Music is an essential factor to give personality to your video game and immerse the players into the story. This is why understanding the role video game music plays is extremely important. Read below to learn every tip and trick used by the industry pros.
Music plays a crucial role in video games since its early years. It is impossible to think about Super Mario Bros, Tetris or Street Fighter without humming the melodies, since they made the game memorable, fun and engaging for the players. But with the rapid advance in technology came today's video games, and they are a whole different story, making the soundtrack selection harder and more important.
Background music is the most powerful tool for creating emotion and setting the tone of the story in video games. Just like in the movies, the soundtrack is the base of the scene, creating the ideal atmosphere for the audience to have a better understanding of the story and feel more connected to it. In video games, this is even more important, because we are not only watching a story but rather living it through the screen. We make the decisions and control the actions of our character while being focused on achieving our goals, so background music and sound effects might not take our full attention, but they are vital for the experience.
The nature of video games is immersion, feeling like you are completely a part of the experience and deep into the story. This is what makes it so entertaining and helps us disconnect from reality, we are not watching from outside but engaging ourselves. And when it comes to this experience, we are not supposed to notice anything that doesn't fit perfectly in the narrative, so the soundtrack needs to be natural and has the ideal tone. If the soundtrack or sound effects are awful your focus will go to it, and your immersion will be lost, even if the story itself is amazing.
One of the key elements of immersion is having all your senses tuned in the game, as soon as you feel disconnected from something you stop feeling a part of it. This is why the latest technology includes VR, and what makes it so enticing.
So music really has a crucial role in video game productions, and can completely affect the connection players have. The genres, tempos, styles and moods need to be chosen accordingly, the volume needs to be right and the overall story has to make sense and feel real.
A great example is GTA, which is one of, if not the biggest game franchise ever created. And there is something very particular about how they decided to present the soundtrack to the player. They offer a diverse and vast collection of radio stations for the player to choose from while driving and makes it even close to real life. As a result, many other games have taken this method and adapted it.
With everything we stated above, you can imagine how important sound effects are. They are what makes a video game feel real and well made. When a car is racing, drifting or crushing, we need to feel like it's really happening. Just imagine shooting a gun and not feeling a loud impact, tt would be very disappointing!
Every action we decide to do within the video game has to come with the perfect sound effect, and most importantly, a realistic one, to make us feel immersed.
We are all very familiarized with copyright laws, which state that anyone using a song whose rights are owned by another person or company needs to have permission. The company or person has the ability to decide who they want to allow to use their songs, and under what conditions, especially financial. Using music without permission can have severe consequences for your video game, banning it and taking legal action.
An incredible option is using royalty free music. Here at HookSounds, we own a vast collection of music, sound effects intros and outros, created especially for video games by world-class artists. It is easy to browse, and even easier to get the license to use. You can buy a single license or get a subscription and gain access to our entire library with no PRO payments, no copyright claims or hidden fees.
Our tracks are exclusive and original, covering all genres and sound effects. The best part? If you want a track made just for you, we can create it customized according to your needs.