As with film, television, and other primarily visual media, sound and music are often the forgotten elements in video game design. That may be because sound affects humans more subtly than splashy visuals. In fact, often times the mark of superior sound design is that one does not consciously notice it. Instead, it goes to work on one's subconscious "heightening tension, manipulating the mood and drawing the player into the game world. This essay is an exploration into video game sounds: how time and technological development has changed them, as well as what is involved when creating a video game soundtrack.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOUND IN VIDEO GAMES.
In 1972, Pong the first video game which includes sound comes onto the market. Six years later the game "space invaders- hits arcades with its menacing, paranoia-inducing soundtrack. It is an example of simple, effective sound design; the thumping audio track actually accelerates in tempo as the enemy invaders draw nearer- and move faster. The following year Asteroids- another arcade game- employs a similar sound technique to achieve the same results. .
At the beginning of the 80's PacMan makes its debut. The game boasts many memorable sound and music elements; for example Pac-Man dying- blinking out- which has become the universally accepted sound of "defeat". A year later Donkey Kong comes out with its award winning sound design- composed on a small electronic keyboard. In 1985 the Nintendo Entertainment System enters the market with, first, Tetris- whose infectious "Russian- soundtrack adds greatly to the puzzle game's enduring appeal. Followed by Super Mario Bros."" whose soundtrack will forever be engraved on the minds of its players- which took the first step towards interactive music with a constantly shifting tone to match the action on screen.
In 1987 the Legend of Zelda as well as the first Final Fantasy game broke new ground with their sweeping and cinematic musical scores, considered by fans and historians to be the best video game music ever made (Final Fantasy).