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Let's talk about SD... IG and how to use it creatively


SkyLow
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How do you define using SD in a mission?

And what is your vision of good use?

 

I myself don't like when there no SD in missions. It's basic to just use default game skins and that's fine, but not incorporating music or SFX into missions to compensate can REALLY make them feel... dead so to speak

Edited by SkyLow
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ilikebanana

I myself recently started to use music for the missions I made because as you said the game feels dead when there is absolutely no background sound or anything.

 

Imo, it's better to find (or maybe make 🤔) a long music and let it play during the entire mission.

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Having no sound effects in missions certainly makes them sound a bit odd. But having annoying or inappropriate sounds also make you regret spending the extra 5 seconds to move that YXZMN folder.

 

For me personally, SD should be one of the last things to work on when doing a mission. This is because you need to get the tone, the mood, and the timing of when certain sounds start and when they end. When you are done designing your mission, play it out, analyze where there could potentially have sound effects and music, and what kind of music would fit in each scene.

 

One thing I notice in many missions (even from experienced designers that I like a lot) is the constant ambient sounds that go practically from objective 0 to the last one. This is very annoying for the player. Each scene change requires a sound change. If I am in a shootout and I have just killed all the enemies, the action music needs to stop. In general, avoid using .am.

 

About music, take advantage that we are a "small" community and that all our work is free and use this to your advantage: put as many copyrighted songs as you want. Of course, it doesn't cost anything to give credits in the Readme.txt of the songs you use, especially if it's from an indie artist.

 

Lyrics music are very good for standing out. They will probably be the only source of voice for your mission, bringing some "human feeling" to it. And the lyrics of a song can serve as a reference to something that has happened or is happening in the story, even in a metaphorical way, giving much more depth to the project.

 

In movies and TV shows, lyric music is most often used in scenes where there is little to no dialogue. Generally, when there is dialog along with lyric music, the volume of the music decreases each time someone says something. In scenes shown in bars and clubs, the music should remain at a low volume accompanied by a filter that is appropriate to the location (In the case of the bar, an effect as if it were coming out of a radio. In the club, increase the amount of bass).

 

Instrumental music is also a great addition to the mission, but as said before, be very careful, no one wants to hear the same guitar riff for 5 minutes. The instrumental needs to be diverse and change according to the message that the scene is telling. Observe in movies and series, it is very common to see a scene where two characters dialogue peacefully, and as the mood heats up and there are disagreements, surprises, or whatever, the instruments follow these shifts.

 

For sound effects, your biggest challenge will be to find quality sounds on the internet. But the search is well worth it. The missions are more vivid by using the right effects at the right time. You have probably played a mission where one of the texts in the bottom of the screen was "(Knock, knock)", "(Phone ring)", "(Screams)", "(Door creaking)", "(Femboy moans)" and so on... With sound effects these texts could be avoided and the experience improved.

 

Now let's talk about the technical part for DYOM.

 

Almost no sound effects or music you pick up will match your mission 100%. They were not originally made for it. If you want to make the sound effects of your missions more realistic you will need an audio editor. I use Audacity.

 

In my project, "Landslide Victory" I used Audacity for most of the MP. Below is an example of how I used it in the first episode:

 

Spoiler
  1. The song "Welcome Home, Son" starts playing the moment the protagonist gets into the car.
  2. The first stanza of the song is played, while the project credits are displayed in the bottom of the screen and we see some scenes of the protagonist returning home after a long day at work.
  3. The song has two stanzas before reaching the chorus "Welcome home...", however, it takes two minutes for this, and we only have 0:45 seconds of introduction and scenes of the protagonist driving around. Therefore, a subtle cut was made from the last beat of the first verse to the beginning of the chorus.
  4. At 0:56, when the scene begins in which the protagonist opens the door to his house, a sad, instrumental song rises up, gradually decreasing the volume of the previous song.

