Music and SFX That All Games Need

Unless it’s intentional, all games need music and sound effects. That includes my infinite runner too.

I starting thinking last night about all the sorts of sounds I needed for my game. But instead, I got angry with myself because, I’ve already done this twice before. Why do I need to think about this when most games need a set of basic sounds to be good?

That’s what brought me to make this list.

The idea is to use this list of SFX and music as a minimal basis for future game projects, you know. Take out a bit more of the thinking.

Remember this isn’t a wishlist that you can copy and paste to your sound dude. Customize it to your project! I’ve probably missed things that your game needs. But thinking about these things is a start.

Music that every Game needs

  • Title screen music
  • In-game music
  • Cutscene tracks
  • Results screen music

SFX that every Game needs

  • UI
    • Confirmation sound (eg. successful button click)
    • Error sound (eg. disabled button thonk)
    • Text sound (for letter by letter displays)
  • Player SFX
    • Jumping
    • Landing
    • Walking/Running
    • Dying, etc.
  • Item Interactions
    • Coin interactions
    • Collecting Powerups, etc.
  • NPCs
    • Enemy attacks
    • Enemy deaths, etc.
  • Game Enhancers
    • Game won
    • Game failed
    • Arcade counter ticker

That’s all that I can think of for now.

I do wonder though if leaving SFX and Music till the end of the development cycle, like I’ve done here, is a good idea. On one hand it lets sound engineers see the big picture sooner. But on the other hand, it gives sound people less creative freedom and influence.

The same could be said for Art I suppose. But hey, I like to do that before sound and music.

I’m curious what others do. What makes more sense and what’s industry best practice? Feel free to comment below.

Until next time

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