Hi Marty, congrats on the release of the Mobile Game library – could you please introduce yourself and the team behind it?
Thanks Asbjoern! My name is Marty Meinerz and I am a sound designer and composer. I live in Chicago with my Dog (Boba Fetch) and wife (her name isn’t as cool), and spend most of my time writing music for TV, designing sounds for movie trailers, and doing both for video games. I started working with Collin Scudder and Epic Stock Media about a year ago, and have worked on a number of sound libraries and other projects with them.
What are some of the highlights of the Mobile Game library?
To me, the thing that makes the mobile game library exciting, and exciting to make, is that it’s kind of a hybrid sound and music library.
From a creation standpoint the pack demanded a lot of variety and audio acrobatics that made working on it a very rewarding experience
It has a lot of one shot sounds like crafting, magic, menu buttons, catapults, item pickups, power ups, etc. but I also made a substantial number of short 5-10 second genre-specific musical themes for things like, game over, level complete, bonus objectives, and other “game state” type situations. So, from a creation standpoint the pack demanded a lot of variety and audio acrobatics that made working on it a very rewarding experience, and I think that comes through in the final product.
Demos of the many sounds included in the Mobile Game SFX library
With this being a release aimed at mobile games, what were some of the steps you took to make it particularly suited for mobile projects?
We set out to make sounds that would fit in huge blockbuster games like Clash of Clans, Game of War, and Candy Crush. The first step in the process was just playing games and listening, and approaching the library from a player’s perspective. Then Collin and I made a list of what types of sounds we heard the most, and what made them effective.
The first step in the process was just playing games and listening, and approaching the library from a player’s perspective
With that as our starting point it was time to make huge variety of sounds that are drag and drop-simple for the developer, no awkward silences at the start of sounds, big empty audio tails, and stuff like that. We did a lot of work making sure the audio files are as lean as we could make them.
How did you decide what content to feature in the library?
We spent a lot of time looking at, and listening to, the “top games” on the app store and google play market, and taking notes on how popular games sound. Like what makes a cartoonish war game sound like it does, or what types of sounds do most puzzle games have, things like that. Boiling games down and looking for what are the essential audio elements of popular mobile games.
Can you describe the creative process behind a library like this?
For me the creative process always starts with loads and loads of pre-production. I like lists, descriptions, and setting super specific goals for myself. I find that the amount of time I spend planning is directly related to how smoothly production will go. Everyone’s process is obviously different, but I think that creativity and discipline are extremely related. ‘Practice makes perfect,’ and all that jazz. When I start a huge project like ‘make 500 sound and music cues for mobile games’ for example, I set a daily routine and stick as close to it as life lets me. Winging it or waiting to be inspired doesn’t really help for things like this.
I find that the amount of time I spend planning is directly related to how smoothly production will go
Grinding out 20-30 sounds everyday is a lot better than trying to squeeze 500 sounds in a week, both from a personal health and quality of work standpoint. So long story short: Do research, set clear specific goals, plan out the timeline, stick to the plan. Oh, also pet dogs and drink coffee!
What were the biggest challenges in making this library – and any personal favorite sounds in the final release?
The biggest challenge for me was keeping everything light and charming. Sitting in front of a computer screen for hours and hours can be really draining, as I’m sure everyone knows. Finding ways to stay fresh and avoid ear fatigue are always tough, but staying focused and critical on such energetic sounds was a lot more challenging that I thought it would be. So taking periodic breaks to just sit quietly was a major ear saver, but also switching back and forth from one shot sounds to short musical elements was really helpful. My favorite sounds in this pack are the Military and Woodland game musical elements.
Staying focused and critical on such energetic sounds was a lot more challenging that I thought it would be
Most of the music I write is for TV and movies, so having the opportunity to write almost 100 short music themes was a super fun challenge that I would do again in a heartbeat!
Any hints on what’s next from you guys?
Oh boy, knowing Collin and Epic Stock Media there’s probably 4 or 5 projects in the immediate pipeline (including more game sound libraries), and then hundred more just floating around people’s brains. Lots of irons in the fire all the time.
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