Last time we talked about Open Source licenses, but now we enter the realm of game development, more precisely audio a feature that is ignored more that it should be.

Following the license trend, have you ever asked yourself if you have permission to play mp3 audio in your games?

This may surprise most of you, but yes, we actually need a license to play mp3 in our games.

Check mp3licensing.com for more info.

Ok, don’t panic just yet, mp3 is not the only option for our games and most of the alternatives work pretty well in a broad range of game engines and platforms.

OGG Vorbis

An open source audio format of good quality and for all purposes. Unity supports it, for instance.

“The Ogg Vorbis specification is in the public domain. It is completely free for commercial or noncommercial use.”

Opus

Another open source option, this is used for VOIP and I’m not aware of its usage in the game industry. Still, it may be a good option to use in Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games.

MOD and XM module

Two file formats from module files family. They are not so powerful as ogg and mp3 but are handy and royalty-free. You can use tools like MilkyTracker to create them, but this might get troublesome since its quite an old format and there are only a few not so new editors.

Nevertheless an option is an option.

.wav

Even though people are inclined to dismiss wave files, they are good for something, don’t underestimate them. My sound effects are produced in wave files, yet I don’t use them for background music since they are quite heavy and can get out of control in size really quick.

That is it for now, those are the free options I have to share.

Know any I didn’t mention? Share it in the comments, along with any other ideas you might want to share. See ya!