THE Sound Effects CD everyone should have!

Discussion in 'Music & Sound Portfolios' started by Tom Gilleland, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Tom Gilleland

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    A Zillion Sounds 2.0 - Windows or Mac

    We've been writing games and educational titles since 1990. The second product we ever made was "A Zillion Sounds" some 50 titles ago. Now we mostly write games and we have used this goofy CD on every single game that we have made. Basically, it is a collection of over 5,000 sounds, organized into 70 categories. We wrote a Windows and Mac browser so that you can type in keywords to find a set of matching sounds, and then try them out and copy the ones you want to your hard drive.

    The sounds are all Royalty-Free, and you can use them in your games all you want. And you don't have to worry about any copyrighted stuff because we made them all in-house. And the CD is only $19.95. You can read more or buy it at our site:

    http://www.beachware.com/clip.htm

    We do still contract out music for our games, but for sounds this CD is all that we need. Well, I guess we do use a sound editor program to combine or change sounds.... just get the CD, it will save you a ton of time! And just think, you're helping us fund our next game, I have a good one coming! :)

    Tom
    ___________________
    BeachWare
     
  2. Rainer Deyke

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    I have this CD. Out of 5000 sound files, I've used maybe 20, and found another 100 or so potentially useful for the future. One problem is that many sounds are too long and/or contain too many elements mixed together. For example, a single footstep sound would be more useful than the longish sound files of somebody walking, although that particular case can be fixed by isolating a single footstep in a sound editor. For a large percentage of the sounds, I can't imagine any use at all.

    Still, given the price, I don't regret purchasing this sound collection at all. Right now about half of the sound effects I use are from this collection. (The other half I recorded myself.)
     
  3. stanchat

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    Do you have a downloadable version of this product? It seems pretty cool but I hate waiting to have things like this shipped, I would prefer to just download.

    Also do you have any samples?
     
  4. Tom Gilleland

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    Sounds

    The CD is around 550 megs of sound files, so that would be a big download. I've been considering putting together an online sound site that contains the whole collection. Then make a search tool where you could go through the keyword index. And also hear the sound online. Then people could buy sounds at a buck a sound. Does anyone think this would be useful?

    Also, there are some freebie sample "Classy Clicks" up at our site at:

    http://beachware.com/stuff.htm

    Tom
    ____________
    BeachWare
     
  5. ManuelFLara

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    Useful for you to make big money, maybe, but I highly doubt anyone will pay $1 per sound (making the whole collection over $5k) when you're selling it at $19.95, that's just insane.
     
  6. Tom Gilleland

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    I was thinking people might want to buy 4 or 5 sounds for a buck each, but if they wanted more than 20 they would buy the whole CD for $19.95. The other advantages are that you can download a few sounds right away, and you don't have to worry about copyrighted content that you might find elsewhere on the net.

    I could sell the whole 550 meg collection for $19.95 as a download. But that's a big download that I think most people would not want to do, or even be able to do. Even compressed it is still pretty big. Does anyone sell things on the web as big downloads? 50 meg is about as big as I've seen.

    Just an idea...

    Tom
     
  7. stanchat

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    No biggie about the downloadable version. Around the holidays, I try to avoid having things shipped to my house. For every $20 item I buy, my wife thinks it is a greenlight for her to order $200 on-line.:p

    In terms of size 550Megs is big but some of the MS service packs are around 200Megs also.

    If you want you can send me your email and I can pay using PayPal.


    Check out soundrangers.com also. They are doing what you are talking about
     
  8. ErikH2000

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    I've got a 70mb downloadable. There are a few complaints now and then about difficulties downloading.

    I'd download the 550 meg thing. A lot of us with DSL and cable modems would have little trouble with it as long as the server is reliable or supports download resume. It would be good if you could split the downloads up into multiple files though--perhaps by category. Of course, you might not be able to do that without some fancy web programming.

    Hmm. I love these cheap sound effects collections. I'll put this on my Christmas wish list.

    -Erik
     
  9. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    Plus, you'd be surprised how much a cd full of WAV files would zip down to. Wave files are pretty well compressible depending on the quality.
     
  10. Tom Gilleland

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    The PC disc was smaller than the Mac, weighing in at 348 meg. It zipped down to 191 meg. Okay, I'll add downloads as well as CDs to my website. I already do that for smaller titles, but it seems that big ones are fine also. It seems that pretty soon everyone will buy ALL their software online instead of retail or mail order.

    I've spent so many years selling thru Retail and Mail Order that I need to change my mindset.

    Tom
     
  11. Kestral

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    This has piqued my interest, as I am getting near to putting sounds into my project. I need lots of explosions, gunfire, jet sounds and laser blasts. Is there a list available for the 5000 sounds? Or at least a count of the categories, such as "80 sound files in the 'explosion' folder"? I looked on your website briefly and did not see one.
     
  12. ErikH2000

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    Yeah, ditto here--it would be more persuasive to have a full list of categories with a count of samples in each one. Although I admit that the price is cheap enough, and the screenshots indicative of the content, that I'm willing to risk a purchase without knowing.

    -Erik
     
  13. gosub

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    Ditto. You should have a low quality free demo download, which doesn't need to include all 5000 sounds. Then provide a way to download the full CD for $19.95, which would be faster than mail for most of us.

