One Game a Month Challenge: Sound

in Video Game Concept by santoki

Earlier this year, I enlisted myself to the “make a game every month” challenge (link at the break). As a freelancing developer, this was an ambitious idea since I haven’t worked on a game for a few years. In addition, I enrolled in a video game concept class to help me make more meaningful games.

The class goes in great depth emphasizing story and character. This is difficult for me as a coder, because code doesn’t correlate with story. Code only creates gameplay.

This made the game challenge even more challenging.

Writing and storytelling isn’t my forte. That’s one of the reasons why I chose to be with numbers and symbols rather than letters and papers. Nevertheless, it’s been encouraging to see during lectures, a simple example from the professor unfold to a great story. Specifically, the professor described about an¬†archeologist who seeks for redemption after being framed as one who may have murdered his famous mentor.

This month’s challenge is incorporating the theme of “sound” to a game. Sound has a lot of effect on games. It obviously creates emotion, but I think it also provides feedback. When pressing a button, even a simple “blip” or “beep” assures the player that he/she has pressed the button. If used correctly, I think it can make a great deal of difference in gameplay. On the other hand, sound has an adverse effect of file size. I remember when developing on mobile phones (before they became quad core) sound effects hurt killed the phone. MP3 bitrates must always be loaded before the program is executed and were horrible choices for background loops. Of course, now with phones that have more computational power than what I had back in 2004 some of these constraints have been lifted. These new relaxed constraints will relieve some pressure in developing games with high quality sounds and meaningful loops.

I’m still not sure what will make a good sound game, but I’m leaning towards one of the following ideas:

  1. A top down view game where a user must walk to the sound. Screen is dark.
  2. A sound matching game.
  3. An educational sound game.

The direction is limitless… Hopefully, I’ll gather some thoughts soon and start developing next week.

The challenge: http://onegameamonth.com/

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