Useful in both film and game design, learn what diegetic and non-diegetic sound is and listen to examples of each type from different games. Both are powerful tools to better craft soundscapes that will communicate the intent of your work to the audience.
Diegetic sound is the sound that is present within the world of the game. It sound that we can think of as sound that the characters can hear. Footsteps, people talking, cars driving, ambient background noise. All diegetic sounds.
Non-diegetic sound is sound that the characters of the world cannot hear, as it is sound added to what is happening in world for the benefit of the audience. which is usually the player. This takes the form of background music, horror flair accent sounds, voice over and narration as well as for video games, interaction, interface noises or feedback from action that don’t have a logical diegetic sound or that need to be emphasized.
I use games such as Uncharted 4, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, Tomb Raider, Skyrim and Horizon Zero Dawn to demonstrate these two types of sound by giving examples of many different kinds of each.
We end by investigating a strategy for applying these two types of sound to a game. Looking at the objects in your game and deciding if they need any sounds. Thinking about priority of which sounds would need to be louder or in the game at all. Then we talk about adding in the diegetic sounds. Ending on an example of music that communicates by changing with game state.
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