As with film, television, and other primarily visual mediums, sound and music are often the forgotten elements in video game design. That may be because sound affects you with more subtly than do splashy visuals or hyperspeedy gameplay. In fact, oftentimes the mark of superior sound design is that you don’t consciously notice it at all. Instead, it goes to work on you subconsciously–heightening tension, manipulating the mood, and drawing you into the gameworld faintly but inexorably.Consider the ominous ambient sounds of Resident Evil, the effects of which compound the tension and horror as you happen upon those relentless zombies chewing up your Alpha Team comrades. Even early games like Space Invaders earned much of their addictive appeal by getting into your head with thumping, repetitive sound schemes. As the aliens got faster and closer, the music got faster and louder. Properly designed, sound and visual cues work together to produce an experience greater than the sum of their parts. Read the rest of this entry »