Sound Design Research

For my research I have chosen alien isolation and the transformers WFC/FoC games. I have chosen these games because of the way the sound design boosts the game’s overall replay factor and ambiance.

For example Alien Isolation’s sound design really makes the game stand out from the other Alien and horror games released at the time.

‘The sounds of the creature crawling overhead were initially placed at random, triggering unpredictably to startle the player, but van Dyck says the effect “wasn’t quite right.” 

“When the alien was up in the vents and stuff, he actually is up there. He’s not being rendered, when he’s off-screen he becomes just a wireframe skeleton, but he is actually moving around and moving to semi-logical places because he’s looking for ways to find you.”‘

I personally think the game would have suffered if they just had the alien’s sound effects playing at random points, it would have made the alien have less impact and eventually diminish the Alien’s overall fear factor. But the fact that the alien is actually there and making the noises makes the game ten times as scary to the point where I’m more freaked out now that I know it is always there, the effect this gives the game is awe-inspiring and really helps you get immersed in the world that is created.

Similarly the Transformers war for cybertron’s sound design lent itself to the game really well.

‘We determined early on that each area of the war torn Cybertron was very much unique and would need to have an equally unique soundscape to enhance the game-play. In the Kaon areas, for example, we created a more dark and ominous sounding ambience using droning synth sounds, metallic “wronks” and spooky airy type sounds. This was home to the Decepticons so it made sense for us to create that kind of uneasy vibe for the player.’

Alien Isolation audio interview

Transformers WFC audio interview