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Topic: Sound design -different for in-game vs. cutscene?

  1. #1

    Sound design -different for in-game vs. cutscene?

    I'm new to all this, so bear with me while I get my feet wet. I'm wondering if a lot more effort goes into the sounds that will appear during gameplay vs. the sounds that happen during a cutscene. Do you guys find that you're using more stock sounds during a cutscene and more custom sounds during gameplay? I'm not sure what made me wonder about this, I guess it just seems like cutscenes are just like designing for movies and that somehow that might be different. Just curious about how it all works...

  2. #2

    Re: Sound design -different for in-game vs. cutscene?

    I think it totally depends on the platform, the engine and the way the cutscenes are rendered. If the cutscenes are rendered with the same game-engine that is used for gameplay, naturally, designing sounds and integrating them is very similar to the design one would do for in-game sounds. Because things are on a fixed timeline though, you can spend more time making sure everything is just right.

    If the cutscenes are pre-rendered, they can be treated much more like a traditional film score, and chances are they can be of higher fidelity. In either case, though, the source material I use would be similar.

    As far as stock sounds vs. original - I try to use as much original content as I can (we have a fairly extensive library of our own creation) and backfill with stock sounds if I need something we don't have, etc.

  3. #3

    Re: Sound design -different for in-game vs. cutscene?

    I think it totally depends on the platform, the engine and the way the cutscenes are rendered
    platform dependent - why?
    completely agree with the rest
    The Dimensity Project at

  4. #4

    Re: Sound design -different for in-game vs. cutscene?

    I just keep reading over and over again that you should use your own sound fx and not use stock libraries. I am practicing by putting sound to game trailers and I did a heavy action/firefight scene the other night thinking there is no way I could have my own machine gun bullet ricochet sounds and explosions to put in there. In this case don't you guys just use something from a library? I mean, I still combined sounds together and processed them uniquely to make them more interested and different from the original, but still, I couldn't have made them from scratch. So that maybe clarifies where my question is coming from- do in-game sounds that are unique and repeat a lot have more time spent on design vs. cut-scene sounds just happen in passing and don't entirely repeat over and over again thus requiring less originality? This may sound dumb, but I'm really inexperienced. Thanks...

  5. #5

    Re: Sound design -different for in-game vs. cutscene?

    Quote Originally Posted by xaerial
    platform dependent - why?
    ...because a cutscene rendered on a GBA or DS is likely going to have very different sound design requirements and limitations than, say, a cutscene rendered for Xbox 360 or PS3...

  6. #6

    Re: Sound design -different for in-game vs. cutscene?

    ok ... i'm strike off the list the mobile platforms by habit ... but that's off the point i think

    in our project cutscenes are based on a real-time rendered cinematics, it seems i can't be of use to you, faintwhitenoise ...

    let the veterans say ...
    The Dimensity Project at

  7. #7

    Re: Sound design -different for in-game vs. cutscene?

    Sound design for movies and in-game are different for different reasons.

    Sounds for movies are linear. They are not restricted by position in a 3D environment, memory, sample rate, or length.

    Sounds for games can be limited to what fits into memory for a level, created so that they work realtime-adaptively.

    The general principles, tools and techniques to making the sounds are the same.

    Game development is changing where sound is being manipulated on the fly (real time DSP, and Synthesis). Just think of it more like Particle effects but done with sound. Layered sounds are starting to be used realtime in game. But for those where the sounds are fixed, with a film, you can just sync it up to the movie, change some of the layers around and voila, fits. With a game, animations and visuals change so much you may have to re-export the animation, then try to sync it up again, export the sound, convert the sound, reimport the sound back into the game and test again.

    So to answer your question, more time can go into thinking about designing and then implementing a sound into a game. For a movie cutscene, make the sound and plonk it in it's cut n dry that way.
    Composer / Sound Designer / Audio Engineer

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