GameSound’s sample dataset consists of a total of 2178 audio files from a Windows installation of Civilization IV. Using the metadata software MediaInfo we have automated the extraction of technical information with a high degree of accuracy. File durations are represented in a HH:MM.DDD format and range from a miniscule 00:00.010 to an enormous 21:28.280 in length. File sizes are precisely measured using Mebibytes (MiB) and range from 0.0003 to 19.6574 MiB.
GameSound utilizes the IEZA framework, a two dimensional method of describing sound in computer games. Designed by Sander Huiberts and Richard van Tol at the Utrecht School of the Arts, the IEZA framework provides ludologists with a customized vocabulary for audio classification.
IEZA’s first dimension makes a distinction between diegetic and non-diegetic sound and is conceptualised by categorizing audio as either experienced within the pure game environment (as related to the storyline) or beyond (breaking the “fourth wall,” so to speak). The second dimension makes a distinction between sound related to the activity and setting within the game. Four domains are formed across these two axes: Interface, Effect, Zone and Affect.
As GameSound uses Tab Separate Value (TSV) files for import and export, data visualization is possible both through HEURIST as well as spreadsheet software such as Excel and Google Sheets. These types of visual analysis can range from simple charts to more complex arrangements of data.
As GameSound moves forward, we will be experimenting with dynamic data visualizations within HEURIST, allowing users to access and customize how they interact with the database.