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LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - metacollin - Feb 27, 2009 03:12 PM

I'm working on a somewhat old school pixelicious (320x240 resolution intentionally pumped up to 640x480 with no interpolation) game, and I realized I completely ignored one key aspect of it: sound. Delicious LoFi square wave goodness. Or something.

Unfortunately, I have no idea where to begin. I'm not even sure if I should make samples (I also have no idea how to do that, but that's for a whole 'nother forum) or procedurally generate them within the code. Additionally, I assume music would be generated with samples, something MIDI style...a .mod player or something?

Sorry about the vagueness, but as you can see, I have no idea what I'm doing. All my expertise is related to visual aspects, but the game is disconcertingly silent.

Any thoughts on where to begin, programs to use, tutorials to look at? I've found little info specific to the low quality artificial sounds I'm looking for. What am I looking for? Think Megaman, or Cave Story.

LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - AnotherJake - Feb 27, 2009 04:03 PM

FreakSoftware did a cool little port of sfxr. You can find the thread here:

Don't know about any mod players for iPhone, but I'd be interested if you find one. Otherwise, why not just use GarageBand for music?

LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - metacollin - Feb 27, 2009 05:33 PM

Hmm, looked into garage band, and whaddya know, it has a plethora of synthy instruments. Also, FreakSoftware's program is awesome, thanks for the link!

LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - stevejohnson - Feb 27, 2009 06:05 PM

Get the Chip32 plug-in for GarageBand. Also, I'm using sfxr for a few of gw0rps sounds.

LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - AnotherJake - Feb 27, 2009 07:17 PM

diordna Wrote:Get the Chip32 plug-in for GarageBand. Also, I'm using sfxr for a few of gw0rps sounds.

That is totally rad, thanks for the tip! Grin

LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - stevejohnson - Feb 27, 2009 07:20 PM

If you're looking for more free synths, look for Orca, Automat, and Remedy. I use them a lot in gw0rp's music. (See 'exploring.mp3' and 'battle.mp3' in

LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - monteboyd - Feb 28, 2009 04:06 AM

Sorry for the slightly off-topic, but I'm an old-school pixel art nut metacollin, can you give any more info on your game? Can't wait to see it!

LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - Mathazzar - Feb 28, 2009 01:56 PM

If you don't want to handle it yourself, you could always get a composer who is well versed in classical synthesis to write you some tracks. You can obviously manage it yourself without too much of a hassle, since the music is generally uncomplicated, but I'm mentioning the possibility of getting the extra help just in case you don't feel like learning and adding all the extra audio end of it to your workflow.

In terms of how to handle it, you could either use extremely lo-fi synths to create the music, or you could use slightly more modern synths (to acknowledge that it's a more recent game) and then compess them at a low bitrate to achieve a similar lo-fi effect with a slightly "full"-er sound.

Anyway, just my two cents. I'll be curious to see how you end up handling it! Good luck! Smile

LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - metacollin - Feb 28, 2009 02:05 PM

Certainly, monteboyd! I've completed the engine more or less (sans any audio implementation, obviously), though I'm sure I'll continue to add things as needed (no enemy AI yet, no cutscenes, all those little garnishes still need to be done), and I've started directing my efforts toward content generation. Once things get along further, I'll post some screens in the Work in Progress forum.

It's written in C++ using OpenGL and SDL, and is an open-ended platformer, á la Metroid. You play Damascus Steel, the world's premier monster hunter, and go around ruining monsters' crap with a shotgun as your primary weapon.

I'm also basically ripping off Metroid in the sense that there is a lot of back tracking to explore new areas as you gain new abilities. There is going to be a bit of a survivalist horror thrown in too, as I plan on making ammo a precious commodity (with a crappy infinite melee backup, of course!).

I would like to have some sort of dialog driven plot as well, but I want to finish getting the game mechanics dialed down and make more content first.

Anyway, thanks for the tips everyone, I've never actually made sound effects before, so we'll see how it goes!

LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - Magnetron - Apr 21, 2009 09:14 PM

Still looking for someone to come up with that 8bit goodness sound.. Maybe I can help. I would gladly take on the challenge! Please contact me when you are ready to begin.

The Magnetron Team Wink

LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - Nosredna - Apr 23, 2009 09:15 AM

This is my favorite site for all things computer music:

There are tons of free emulations of old synths and computer audio chips (but I think most of them were targeted at the PC, not the Mac). If you have access to a PC, there are some great modern interpretations of trackers. My favorite is Buzz.

LoFi/8-bit Sound and Music - Gamecues - May 20, 2009 10:52 AM

Check for sfx and music for gaming dev. Hope this helps. Smile