 

Feel free to download the project and check out how I used the SD. But there is still a lot of room for improvement, I had to hurry a bit due to the DYOM Contest deadline.

 

Along with Audacity I had to use a video editor. This is the part that I consider the most difficult, mainly because I don't have a very powerful PC and most video editors take a lot of resources from the machine, slowing it down. But why do I use a video editor?

 

As said in the example above, music and sound effects will not always have an adequate timing for scenes, sometimes a music part starts at 2:15, but the scene that needs this part appears at 0:45, or you need to put a sound effect at exactly 0:20s after a cutscene, how will you do this? In my case, I record my gameplay and export it into the video editor, so I can write down the exact timing of each cutscene, and it also allows me to see in real time the result of the sound. Remember to take notes on the timings RELATIVE to the scenes, not the total timing of the video. (Ex: if a cutscene starts at 14:00 in your gameplay recording and at 14:15 you see that you need to add a certain sound effect, in Audacity you will create a new project and place the effect at 0:15s, not at 14:15s)

 

In summary, these are the tips I give:

 

  • Never forget AudioFX
  • Audio is used to match the visuals. If the audio distracts the player or deviates from the meaning of the scene, it is wrong.
  • Work on the SD after you have all the base of your mission ready.
  • Avoid .am, constant and repetitive sounds
  • Do some research on the internet to download the sound effects and music needed in your mission, download several versions so you don't have to go through this step again.
  • Avoid using multiple sound files: combine them into a single file using an audio editor. If this is not possible, use the combination of AudioFX (_afx.mp3) + original DYOM audio (.mp3) to your advantage.
  • .noa force AudioFX audio to end.
  • Record the gameplay and use a video editor to get the exact timings and visualize the output in real time

 

Edited by Toriality
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3 hours ago, Toriality said:

Having no sound effects in missions certainly makes them sound a bit odd. But having annoying or inappropriate sounds also make you regret spending the extra 5 seconds to move that YXZMN folder.

 

For me personally, SD should be one of the last things to work on when doing a mission. This is because you need to get the tone, the mood, and the timing of when certain sounds start and when they end. When you are done designing your mission, play it out, analyze where there could potentially have sound effects and music, and what kind of music would fit in each scene.

 

One thing I notice in many missions (even from experienced designers that I like a lot) is the constant ambient sounds that go practically from objective 0 to the last one. This is very annoying for the player. Each scene change requires a sound change. If I am in a shootout and I have just killed all the enemies, the action music needs to stop. In general, avoid using .am.

 

About music, take advantage that we are a "small" community and that all our work is free and use this to your advantage: put as many copyrighted songs as you want. Of course, it doesn't cost anything to give credits in the Readme.txt of the songs you use, especially if it's from an indie artist.

 

Lyrics music are very good for standing out. They will probably be the only source of voice for your mission, bringing some "human feeling" to it. And the lyrics of a song can serve as a reference to something that has happened or is happening in the story, even in a metaphorical way, giving much more depth to the project.

 

In movies and TV shows, lyric music is most often used in scenes where there is little to no dialogue. Generally, when there is dialog along with lyric music, the volume of the music decreases each time someone says something. In scenes shown in bars and clubs, the music should remain at a low volume accompanied by a filter that is appropriate to the location (In the case of the bar, an effect as if it were coming out of a radio. In the club, increase the amount of bass).

 

Instrumental music is also a great addition to the mission, but as said before, be very careful, no one wants to hear the same guitar riff for 5 minutes. The instrumental needs to be diverse and change according to the message that the scene is telling. Observe in movies and series, it is very common to see a scene where two characters dialogue peacefully, and as the mood heats up and there are disagreements, surprises, or whatever, the instruments follow these shifts.

 

For sound effects, your biggest challenge will be to find quality sounds on the internet. But the search is well worth it. The missions are more vivid by using the right effects at the right time. You have probably played a mission where one of the texts in the bottom of the screen was "(Knock, knock)", "(Phone ring)", "(Screams)", "(Door creaking)", "(Femboy moans)" and so on... With sound effects these texts could be avoided and the experience improved.

