The following is a chat log that rolled across the darklord’s chat system earlier today. I felt it was poignant.
audio_guy: dear level designers and producer type people – a few words about audio…
audio_guy: audio is not like color, if everything on the screen is green, then the screen looks green, however, if everything in audio is turned up as loud as possible, it will sound like crap…
darklord: 🙂 this is true. 🙂
audio_guy: the phrase “Everything Louder than Everything Else” works well for the heavy metal band Motorhead, but for videogames it is perhaps the wrong mantra
audio_guy: I’d like to introduce a friend of mine: Dynamics
darklord: hello, Dynamics!
audio_guy: Dynamics is the process by which some things are quiet while others are loud, allow him to demonstrate…
audio_guy: take our main critter for example: he has an attack scream, and he has footsteps, the attack scream is big and loud, it is SCARY! the footsteps are quieter they are just there to pierce the silence when he walks
darklord: hmm. yes, this makes sense.
audio_guy: I am sorry that you cannot hear the footsteps when he is doing his attack scream
audio_guy: some things however are necessary
audio_guy: the options are as follows: I leave things the way they are.
audio_guy: I take out/turn down the scream
darklord: sounds reasonable.
audio_guy: you’ll notice that there is NO option called “turn the footsteps up as loud as the friggin’ go”!!!
audio_guy: care to take a guess as to why?
audio_guy: very good
darklord: I have an idea
darklord: take them to the zoo
darklord: wait until the elephant trumpets, and ask them if they could hear the elephant’s footsteps when it was trumpeting.
darklord: or, maybe a lion + roar.
audio_guy: you can’t hear elephants footsteps when they’re not trumpeting
audio_guy: they are silent
audio_guy: or nearly so
darklord: good point.
darklord: billygoats then.