The Psychology of Sound And Music

Sound is a very important part of a gaming experience, but how important is it? We can answer that question as we were tasked with playing 3 different games where the main focus is sound (Five Nights At Freddy’s, Guitar Hero 3 & Horizon Chase) and testing player reaction to the games having and not having sound.

How we are gaining the results

We had to make some limits to what we can do to try and get multiple results so here is what we did for each game to make sure are results are fair.

Five Nights At Freddy’s = One with Sound, One Without. Night 1 only, Counting Clicks of Lights + Doors and Camera, how the player felt during Gameplay

Guitar Hero 3 = 2 with Sound, one without. Easy difficulty, Slowride, track movement of player, difference in time and percentage

Horizon Chase = 2 With sound, One Without. Same Course, Same Car. Time Taken, Collision Count, feel of player, Position in race.

Results

Five Nights At Freddy’s

Ben = game with sound = Ben felt fine though out the night and survived the whole night. He clicked the doors and lights 40 times and checked the cameras 49 times.

Game without Sound = Ben was more worried than he was before but still survived the night. he clicked he doors and lights 30 Times and checked the camera 61 times.

From this you can, tell that Ben focused more on the camera than the doors and lights when playing without sound. sound is an important part of the game helping to track there movement of the animatronics in the game, so without the sound. he had to use the cameras to get a more visual track of the location of the animatronics.

Bethan = game with sound = Although it was her first time playing the game, Bethan felt fine till the phone call had ended, from that point she panicked more, she didn’t survive the night as she was killed by Bonnie at 4 am. She didn’t click the doors or lights and checked the cameras 52 times.

Game without sound = Bethan panicked more where there was a lack of sound but this time survived the whole night. She clicked the doors 38 times and checked the cameras 84 times.

As Bethan has stated, this was her first time playing the game. but from what she has mentioned she panicked more when the sound was off than when there was sound.

Evaluation of Five Nights At Freddy’s

From the results, we can tell that the sound used in Five Nights At Freddy’s is important to creating the atmosphere and the tension of wanting to not get jump scared by the animatronics.

Guitar Hero 3

Ross = game with sound = Ross moved around while playing, he rocked his head back and forth and tapped his foot to the sound of the music. He managed to score 59591 points and 98% overall.

Game without sound = Ross moved very little almost idle apart from the controller, it was almost like he was a machine doing what he was tasked to do. He managed to score 56715 points and 97% overall.

Game with sound 2 = Results are invalid as Ross activated star power after getting too indulged in the song.

from the results, you can tell that sound in this game is important to the way, Ross plays as he describes it as “It feels like your performing on stage in front of Thousands of people and you want to make sure you do it perfectly, but without sound you feel like your just pressing the corresponding button to what comes up on screen, it feels dull and tiresome.” This is also shown in the point and percentage difference, although a very mild difference, his score dropped.

Ben = game with sound = Ben was rather motionless but felt like he was messing up. He managed to score 19905 points and 75% overall.

Game without sound = Ben was again motionless but focused a lot more. He managed to score 29939 points and 84% Overall.

Game with sound 2 = Ben was again motionless but again got a better score. He managed to score 34135 and 89% overall.

Ben was manly motionless and said “Practice helped, Music distracts.” this is shown by his lack of motion towards playing the game.

Evaluation of Guitar Hero 3

From the results, we can tell that the music is important to the game but is more based on player preference as shown by both players as Ross was really having fun when it came to the music and Ben mostly focused getting all the notes pressed and got better with practice. Music is the main focus of the guitar hero series focusing on bands of the genres of pop to metal.

Horizon Chase

Josh = Game with Sound, This was the first time playing the game and said that the game was tense. He came 1st Place in the race with a time of 01’38”46 and had 10 collisions.

Game without Sound =  Where there was no sound, he said the game got more tense and he was trying to be more careful. He came 1st in the race with a time of 01’40’48 and had 13 collisions.

Game with sound 2 = He though that the game was easier with sound. He came 1st in the race with a time of 01’33’54 and had 6 collisions.

Josh has shown what he has been saying is true, this is shown where his time and collisions grew when the sound was off and how it decreased.

Ross = Game with sound = This was the first time playing the game and he said he was really panicky. He came 3rd Place in the race with a time  of 01’56’07 and had 17 collision.

Game without sound = He felt more relaxed this time. He came 2nd place in the race with a time of 01’42’05 and had 12 collisions.

Game with sound 2 = He said it was easier from practice but the sound put him off a bit. He came 1st in the race with a time of 01’40’77 and had 12 collisions.

Ross has improved his score but his last two races managed to get a similar time and collision count which would explain that sound is an important factor to this game.

Evaluation of Horizon Chase

From the results, you can tell that sound isn’t an important part of this game but it helps some players get more in to there time driving while others can get distracted by the sound.

Evaluation

From this lesson, i have learned how sound has an impact on the way players interact, either if it helps them or not. This task was easy to do and i have enjoyed every part of it as its interesting to look at player reaction towards a video games mechanics and environment styles.

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