RPG Magic Sound Effects Tutorial

Posted at 04:00 on 1st August 2019 by WOW Sound in Game Audio Tips and Tricks


How to use our Magic Sound Effect Series: What does the layers and naming convention mean?

How Does it Work?


Let us quickly run through what went through our minds while designing these spells!

We wanted to create our magic sounds in the various short section so you can mix and match any magic sounds to sync to your animation. Usually, the magic sound effects we created for our clients come in 1-3 different parts and more depending on the nature of the spell. 


Have a look at this gif from the game, The Alchemist Code. In this example, I would likely separate the magic spell sound into three parts.

Part 1 – ‘Cast’ sound is triggered when the character cast the spell

Part 2 – ‘Shoot’ sound triggers when the spell is shot


Part 3 – The ‘End’ sound could be a buff, a debuff or a heal sound depending on your magic spell. If the spell hits a target, I will chose an ‘Impact’ sound! 🙂


We will advise triggering the sounds in parts so it syncs better to the animation.
Having one long audio file to playback the whole magic animation
 can easily go off-sync when the game lags.






What’s in RPG Magic SFX?

→ For the first category of sounds – Basic_Attacks_Impacts‘ folder

The sounds in this folders are mainly for ‘impacts‘/(Part 3) in a game, and the swooshes are for when the spells are being ‘shot‘(Part 2). Most of the sounds here have a few similar variations so that it wouldn’t sound too repetitive when the sound gets triggered often. Although it may be the same action, usually there will be a few sound variations for each action, or you could change the pitch slightly in your game engine to create variation as well.


→ For the second category of sounds – Spells folder

The sounds here are the main building blocks for creating the magic spells.

1. Sounds with the word ‘Cast‘ in them like ‘Postive_Small_Cast_01’, ‘Positive_Large_Cast_01’, are meant to be used to start, cast or
charge the spell.
2. Sounds with the word ‘End’/’Impact‘ are intended to end off the spell and only be triggered when it hits the target.
3. Sounds with the word ‘Loop‘, means the sound is loopable so if you have a spell that ‘continues’ for a period of time/loops.
 (It would be good to let the loop sound fade in and fade out when the magic effect stops.)

Most of the sounds (buffs, debuff, heal, revives) here could be used as a standalone sound, or be used as a part 2 or part 3 of the spell.


For the final third and fourth category of sounds – ‘Misc‘ folder & ‘Music‘ Folder

They are more for notifications in games as suggested by the name of the sound file. We also threw in a piece of free music to help you get started on your game!




Next, let’s look at RPG Magic 2

For RPG Magic 2, it has the same concept as the first magic pack, but with even more designed parts and elemental sounds.

In this new RPG magic 2, we also designed many more retro magic sounds like in the earlier Final Fantasy series such as FF7-9. We have more designed magic sounds with even more different parts and even combo sounds, which we will be delving into greater details!


→ For the first category of sounds – Basic Whooshes folder

They are useful for any ‘movement’ sound – when the game character swings their wands or when a spell is being ‘shot’ and even when the game character jump and leaps into the air.


→ The second category of sounds – Basic_Magic_Attacks_Impacts folder

Similar to the ‘Basic_Attacks_Impacts’ folder in RPG Magic SFX 1. The sounds in this folder are an expansion to pack 1 and is also mainly for ‘impacts‘/(Part 3) in a game. What’s the main difference in this new RPG Magic SFX 2 impact folder, is that we included ‘Combo’ sounds. Sound files with a ‘C’ at the end means they can be used as a combo sound progression.


Listen to the example above: S4_Magic_Attack_Combo_FULL_Heavy_End (which has 5 parts to the sound)
S4_Magic_Attack_C0_Skill_Trigger.wav
S4_Magic_Attack_C1.wav
S4_Magic_Attack_C2.wav
S4_Magic_Attack_C3.wav
S4_Magic_Attack_C4_Heavier.wav


→ Third category of sounds – DucVu_Spells_SFX_[Video_Demo_1]
and Se-uk_Jeong_Spells_SFX_[Video_Demo_3] designed magic folders

These spells were designed based on two different Game FX Showreel. Each of these magic spells has a ‘FULL‘ version where all the sounds are combined into one long wav file, and their various sound ‘parts’ and variation. It’s up to you if you want to use them all together or as a single magic spell or mix and match them and combine them with other sounds from other folders!

Some of the files also have the word ‘Cast‘, ‘Shoot‘, ‘Impact‘ in them which works the same way as mentioned at the start of the post.




