Masters of soundscapes speak out on how to make your game’s audio music to players’ ears

Develop’s Top Tips: Audio design

Byron Atkinson-Jones, Xiotex Studios

Don’t be afraid to dive into subtractive synthesis to create your own SFX, get a decent field mic for others.

Jaime Cross, Team Junkfish

A good sound implemented badly is a waste. Always sort out HOW things are played back – not just what.

Chris Sweetman, Sweet Justice

Source is king; you can never have enough fresh material for use in your designs.

Matt Lightbound, ThinkSpace Education

Don’t get patriotic about software. There’s no need to be a fanboy for any DAW or WAV editor. Learn as much as you can and use what’s right for the job.

Sally Kellaway, Zero Latency/Fmod

My top advice for VR audio is to think about what the player should hear to help guide their experience, instead of what they would hear without curation. Avoiding overstimulating or distracting the player.

James Stant, Frontier Developments

Invest in high-quality hardware – microphones, pre-amps and so on – as much as possible. Don’t compromise with budget alternatives that fail to deliver on expectations and force you to replace prematurely.

Ash Read, CCP

My advice for VR audio is spread the layers of your designed SFX across the in-game object to add life and depth.

Blazing Griffin

It sounds like a no-brainer but the sooner you start adding audio, the better. It will massively change the feel of your game.

Sam Hughes, The Sound Architect

Layers are key to most great sounds. Different components from various sounds can create great stuff. 

Gavin Harrison, composer

Sometimes the solution to a sound can be the most simple thing – don’t complicate design where it doesn’t need it.


Even if it’s a lot of (fun) work, make your own sound effects. Adds so much personality.

Graeme Norgate, composer

It’s all about the implementation – a bad mix will ruin everything.

All this week, Develop is taking a deeper look into sound and music in video games through our Audio Special.

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