Sound and artwork play key roles in the aesthetic result of a game. However, for a student it is not always possible to have these assets made specifically for our projects. Nonetheless, they are still an essential to a game and are easy to obtain from various sources.
Colours, shapes and shadows all set the “atmosphere” and to draw the user further from reality during play. As Chris Solarski writes in his article The Aesthetics of Game Art and Game Design, different shapes have been repeatedly associated with certain ideologies throughout the history of art.
Circle: innocence, youth, energy, femininity
Square: maturity, stability, balance, stubbornness
Triangle: aggression, masculinity, force
– (Solarski, 2013)
His article also provided a good example for his argument, which I have provided below. Music and sound effects also have psychological effects for the player as well the Art and Imagery.
Karen Collins states in her book Playing with Sound that players listen for sounds differently than they would when engaging with other forms of media. She explains that players use semantic listening, the ability to convert sound to message i.e. speech, and signal listening, the act of listening for an auditory cue or feedback. She argues that in games the player rather interacts with the sound, opposed to just hearing it, which requires and likely causes increased concentration on the game. Sounds and artwork are apart of the game identity, a vast number of people could instantly recognise games through a sound effect, a good example is the sound of Mario jumping.
For myself, I can say that I always want my projects to look, sound and play on par with most professionally made games. As a single man team and only 4 weeks to finish, I understand this not 100% achievable but can still come close-ish. Planetary RollOut, my current GAM 111 project, has a excellent Main Menu (seen below) made from free assets.
Developers can source royalty free models and textures from a number of websites. Unity will import most main stream file types for 3D models, though some may need to be passed through modeling software to be exported as more generic format such as .fbx. As for 2D projects any image can be edited and imported to be used as a sprite, if not currently designed as one. Below is a few websites for free Models, Artwork, and textures other than the Unity Asset Store..
|3D Models||2D Sprites / Images / Textures||All|
Sound effects can be made and sourced; there are also many places to obtain royalty free music. BFXR and LabChirp are both great programs for generating sound effects for games. I personally prefer LabChirp because it was used extensively before I was introduced to any others. Though it never hurts to test whats available, so here are some links for SFX Generators and music free for use:
|SFX / SFX Generator||Music|
- Collins, K. (2013). Playing with Sound : A Theory of Interacting with Sound and Music in Video Games. Cambridge, US: MIT Press. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com
- LoopTLoop. (2017). Horizon: Zero Dawn Screenshots – Scenery. Imgur. from http://imgur.com/gallery/8SGNY
- Solarski, C. (2013). Gamasutra – The Aesthetics of Game Art and Game Design. Gamasutra.com. Retrieved from http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/185676/the_aesthetics_of_game_art_and_.php?print=1