Silent Hill composer: Games industry doesn't take audio seriously enough

Legendary Silent Hill sound artist Akira Yamaoka says the games industry doesn’t take audio design and music seriously enough – but that composers need to be “stronger” to prove their worth.

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Deputydon2404d ago

I'm going to go ahead and disagree. The only people of the industry that don't take audio seriously are the smaller companies that can't afford to. Any series with even a half way decent budget usually tries to include some good audio. Killzone, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid, Dark/Demon's Souls. That's not even nearing all of the games with amazing sound and/or music.

Dark/Demon's Soul's, in my opinion, goes above and beyond all of them. They used the perfect music in perfect places to create the perfect mood and feel for each area/world, while having the perfect little sounds. Whether it was blades swinging back in forth, the cackle of an enemy, or the simple clank of weapons in combat. The audio in those two games is above and beyond anything I've heard from a Silent Hill game.

Even Cliffy B takes audio seriously. I remember watching a behind the scenes video of Gears 2 where he spent hours and hours listening to different types of gatling gun sounds until he found the one that clicked in his head. Say what you will about Cliffy B or the Gears series, but if there is one thing that game did well, it was audio. Same with Killzone.

I really dislike when game developers make broad generalizations about other game developers. There hasn't been a 'good' Silent Hill game since SH3, so if he is so worried about other games that actually win awards for audio, maybe he should be filling out some applications instead of trying to make himself feel more important.

lashes2ashes2404d ago

I be leave he had nothing to do with the last two games and he is considered one of the best game composer's around. I'm shure he knows more about audio in games than you do.

soundslike2404d ago (Edited 2404d ago )

"The only people of the industry that don't take audio seriously are the smaller companies that can't afford to"

umm...Call of Duty has been using the same sounds for the better part of a decade. They have no excuse

Those games you listed have good direction in their audio, but could still use some technical improvement. EG: Sample quality, mic quality, compression, variation, etc

Deputydon2404d ago

Cod still has a great soundtrack. The guns aren't that great, but I can't expect every game to sound like BF3 or something as amazing. As for the little things that could be better, of course they could... and something tells me the games he worked for probably could have used the same improvements... no game is 100% perfect.

AusRogo2404d ago

Theres a few that care. DICE do an awesome job.

Picnic2404d ago (Edited 2404d ago )

Audio actually seems to have been taken more seriously in previous generations. It was always important for a platform game to have jolly music (think Banjo Kazooie). Platform games have had some of the most atmospheric music too such as in Donkey Kong Country. I believe that it is the innocence of that genre that attracts the genius music writers. The decline of that genre has resulted in a decline in audio in general. Some might say that RPGs and survival horror games have great music and sometimes they do but they are not as assured to have this. It's very easy for someone making a survival horror soundtrack to put in a few plinky plonky ominous sounds masquerading as actually being a good soundtrack.

Deputydon2404d ago (Edited 2404d ago )

RPGs used to have the best music. Chrono Trigger's soundtrack still stands up to even the music of today.

And just to further enforce this fact, I present to you, Chrono Cross.

wallis2404d ago (Edited 2404d ago )

I don't know about this. From l4d and portal 2's context based soundtrack to mass effect 3 being scored by Clint Mansell - it seems to me like games put a lot of effort into the audio. Battlefield bad company 2 (haven't played bf3) had astounding audio and I'm sure bf3 does too.

Also this is completely ignoring the indie scene. Bastion is a superb example of a recent game taking the use of audio in the genre to a new level. I'd say games ARE taking advantage of what audio can do. Really the only next step forward would be biometric feedback in games to tune the atmosphere to your exact physiological state. So if a horror detects your heart rate go up it could pick the pace up - maybe even match the beat to it. These are just some of the places audio could go and in fact the more and more I think about it the more and more I think this guy is talking trite. Game's seem to be pushing every boundary they can, I don't think audio is too left out.

It's true some of the AAA titles get cookie-cutter OST's but that can be said for a lot of AAA movies. Games like Doom, Halo, tetris, mario, mass effect, left4dead on the other hand are all examples of games that could easily be recognized by their sound track alone and there are a lot more I've missed. Whether it's interactivity of just plain ol' awesomeness I don't see how audio isn't getting the attention it deserves in the genre.

FinaLXiii2404d ago (Edited 2404d ago )

Its funny how audio makes a game shine.

Just look at Duke Nukem Forever that game without sound would be a complete torture to play it for the most part, the voice overs and the overral sound is what keeps the player engaged with the game more than anything else.

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