Make Some Noise: Sound Effects for Your Next Game

Just going to do a quick update this week as it’s the holidays and I’m super busy with my family and with Shade (but more on that later!). This week I want to share a tool I recently discovered which quickly became an essential part of my game development tool box. Naturally, I’m talking about DrPetter’s sfxr.

In my experience an easy to underestimate item of work for a game is finding proper sound effects. It’s no secret that good sound effects can really improve the overall experience and bad ones can really bring things down. That said there aren’t a lot of great resources for finding free sound effects. Personally, I start looking for sound effects I typically use the following sites:

However each of these sites suffers from two crippling problems. First, it is very difficult to find the types of sound effects that you are looking for. This is due to the poor state of sound search which ultimately relies on humans to tag files reliably, which they don’t. Second, even if you can find a class of sound effects to test it will still require hours of looking as the majority of the work available on these sites is poor.

Enter sfxr. This tool was apparently created in order to assist in rapid game development, but I believe it works just as well for traditional development. The tool is really simple, you can click a button to generate a new random sound (possibly constrained to be in a certain category). Once generated you can fiddle with its properties or move on to a new one.

With the sites listed above I found that in general I needed to listen to fifty or more sound effects in order to find one usable one. This might not sound like very much work, but when it involves waiting for the page to refresh, the server to load, moving between windows, etc the time can really add up. Compare this to simply clicking a button fifty times and you get a feel for just how much time sfxr can save.

That said this tool isn’t a panacea. The sound effects it generates are all “game-y”, which means it might not be as useful for certain types of games. Also you’ll still need the other resources for authentic sounds. But, if you’re making an arcade game or you simply need some sound effects for smaller things in your game I highly recommend you take a look.

Have a great holidays and I hope everyone makes tons of progress on their games!

Comments

One Response to “Make Some Noise: Sound Effects for Your Next Game”
  1. jikoo says:

    Hello,

    The website of Sfxr is down for long time. So now, you can download it here : http://www.woolyss.free.fr/chipmusic.php#generators

    It’s my website about chipmusic, chiptune, 8bit music…

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