Gone are the days when video game sounds consisted entirely of single tone beeps. Although not always consciously realized by the player, audio is a large part of the current game design process and plays a vital role in evoking player emotions. Certain sounds are associated with certain characters, levels, etc. and video game sound designers are responsible for working with composers to make that connection. Sound designers do not always work with original music, however. They often alter and manipulate previously recorded audio, which is also typically the cheaper route. Sound designers can even take on the role of composer, creating tones and sound effects themselves.
Since modern games are so interactive, video game sound designers are tasked with creating multiple layers of audio that interact with the player’s moves and decisions. This is much different than audio designing for movies or television, where the music and sounds are fixed. Sound designers work closely with game designers and animators in order to create the proper conjunction of images and associated sounds. They also work with composers, whether outsourced or internal, to manage the designing, creating and editing of all music and sounds throughout the game. It’s important that sound designers are able to communicate the vision of the sound design to any and all contributors.
A sound designer’s work does not stop after they’ve implemented sound, though. Once the video game is in its final stages of development, sound designers are responsible for thoroughly testing the game’s audio systems for faults and bugs. This requires playing the game many, many times.
Video Game Sound Designer Salary*
Most sound designers have specialized degrees in audio design and production. Video game sound designer salaries average around $76,000 per year. The niche has been growing recently, making now the perfect time to get in.
*According to Indeed.com
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