Hey there everyone!

I'm working on a mobile game in which, besides its many features, I have to build some sounds for a enemy creature that is solely made of bones - a skeleton, in practice. I read in another post some suggestions regarding pistachios usage which seems very interesting, but I am lacking some ideas and references on how to have a more solid sound for its movement.

This creature is very small, with a big head / skull and it's kind of nuts. He also carries a bag with more bones to throw before spinning them in the air.

I'm thinking of some empty wooden sounds, maybe some joints details, although I still don't know how to maintain balance when it comes to mobile games.

I appreciate any ideas you can share. :)


1 Answer 1



What kind of game is it? The player perspective will definitely influence how you approach the skeleton audio. I assume as it is for mobile it will either be isometric, top-down or side scrolling?

Secondly, is it real-time or turn based (like the might and magic games, for example?) or something else entirely? This needs to be considered, as a real-time game will require much more variety to prevent repetition.

Take a look at other games that have great skeleton sound design. The Diablo series, Skyrim, Dungeon Keeper...

I would start with the footsteps and work up from there (literally). Are the skeletons wearing boots? If not work on a collection of good clackety, rattley, [insert made up boney word here] footstep samples. Regardless of how sophisticated the coding is, you should consider incorporating all movement foley into these footsteps and have the "tail" of the sound overlap with the start of the next footstep, giving a nice, constant sound as he/they move.

Grab as many things as you can that have the kind of sound you need. Wooden sticks, gravel, actual bones (leftover KFC! Although you may wish to wash it first...). Try as many things as possible until something sounds right. This will more than likely need quite a lot of EQ to get the tonality right, but it depends how lucky you are with the source sounds.

Does the skeleton have a voice? If not use the same ideas you used for footsteps and try to create vocalisations with the bone sounds. For example, a fast rattling sound resonating from inside the skull could work well for pain or attack vocal sounds.

Does he wear any plate or chainmail armour? Adding this as another layer to the bone foley will help it feel a little more alive than just the bone sounds.

For your joint idea, you can't go wrong with a selection of rusty old hinges. Just be careful not to go overboard. less can sound like much more if you strike the right balance.


  • @Dan: great answer, thank you so much! Yes, the view is isometric and it is real-time. The problem with footsteps would be the surface because there is a high chance of varying and I'm still not sure if with Unity (not pro version) one is able to program these changes. And again, it's so much stuff happening that I haven't found yet the right balance of what to enhance. But those were great suggestions and references, thank you very much. :) Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 14:58
  • @ Melissa: Coincidentally I'm currently using Unity. Are you handling the scripts yourself? One way to approach it is to have the floor surfaces "tagged", so when the skeleton steps onto (for example) "grass", the skeleton's script will know to play the grass footstep audio. Take a look here: answers.unity3d.com/questions/266673/… ~Dan~
    – Dan Atkins
    Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 18:58
  • @Dan: this is great, thank you very much, Dan! Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 1:39

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