When setting up a kickass team for a new game project, you will often start searching for a couple of programmers, an artist, a designer, and maybe even a producer. But wait, what about the sound and music for the game?
Up until this point, many game developers who could not afford to hire a professional audio engineer or composer, sought out and took a closer look at some of the many free game audio libraries available. The major issue with most of the existing free libraries, however, is that there are so many user-uploaded sounds of varying quality that finding exactly the right sound will often prove to be somewhat time consuming – unless you compromise on either the quality or the fit of the audio.
If a new Danish Kickstarter campaign has its way, however, those days will soon be over. For the past couple of years, the 3 audio engineers at Aarhus-based startup, AudioNation, have owned the DownloadFreeSound.com domain. Initially, they wanted to use the domain to slowly but steadily build a free games-related audio library in their spare time. Half a year ago, however, the small team realized that their ambitions for DownloadFreeSound would never be fulfilled at the current level of activity. Since it had been recently announced that Kickstarter would open up for Danish, Swedish and Norwegian submissions in fall 2014, the 3 audio engineers therefore started preparing for a campaign that – if successful – would allow them to build a professional website and re-launch DownloadFreeSound.com with an increased focus on growing the library.
Today, the Kickstarter campaign finally launched with a goal of gathering at least 90,000 DKK, or $16,500, in 50 days. Supporters of the campaign can receive specialized sound effects for a project of choice, and if the campaign succeeds, the website will launch with over 2,000 sounds and a unique tagging system that suggest related tags based on your search phrase in order to guide you to the most appropriate sound in the library.
“There are free sound libraries out there, but we want to make a different and better one. We will provide you with audio made by professional sound designers and make their work accessible through an intuitive website with a tagging system that will set us apart from others. “, the Kickstarter page reads.
Once the website is up and running, the plan is to let the members compose and upload their own sounds as well, but there is a strict set of rules that each sound has to comply to. As Daniel Lynge, Project Manager at DownloadFreeSound explains to NordicGameBits, this is done to ensure the highest audio quality possible – across both user-uploaded and the company’s own sounds. “To ensure quality sound effects from users and partners we have specific criteria that they need to live up to if their sounds should be uploaded. “, he says.
As for the business model, Daniel Lynge mentions that the website will rely on selling relevant ads from partners in the audio-industry, but emphasizes that the goal is not to generate a pile of money, but rather to build the audio library they feel the indie games scene is missing!
“This project is made from our hearts. We love indie developers and we support their projects. We know that there are many great ideas out there that can go to waste if they do not have great sound effects – sound is an important factor for the success in this industry. We have built our company from the bottom up, and we know the struggle of being a small fish in the ocean. Our project is made to assist new and small developers to create better projects.”, Daniel Lynge says to NordicGameBits.