Michel McBride-Charpentier recorded and examined a soundscape of City 17 in the video game Half-Life 2. The short recording of the audio on a walk around the city gave him plenty to analyse in terms of the impact a soundscape has on the game environment.
A soundscape is constructed out of, among other things, dynamic sounds and the mobile player’s constantly changing distance to 3D sound sources. I like to call this soundscape possibility space the level’s acoustic ecology. The acoustic ecology is a fundamental part of what transforms the abstract space composed of physical relationships between objects into a place that communicates context for narrative meaning to be derived from.
He examines the three key elements of a soundscape: keynote sounds, sound signals and soundmarks. This is a very detailed and interesting examination of an aspect of the gaming environment most people overlook in favor of the mise-en-scène and the story.
[via Serial Consign]