“The Princess Bride” is a great movie. It’s one of those classic films from the 1980’s. It has adventure, comedy, romance and lots of great quotes. The lines from that movie are memorable. It’s something that I think is lacking in today’s movies. What does that have to do with today’s free .wav file? I was reminded of a quote from Vizzini, “Go back to the beginning.” When something went wrong with a plan, they had to go back to the start. Nothing’s wrong here today, but starting at the beginning is a great place to learn. That’s why I chose Boop #3 for this week’s free sound effect.
Back in the early days of video games, there was a highly common theme. You had a paddle and a bouncing square. When the square hit the paddle, it made a boop sound. If you’re just starting out with game development, learning how to generate sound effects on collisions is an excellent starting point. By giving your virtual world quality sound effects, it becomes more engaging. Last week’s edition of Free .WAV Wednesday — Coconut Hit — already covered this topic. This week I’m going to expand on it.
If you’re like most people, you have two ears. Sound waves hit your ear drums and information is sent into your brain. It’s coming at you from both sides — left and right. So, why are all my sound effects in mono format? That’s because you can create stereo sound effects in-game. To create a more believable game, you should mimic reality. If a ball collides against a left wall, the corresponding sound should come from the left side. How do you do that?
With GameSalad, it’s pretty easy. There is an option called “Positional Sound”. With this sound enabled, the level and right volume will be modified according to the actor’s position. It works great for games that do not scroll… like Pong. If the ball hits the left wall, the boop sound will play louder from the left speaker. If the ball hits the right paddle, the boop sound will play louder from the right speaker. If the ball hits a wall in the exact middle, both speakers will play the sound evenly.
You can download the free sound file to get started…
If you don’t have GameSalad, it’s a free download from GameSalad.com — but it is Mac OS X software. I liked GameSalad so much that I switched my main desktop computer to a Mac. Once the software is up and running, it’s not too difficult to create a bouncing ball… or a bouncing square, if you’re into that retro stuff. The trick is to make the bouncing actor collide with the walls and to set up a “Rule” behavior that plays a sound when a collision occurs.
If you don’t want to wait for the next edition of “Free .WAV Wednesday”, if you want to read more about GameSalad right now, you can buy a copy of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook. If you want more sound effects, you can purchase a license to the complete Sound Effects — By Photics collection. The free sound effect file is provided under the same license as the full sound effects collection.