As Starcrossed undergoes the final polish and QA phase, I made sure all the game’s licenses were in order. One trouble: during development, I bought many sound effects from places like Sound Rangers and only ended up using half of them. I have an “assets” spreadsheet that lists all of the sounds I used and where I got them from. But one of Starcrossed’s sound effects wasn’t on the list.
I searched everywhere trying to find where this sound came from. But it was renamed from its original filename, and I’d obviously mucked with it — I’d reduced the file size, and I’d also probably tweaked the sound in ACID Studio. But where was the original file? I have no idea. There’s no trail for it.
My big fear was that it was a temporary sound that I’d grabbed from somewhere on the web, and forgotten to replace with a licensed sound effect. That didn’t seem too likely, but it might be the case… after all, I had no idea where the sound came from! So I had to make a last-minute replacement. And the replacement sound effect wasn’t quite right, so I had to muck with it a while to get it to sound okay. Wasted time, wasted money.
Moral: don’t be stupid. Err, I mean, keep a strict track of all your assets! For my next project, I’m going to print out the invoice email for every sound I buy, and stick those emails into a file folder. That way even if my asset spreadsheet goes awry, there’ll be a paper trail to try to figure out where things went wrong.