Example of a magic spell in the Designed Magic Folder:
Hell_Sword_Strike_Cast_1_Sword.wav
Hell_Sword_Strike_Cast_1.wav
Hell_Sword_Strike_Cast_2.wav
Hell_Sword_Strike_Cast_3.wav
Hell_Sword_Strike_Cast_Long.wav
Hell_Sword_Strike_FULL.wav
Hell_Sword_Strike_Impact_1.wav
Hell_Sword_Strike_Impact_2.wav
Hell_Sword_Strike_Impacts.wav


→ The fourth category of sounds – The ‘Long Spells‘ and ‘Short Spells‘ folders

The spells in these folders are inspired by magic spells found in Japanese RPG games in the 1990s. The ‘P’ in the P1-P4 of certain sound file stands for ‘Part’, it’s a suggested order you could use to craft your spell. → ‘Part 1’ would come first and ‘Part 4’ would be triggered last within the same spell.

The ‘v’ stands for variation of the same spell, for example, ‘S2_Medium_End_Impact_2_v1’ and ‘S2_Medium_End_Impact_2_v2’. The sound is similar but with a slight variation.

To help you get started, we group some suggested magic sounds that works well with each other.
S1 to S7, sounds with the same prefix has a similar sound theme


S1 Example:
S1_Small_Cast_P1.wav
S1_Small_Cast_P2.wav
S1_Small_End_P3_Buff_1.wav
S1_Small_End_P3_Buff_2.wav
S1_Small_End_P3_Buff_3.wav
S1_Small_End_P3_Debuff_1.wav
S1_Small_End_P3_Debuff_2.wav
S1_Subtle_Shield_1.wav
S1_Subtle_Shield_2.wav

→ The final category of sounds – The Elemental_Magic_Layers_Impacts‘ and ‘Misc‘ folders

We added some elemental sounds to this sound pack, they are pretty straight forward as suggested by the names. There’s some electric, fire, plant, water and wind sound for you to layer them on top of any magic spells you have created or use them as a standalone skill.

The Misc folder includes notification sounds like UI Skill trigger (think Disgaea 5, a skill trigger SFX is played before a character cast a skill), MP potion, Hp potion, and Epic Boss Death SFX (imagine wind and magic circling the final boss as it breathes out its last breath!)






Lastly, we have RPG Magic 3 [Elemental]

The way RPG Magic 3 works is very similar to RPG Magic 1 and 2

The FULL versions, casts, ends, impacts works the same way. However, in this RPG Magic 3, we categorized the sounds by elements. We envision each magic element as a RPG game character with a variety of magic spells from basic attacks to normal to epic spells.

→ The 9 Elements – DARK, ELECTRIC, FIRE, GENERIC, ICE, LIGHT, PLASMA, WATER & WIND

Each magic element has a comprehensive set of 70 - 80+ sounds, ranging from casts, buffs, debuffs, basic attacks,
 critical impacts, projectiles, attack missed, and unique elemental spells, all within a folder.

Ice Magic Example:
Projectile → Light/Heavy Impacts with Final Impacts (critical) OR Missed Attacks

Ice Magic Projectiles :
*Use these sounds when your character shoots a spell!
RPG3_IceMagic_Projectiles01.wav
RPG3_IceMagic_Projectiles02.wav
RPG3_IceMagic_Projectiles03.wav
RPG3_IceMagic_Projectiles04_Epic.wav

Ice Magic Impacts with Critical & Final Impact:
RPG3_IceMagic2_LightImpact01.wav
RPG3_IceMagic2_LightImpact02.wav
RPG3_IceMagic2_LightImpact03.wav
RPG3_IceMagic2_LightImpact04Crit.wav
RPG3_IceMagic2_LightImpact04Critv2_Longer.wav
RPG3_IceMagic2_LightImpact05_Final.wav
*Use this for critical or final impacts or the final combo hit!

Plasma Missed Attack (optional) :
*Use these sounds when the impact misses!
RPG3_IceMagicMisc_AttackMissed01.wav
RPG3_IceMagicMisc_AttackMissed02.wav
RPG3_IceMagicMisc_AttackMissed03.wav

Watch the Ice Magic Demo




Child of Light Sound Re-design

→ Using RPG Magic Sound Effect Packs

In this video, we’ll show you how we choose, edit, and layer our sounds from the RPG Magic Sound Effect Packs!




That’s all we have for the tutorial on how to use the RPG Magic sound packs! A final tip on how to design a nice-sounding magic spell is to let your sound combination have a good balance of the low, mid and high frequencies unless you are going for a dramatic effect!

We hope that this tutorial has been useful to you and if you still have any questions, feel free to email us at [email protected]! 🙂 


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