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sound for nintendo wii, please comment

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Hey,

The stone SFX

At first I liked the stone SFX for the player select screen, but then it got a bit repetitive and grating to my ears. The same SFX seemed to play for every action, regardless if the stone that was moving was large or small. (For example going from the "Start Game, Profiles and Options" screen to the the player select screens. Yes the SFX gets cut off, but you can hear it is the start of the same sound. Also why have a SFX for when it appears on the screen, but not for when it disappears? This makes the sound design seem very unbalanced.

My final comment for the stone SFX is to place some pitch variables in the audio engine. This way even the same SFX can have a bit more randomization and will make the sound design less repetitive and grating.

The Player's icons

Why no sound for when they pop onto the screen? (This is around 0:17 in the video) Taking a step back, there seems to be no sounds for when menus come in or leave the screen as well.

In-game

You have some nice ambient sounds, but I hear nothing for the yellow meters at the bottom of the screen. This also appears to be in slow-motion but there is still no sound to support this.

Better Hit sounds

Assuming that your player can hit anything in the game, I'm not hearing a good reward SFX for when the player hits the target. I do hear an impact sound, but I wonder if that is the same sound as when I hit a non-target. If so, then you need to create a positive sound that will tell the player aurally that he's hit the target. Closely related to this is the fact that there is no sound support as your score or combo figures change. This makes the game play feel disconnected.

No throw SFX?

Why no throw SFX? I'd really like to hear a "whoosh" when I press the throw button. Without this, the action feels very disconnected.

That same stone SFX

It sounds like that same stone SFX (in longer form) appears again around 0:58. I would really try and change the stone SFX into a bunch of variations. Right now it sounds like there are just changes to the length but with some creativity, you can create changes to the sound itself. At the very least change the pitch. Also the sound at 0:59 to 1:00 doesn't seem to fit. I know it is for the five targets that appear (or it is synced to them at least) but the sound itself is so different from all of the other stone-like targets that it doesn't fit. When they appear again around 1:17 there is a different sound, which works much better.

Bow and Arrow Section

This feels more polished. I like the whoosh of the arrow and the miss SFX. I also like the pulling of the string. There is no arrow thud SFX when you do hit the target (at least not one I could hear). Do you really want the player to hear the exact same sound every time they pull on the bow string? There is no SFX when the player stats pop up (the Hit or Miss results in the Sudden Death summary). I also felt the ocean SFX was more like a fountain or small stream. Can you find a better beach ambiance to use?

The shuffle board like section

Good job with the sounds here. Everything sounds pretty good. The Rescue Mission voice over doesn't work in my opinion. It sounds like someone just recorded themselves and then popped it in-game. I would process that audio a bit more to give it more character. When the pin is rescued I felt the "thank you" voice over was better.

The last montage of clips

The basketball shots needs more SFX to them. They just feel empty and this creates bad game play (with relation to sound). The soccer section felt better.

Mix?

The sounds that you have in-game currently are okay, but I'm getting only half of the picture. Without the music in-game I cannot tell you if things are mixed properly or not. For example, in this video I feel that the footsteps are too loud. Once I hear the sound design with music, that might not be the case.

Summary

Some of your sounds are good while some need alot of work. I also felt there were way too many holes in the overall experience. I also cannot tell you if things are mix properly until I hear the full audio experience (music, voice overs and sound design). I also felt there was a bit too much recycling of SFX. You need to do more to create a variety of SFX, especially if you're going to use the same source files for multiple actions or events in the game. Use a randomized pitch shift with your audio engine and/or create variations of SFX like Bow_pull1, Bow_pull2, Bow_pull3 so the audio feedback has more realism. Even small changes to the sound can help the audio experience greatly. Those are my thoughts.

Thanks for sharing,

Nathan

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Nathan,

First I'd like to thank you for such a complete critique, especially from a sound designer of your experience. I concur with all of your comments and observations, and I look forward to improving on them in the future. Most of my years as a composer and sound designer has been in the NY tri state radio and TV commercial market. Video Games are a new challenge.

As I began to play my copy of "Summer Sports 2" I discovered that many of the 262 sounds I delivered were not represented. I have since had conversations with the developer on how we can improve on the next game. Many of the things you have covered have been discussed. Including the mix and more sound variations. Apparently the sound engine was not able to handle many of these things. It's a good relationship as I'm learning more about what they do as programmers and I can make suggestions on how they can improve the over all sound experience. And yes the game plays much better with the music. I am posting the sound only as I did not do the music.

On the other sounds you mention I can certainly improve on my reward FX and have already started to think about this. If you have any examples of outstanding reward sounds I can look at, I'd be more than happy to look at them.

The throw sounds were not on our sound list. I can certainly see, now playing the game, why it would have benefited the game to be included. I did see many clips while I was working on the sound, but now that I can hear the game in play, I can make things better.

Hey Nathan, thanks so much, this was incredibly helpful. I'd like to talk with you sometime. Maybe you can take a look at 2 things I did music, sound and mix on to get a better idea of my work and comment?

">Panasoic
spot


">Ricoh
Billboard





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Glad to help out whenever I can. I'll take a look at the music spots when I can. Also very glad that you took my critique in a professional manner! That doesn't always happen. ;)

Cheers,

Nate

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Been doing this for twenty plus years. you can never stop learning. I may be new to video games but I know talent when I see it. you do good work. Looking forward to hearing your comments.

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I would like to supplement Nathan's critique with something to consider.

You may be aware of the general clothing rule of not mixing synthetic and natural fibers.

The same, I think, could be applied to your sound effects here.

I think that synthetic/artificial noises can do well as sweeteners for natural sounds, but I don't like your way of mixing them. I think I would like to see a much more unified direction on the sound design.

For example, some of your selection bloops could be replaced with some natural stone hitting stone or stone hitting log noises.

A wood scraping noise might be a little less grating than a stone scraping noise in certain situations.

Just some thoughts. Nathan's critique is very nicely detailed, so it was a bit of a stretch to add something. ;)

Cheers,

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thank you for you comments, much appreciated. I'll see how I can improve on them.

I don't get to see how many of the sounds work until they are placed in the game much later, of which there may or may not be enough time or money to tweak. I am already getting a better idea of how to deliver better menu and reward sounds before the game is playable. Any suggestions or other thoughts in regard to improving the sound while the game is still in development and I am unable to see my sounds in action?

O I'd like to mention that some of my better sounds are at the higher level, which my novice playing skills did not allow me to get to. I'll have to see if I can get better.

here's as short animatic I did have total control of the sound music and mix. Even though this is not game play, I would like comments to see what you guys think.

">Short
Animatic


thanks again, this is very helpful.

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