• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Manipulation Magic - The Harpsichord

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Ocular Audio


Before any music was composed for Black Shuck it was key to put thought into what sound palette would work for the purpose of the game. Details of the game and references from the development team led us to agree that keeping the audio quite minimalistic, dark and atmospheric would be the best option. This isn't a game that requires a Hollywood style score. But rather one that plays with the consumers emotions. This needed to be portrayed not just with the gameplay and visuals but also with the audio. In the next few entries in this development blog I will discuss how some of this has been achieved.

As the game is set in the Georgian Period it made sense to me to use instrumentation that would have existed around that time. One of the key instruments of that period was the Harpsichord. Looking back at reference words and music though, the Harpsichord by itself didn't quite fit the bill sonically. This is where production techniques were utilised to help transform the Harpsichord into an instrument that sonically would work better.

Below you can hear an unprocessed, very basic chord progression played on the Harpsichord. As you can hear the instrument is quite brash and in your face. As this game requires some more atmospheric, darker tones some production has to be be done to get a tone that suits.


Below you can hear processed versions of the chord progression and also a note that has been time stretched and reversed. As I'm sure you will agree these are far from the original sound of the Harpsichord.


The screen shot below shows what processing was involved on the chord progression. The equaliser eliminated a lot of the high end of the instrument, pushing it further back into the stereo field by taking away the higher frequencies. The clip distortion then added some grit to the sound. This is then followed by chorus, flange and delay.

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 15.29.22.png

Such production techniques are useful as you can still use an instrument that is say relevant time period wise but doesn't quite suit the mood of the game. So by steering away from using standard sounds or presets, you can increase your sound palette by manipulating the audio.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


Harpsichord Processed Note (Reverse) is one of the creepier things I've heard today -- and I'm sorting through audio assets for a horror game!  Well done.


Share this comment

Link to comment

Thanks very much. Really nice to know it's had an impact. What's the game if you don't mind me asking? Or can't you say at the minute.


Share this comment

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now