Sound effects must have one of the most difficult and underappreciated jobs in videogames: they have to play a million times without getting on the player’s nerves! Nevertheless, great sound design can be crucial to drawing players into the experience, and of all the titles we played this year none was a greater beneficiary than Bane Games’ Battle Group. With all the hectic radio chatter, explosions, and battleship alarms pouring through your earbuds while playing this one, you can’t help but feel you’re really in the thick of a major maritime conflict.
Runners-Up: Eddie Lim Ther and Justin Lee, for Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion
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Whether it’s the flitting of arrows or the sharp thwap of Lyri axes against Earthbound shields, this audio engineering duo from the Witching Hour team give you good reason to duck and cover! You may not actually be on the ground with the armies at your fingertips, but it sure sounds like it.
We don’t know what Alexander Panknin had to do to make the creepy worm screeches for this one, and maybe we shouldn’t ask. But those, in addition to the alien voice giving audio confirmation to player commands, leave the game with an unsettling, chills-up-your-spine feeling all around. You can check out Panknin’s score for the game at his site too!
According to the conventional wisdom, a great YouTube video is one of the most important things a developer can have on-hand at release — shame that most will have exhausted funds, time, elbow grease, and any other resource at their disposal by that point! Nevertheless, we’ve seen some amazing artistry on the preview front in 2011. The team at Infinite Dreams won our hearts with traditional claymation. That’s right, these guys actually hand-molded every frame you see in the story section of the trailer, and we have photographic proof!
Mojo Bones went all-out to grab the attention of iOS gamers with a one-two media punch on behalf of Tongue Tied! It certainly caught our attention, what with the first video’s great voice acting, slick animation, and Ren and Stimpy quality humor, and the second video’s perfect overview of what players can expect in-game.
No matter how many times we’ve watched the preview for Battle Group, we’re still left with breathless exhilaration. It’s almost unfair on the viewer, really — being reeled in by this cacophony of mysterious reports and then smacked down hard by a brilliantly timed gameplay montage.
And then, there’s always room for a little over-done live action and hilarious voiceovers! Nexus Game Studio knew precisely what they were doing by injecting this much cheese into a trailer for a retro-style game. Believe it or not, there was a day when all videogame commercials were just like this, and chances are if you remember those days, Gravonaut will be of great interest for its in-game qualities too.