Mauronewmedia made a cognitive teardown of the user experience of why Angry Birds is so successful and popular, and they also thought about the importance of Angry Birds sounds and music. Their analysis is suprisingly well-thought and deep, it seems that they have really studied the game and the sound design behind it. Their analysis goes like this:
“Over the past 15 years, the neuroscience of music has taken a huge leap forward. This new research is just beginning to tell us why music adds such a strong emotional component to movies, advertising, theater, and of course, new media of all types, including casual computer games. Employing the power of audio stimuli including structured music often adds a critical level of engagement for users of all forms of technology. Angry Birds’ audio effects and music seem simple but are, in fact, very complex. The use of audio effects and carefully varied melodic music lines works to enhance the game play engagement level. Many games do this but few do it expertly.
The audio in Angry Birds serves to enhance the user’s experience by mapping tightly to the user’s simple mental model of conflict between the angry birds and the loathsome pigs. This concept, known in film production as “action syncing”, provides enhanced levels of the feedback for users at just the right time. For example, in Angry Birds, we hear the birds chatter angry encouragement to their colleagues as each prepares for launch. We hear avian dialogue as the birds arc toward their targets and hear the pained response from their victims when they strike their targets. The pigs are by no means silent. When the avian interlopers fail, they are often egged on to try just one more time by the snickering, grinning pigs. These consistently applied audio elements reinforce the player’s interactions and deepen engagement by emphasizing the anthropomorphic qualities of the main characters of the game and providing clever enhanced feedback during critical on-screen behaviors. What about the actual melodic music shifting from the foreground to the background without apparent reason? This musical thread running through the game play experience is mysteriously familiar and easily understood in the context of the overall theme of the game. Where have I heard that melody before? This combination of audio feedback is varied just enough that parents sitting in the next room are rarely prone to demanding an end to game play based on distracting musical repetition. Perhaps this explains the high number of hours spent playing the game!”
How to make successful audio branding – explained!