    -Jeremy
     
  14. Tom Gilleland

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    Okay, I just cataloged the sound file names and posted them on my site. You can find a link in the end of the product description located here:

    http://www.beachware.com/clip.htm

    It will just display a text file in your browser like this:

    :Aliens 9,043,968
    ::agony.AIF 487,061
    ::agreemnt.AIF 43,091
    ::ALFLOCK.AIF 147,031
    ::FNFF.AIF 6,145
    ::FNFFOW.AIF 18,763

    When you see one colon, it denotes the category. Two colons is the sound filename. Many of the sounds didn't have good names so we spelled the sound out phonetically. There's some term for this, but I forget what you call that naming convension. So the sound called FNFFOW sounds kind of like you would say it.

    Explosions are in the War and BoomBang categories, short ones might be found in the Beeps. You need to use the browser and search on multiple words. One of my favorite sounds that I made, and never did get to use was called "Baltron Rocket". I'll be expecting to hear it in one of your games! ;)

    Tom
     
  15. stanchat

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    I bought and downloaded the CD today (191MB compressed). The sounds are decent. The browser app is a little dated, (vbrun300.dll required).

    Here is a link to the text file with all the files listed:

    http://tccons.com/sounds.txt
     
  16. Sysiphus

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    wow, such a load.

    If human voices are good, it seems quite interesting...

    Well, it looks quite interesting anyway.
     
  17. stanchat

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    I played with it some more last night and I must say it has some good stuff within the 5,000 sounds. This is worth the money in my opinion.
     
  18. Leper

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    I doubt you had anyone check all 5,000 of them and make sure they are ALL USEFUL and very flexible and still sell it for $19.95. Its more like.. Alright lets put 5,000 sounds on a CD and make sure atleast a portion are very good and then sell it for $19.95 (which is reasonable dont get me wrong) People get to pay a low price and get 5,000 sounds? Whats not bad about that? Yes, I say this is a great deal!

    BUT....

    I'd rather pay $49.95 for a CD with 1,000 or even LESS samples on it knowing I wouldnt have to waste my precious time searching for hidden gems!! I Say, put all the hidden gems on one CD and sell it for a greater price. Let your hard efforts and intensive labor into placing all USEFUL sounds on ONE CD increase the value of the package!!! Thus, you would increase your reputation, and increase your sales in the long run!!!

    Sure, you might sell a load of CDs for $19.95 but I think the CD is more going to be "hit or miss" on folks and you'll probably make a quick buck and that's it. Increase the use of the CD, and decrease the frustration browsing and finding the hidden gems and you'll have something that will be recommended among friends!!
     
    #18 Leper, Nov 29, 2005
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2005
  19. Tom Gilleland

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    We recorded and created almost all these sounds. I made version 1.0 way back in 1991 when BeachWare was just me in back room of an apartment. It was the second CD I ever made. In fact, I didn't even own a CD-ROM drive yet, and I created the whole title on a hard drive and drove it up to the disc duplicator. As soon as I had sold enough Zillion Sounds CDs I went out and bought a $500 CD-ROM drive. That disc had 2,000 sounds. That's how many would fit on a hybrid PC/Macintosh disc since the sounds were in different formats for either platform.

    The goal of the product was quantity and variety. There were other competing products on the market that had maybe 100 stereo sounds, but I wanted to make sure this product would dominate over any existing product. I've always thought that you can take any product, make it WAY better, and you will succeed. Look at the path of most of the casual games. As pertaining to USEFULLNESS of sounds, it's hard to tell what people want. I had spent many days at the zoo recording animal sounds that I thought would not be very useful. Later, I licensed the animal section of sounds to Claris for their product "Claris Works for Kids". I think I made $20,000+ in royalties on that deal.

    By version 2.0 we had expanded to my garage and I had a couple employees by then. We made another 2,500 sounds and we bought about 500 from a friend developer who made little games. He had been saving all his game sounds in a library to use for new games. I've always thought of Zillion Sounds as more of a BeachWare development content library, instead of a product to sell. At some later date we also upadated the Mac browser for OSX. The older PC browser seems to still work fine. (If it works, leave it alone.)

    When we get extra some time between game development, we'll probably put this collection up online in some form. Extra time, right! :rolleyes:

    Tom
     
  20. Leper

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    Hey Tom,

    I loved reading your success story and I can tell that it seems accurate seeing your website. I also think 19.95 is a great deal! But seriously.. Five thousand sounds!!?!??! 19.95?? (too good to be true alarm goes off here)

    Why would you need 5,000 sounds to make a game library. I mean I can't imagine anyone would need that many for a game library?

    Are the sounds repetitive? Is it like elephant1.wav elephant2.wav elephant3.wav? boing1.wav boing2.wav boing3.wav? etc? etc?

    Of course, if you get 5,000 sounds for 19.95 and they're all good you just hit a gold mine.. If you get 5,000 sounds for 19.95 and you're able to use them to make a few games you've made a steal! If you get 5,000 sounds for 19.95 and you are able to make just one game, you still made out good. Regardless I think its a good deal :)

    I'm a sound-man myself (I make my own samples, etc) but hey.. Its fun to get loads of other samples and see what meshing and playing with them makes! So I'm gonna get me one of those CD's as soon as my credit card debt goes away :p
     

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