 

Now let's talk about the technical part for DYOM.

 

Almost no sound effects or music you pick up will match your mission 100%. They were not originally made for it. If you want to make the sound effects of your missions more realistic you will need an audio editor. I use Audacity.

 

In my project, "Landslide Victory" I used Audacity for most of the MP. Below is an example of how I used it in the first episode:

 

  Hide contents
  1. The song "Welcome Home, Son" starts playing the moment the protagonist gets into the car.
  2. The first stanza of the song is played, while the project credits are displayed in the bottom of the screen and we see some scenes of the protagonist returning home after a long day at work.
  3. The song has two stanzas before reaching the chorus "Welcome home...", however, it takes two minutes for this, and we only have 0:45 seconds of introduction and scenes of the protagonist driving around. Therefore, a subtle cut was made from the last beat of the first verse to the beginning of the chorus.
  4. At 0:56, when the scene begins in which the protagonist opens the door to his house, a sad, instrumental song rises up, gradually decreasing the volume of the previous song.

 

Feel free to download the project and check out how I used the SD. But there is still a lot of room for improvement, I had to hurry a bit due to the DYOM Contest deadline.

 

Along with Audacity I had to use a video editor. This is the part that I consider the most difficult, mainly because I don't have a very powerful PC and most video editors take a lot of resources from the machine, slowing it down. But why do I use a video editor?

 

As said in the example above, music and sound effects will not always have an adequate timing for scenes, sometimes a music part starts at 2:15, but the scene that needs this part appears at 0:45, or you need to put a sound effect at exactly 0:20s after a cutscene, how will you do this? In my case, I record my gameplay and export it into the video editor, so I can write down the exact timing of each cutscene, and it also allows me to see in real time the result of the sound. Remember to take notes on the timings RELATIVE to the scenes, not the total timing of the video. (Ex: if a cutscene starts at 14:00 in your gameplay recording and at 14:15 you see that you need to add a certain sound effect, in Audacity you will create a new project and place the effect at 0:15s, not at 14:15s)

 

In summary, these are the tips I give:

 

  • Never forget AudioFX
  • Audio is used to match the visuals. If the audio distracts the player or deviates from the meaning of the scene, it is wrong.
  • Work on the SD after you have all the base of your mission ready.
  • Avoid .am, constant and repetitive sounds
  • Do some research on the internet to download the sound effects and music needed in your mission, download several versions so you don't have to go through this step again.
  • Avoid using multiple sound files: combine them into a single file using an audio editor. If this is not possible, use the combination of AudioFX (_afx.mp3) + original DYOM audio (.mp3) to your advantage.
  • .noa force AudioFX audio to end.
  • Record the gameplay and use a video editor to get the exact timings and visualize the output in real time

 

That has to be the most comprehensive & most detailed answer I've witnessed about SD

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Alright, so you say that .am shouldn't be used but how can I utilize such feature without distracting the players?

 

What kind of sounds suit this purpose?

 

And yes, I agree it causes distractions especially if it's repeating music loops.

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On 9/14/2022 at 3:19 PM, SkyLow said:

Alright, so you say that .am shouldn't be used but how can I utilize such feature without distracting the players?

 

What kind of sounds suit this purpose?

 

And yes, I agree it causes distractions especially if it's repeating music loops.

 

Well, it really depends on what kind of mission you're doing. am.mp3 is bad because you can only have one per mission, and you will need many XX.noa files to avoid repetition of the sound througout the mission. Use it wisely.

 

You might wanna join the official Discord server, so you could get some support on how these am and .noa files work, get a few tips and also feedback on your missions in the advertisement channel.

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Thanks for the offer, but I don't feel like joining Discord.

 

As I said in my PF: /Abandoned/

 

I reckon am should be used for very long sounds like environment ambients like forests and such 

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