Professional sound design and music for great games.
Author: Kristin Miltner
Kristin Miltner is a composer, intermedia artist and sound designer living in Mill Valley, California. She most often performs music live with versions of her custom software. She has designed this to scan sound files and live input, allowing her to instantly restructure the sounds into rhythmic, sequenced arrays of units of varying lengths.
Her recent album, “Music for Dreaming and Playing” (Asthmatic Kitty) is influenced by her day job as a composer and sound designer for games. In it, she “takes individual pieces of harmony-rich, ambient textures and tessellates them with blocks of sharp-edged 8-bit detritus, arranging a Tetris-inspired mosaic that fuses the best of both worlds.”(A. Good, Verbicide Magazine)
Streets of Kamurocho is a pretty fun mashup of the amazing Yakuza series and the much-loved classic Streets of Rage II. It’s basically your favorite Yakuza characters teleported into Streets of Rage. This game was initially released in October to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Sega. Will there be more? I sure hope so, as it inspired me to go back and play more beloved classics on Sega Megadrive.
I got to recreate the classic Streets of Rage II intro and title screen music as well. It’s always educational to decipher the original tracks and discover the clever tricks and innovations that give a game its sound.
I am fortunate enough to have worn all possible audio hats for this elaborate TCG-RPG style game by Magic Fuel Games. I designed the sound effects and ambiences, recorded and performed the character VO, wrote the music, and handled all the audio integration in Unity for this game.
It’s a charming game with a lot of depth. Play long enough and you’ll encounter my favorite character, Timekeeper, a huge fluffy cat with time warping abilities. I did some pitch and formant shifting on my voice for the fierce feline Time Lord meows.
Positional music changes here, as I jump to different locations on the board.
Siege Hammer is a uniquely-designed strategic VR tower defense game where players take the role of the young hero, Blip, and are granted a magical hammer to defend the realm from evil invaders. The fuzzy blue npcs (‘Wisps’) are a source of power. Focusing gaze on a Wisp will entice it to fly to the hammer weapon and charge it with energy. Part of the fun is looking around the scene and up into the sky to find them and bring them to you.
Wisps have the most complex sound design in the game, emitting a variety of constant vocalization/propelling loops while in flight.
Earth Primer is a fantastic learning experience: Imagine if your Earth Science book was interactive, and you could sculpt with magma, lava, rain and wind, and move tectonic plates with your fingertips! I was lucky enough to get to play a small role designing UI sounds in Chaim Gingold’s lovely interactive book.
Credit to Cliff Caruthers for all the beautiful music, inner-Earth and weather ambiences in this.
This game was made by a small and talented team for AT&T’s presentation booth at the Chinese New Year Festival’s Flower Market Fair this weekend (Jan 30 and 31st) in SF Chinatown. It’s multiplayer on several android devices at the booth, and players’ scores are updated live on a central display screen. This is a quick screen grab of what the player sees on the devices, but you’ll have to visit us in person at the fair to see and hear all the animations and sounds that get fired off on the central screen as the players rack up their gold coins. Details: Chinese New Year Festival
Go, little burdies, go! Burds, the addictive puzzle game created by Justin Cooper and Troy Sandal at Tiny Marble, is currently featured in the “Best New Games” category in the App Store. I couldn’t be more delighted. It’s a charming game that was a pleasure to work on. Every SFX in this game is very musical: There are tons of tiered musical rewards, and I had a lot of fun voicing the singing burds. I used some pitch and formant shifters to make the burd voices cute and small, and layered the results to get a chorus of them. The basic tweets and chirps for when you connect 2 or more are crafted with a little FM synth magic. This game’s art was an inspiration — I fell in love immediately and the characters’ warbly little singing voices came to me quickly. Check it out here: Burds iOS
Each God Realm in Heroes & Havoc has its own unique, signature soundscape. One of my favorite sound moments in the game is when story placards for the Isha Realm appear. Listen for the moment or two of tranquility before I get clobbered by the arrows of the Isha warriors (I get a few Havoc hits in later that even things out, but here at the beginning of this battle I take a lot of damage). The story placards usually appear right before a battle, so when I was creating them, I was trying to get the ambiences to (gently) break the forward momentum, giving the player the time and mental space to focus on the text and maybe get into the story a little. The Isha one has a nice hushed, sacred feel.
This is a prototype making its way through production right now. Completely rad spaceship flocking behavior, as well as everything in this game besides sound asset creation, courtesy of Marc LeBlanc – graphics, galaxies, AI. I am especially proud of the fighter fleet’s shoot sound pitch shift variation happening via Marc’s drunk walk algorithm. I built a quick max patch to sketch out how I wanted it to sound, and he made it happen in the iOS build. Every time your opponent takes out one of your starbases, the music track changes to something increasingly urgent. In my second game, you can hear this happen very quickly as my opponent (red) makes quick work of destroying them.
This is the first game trailer I’ve done in a while, and I found it challenging to be the composer, sound designer and mastering engineer, and turn it around in a little over 48 hours. Congrats to the Electrified Games art team for producing such beautiful work!
I designed the sound effects and composed the music for WoTC’s Kaijudo Online TCG. The in-game background music has 2 layers that are dynamically mixed according to game state. In the player’s and opponent’s attack phase, a more percussive layer ramps up, and fades down again when the game returns to its more strategic mana phase. Also, in this capture you’ll see that my opponent casts the Spectre Claw spell on me, so you get to hear one of my favorite examples of the spell sound effects I created for this game.