So I'm starting out as an independent game developer and I'm curious about the best way to design sound effects.

I'm not sure if this is necessary, however my game engine is two-dimensional, with proper sound volume/panning to indicate distance from objects.

I've looked into foley (however any sort of book on this is impossible to find).

I'd love to learn how to design sounds, but I would be alright if there was a CD with a bunch of game sound effects on them already.

To be more specific(question-wise):

  1. What books are recommended for learning game sound design? Software?
  2. What are good quality game sound CDs?

P.S, forgive me if some of my terminology is off.


3 Answers 3

  1. Here's a few great books on Sound Design/Effects, and they explain it for most mediums:



  1. As for sound effects being sold or given away for free specifically for video games, I haven't seen that yet. Some of the more well known, but expensive libraries for film, games, etc can be Sound Ideas and Hollywood Edge libraries, however there are more and more independant libraries popping up with high quality and more unique sfx. I would look at Pro Sound Effects Hybrid library for freelancers which is by far the best bang for your buck right now since it's on sale and comes with a ton! Sale ends on the 31st though!


If you can afford it, I would also pick up a portable audio recorder so you can record your own effects and foley and slowly pick up better gear (separate microphone, recorder, headphones, etc.)

Hopefully this helps!

PS: Look into software like Wwise and Fmod, as these are used at video game studios to implement the audio into the game.

  • Added the books to my Amazon wishlist. And thanks a ton for the pro sound effects link. I looked into gear specifically for this in the past, but I wasn't sure how well the quality would be for stuff such as foley! Knowing this is reassuring! And lastly, I did a tad bit of research into WWise and Fmod, but unfortunately I've already written my audio engine. If I read it correctly, those software is similar to XACT (Microsoft's Audio API)... Seeing as though I want to target multiple platforms, I'm trying to stay away from dependency on other libraries. Thanks!
    – Shyy Guy
    Dec 21, 2014 at 19:35

If you're looking to learn about foley this is the book... http://www.amazon.ca/The-Foley-Grail-Performing-Animation/dp/0240811259


Sonniss.com have cheap libraries and they also host a gameaudiomonthly torrent with samples from all their libraries. They also host(ed) the GDC torrent composed of 10gb of audio content made for game sound design. Should be enough for you to get started. Other than that, get a DAW, layer them up, and use the native tools in your DAW to create comprehensive sounds from your different sources.

Tools you might find good to have are pitchshifters, doppler plugins, and good surgical EQ's. You'd also want to read up on basics of audio and do case studies.

Other than that, scour the web for trailers and interesting animations/scenes/whathaveyou, mute them and try to do your own sound design to them.

Basically, you have to think about sound rather than to listen to it. Take a walk outside, listen to what you hear and ask yourself; what is this sound composed of? What type of frequency content does it have? How does the texture of this sound sound like? Are there are any attenuated frequencies and/or transients? Stuff like that.

My two cents anyways ;)

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