Voice Lines: Characters voice lines are diegetic, as some of their lines are call outs to their team mates.

Gun Shots/Ability Sounds/Character Sound Effects: The actual sound of weapons firing and the abilities being used, as well as foot steps, are sounds that are within the actual game and are heard by other players.

Environmental Sounds: Sounds such as weather, car alarms and things breaking are within the game

Non-Diegetic:

Announcer: The announcer itself blends between diegetic and non-diegetic. At points it appears that they voice lines are directed at the actual characters but usually it is there for the player. One good example is PoTG (Play of The Game) which happens as the post-match and would not be something that the actual characters would hear.

Capture Sounds: The sounds of capture points being taken would most likely be non-diegetic and would only be heard by the player, not the actual characters.

Menu/HUD Sounds: The sounds of options being toggled and heroes being selected is added in, only the player hears these sounds.

Music Scores: Music, that isn’t Lucio’s (he is a music-oriented character and creates beats in game), is non-diegetic and the characters do not hear this, only the players. The music changes throughout the matches and are influenced by the timer for the match.

Skyrim:

Diegetic:

Environmental Sounds: Sounds such as birds, weather, rustling of leaves and water would be heard by the character within the game.

Most Sound Effects: The sound of weapons clashing and arrows being fired, as well as the roars of dragons, are diegetic and are heard by the character.

Speech In-Game: The communication between the character and the NPC’s are diegetic and play an integral part in the gameplay.

Crafting Sounds: The sounds of crafting merge between diegetic and non-diegetic in the sense that the sounds of crafting are heard from a menu. These might not actually be head by the character but rather only by the player with the sounds being pre-recorded and played when an option is clicked.

Bards/Bard Songs: The music played by bards is diegetic. It is heard by the character and NPC’s in the game. This merges with the speech topic.

Non-Diegetic:

Menu/HUD: The sounds of the player toggling and selecting options are non-diegetic sounds.

Some sound effects: Sounds effects such as the noises heard when receiving a negative or positive buff would most likely not be heard by the character.

Music: The musical scores as well as the music played during battle and certain sequences are not heard by the character, but rather by the player. (This excludes the music sung and played by bards.)

Loading screens: The sounds and music from loading screens and the main menu are non-diegetic and are heard only by the player.

Summary and Differences:

Both Overwatch and Skyrim share similar points in regard to Diegetic and Non-Diegetic sounds. In both, music is usually an over-layed score with characters in-game communicating and/or singing with diegetic sounds.

In both games, diegetic environmental sounds are present with non-diegetic menu/HUD sounds.