One thing we’ve been wanting to do since we first launched Gnome Stew is have a contest for our readers — and here we are with our first contest!
Last week I promised that the prizes would be surprising. We’ve never seen a contest like this one on any other gaming site, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer something this unique to our readers.
World oF Twilights Studio
Gnome Stew reader PaPeRoTTo (Giorgio Vezzini in the real world) is a sound engineer who creates custom sound effects for his own game, and he recently started a company, World oF Twilights Studio , to do the same thing for your games.
Giorgio does great work, and listening to his effects its easy to see how much they would add to a gaming session, especially when it comes to immersing your players in the game world. Listen for yourself — here are some samples of Giorgio’s sound effects (all direct links to MP3s):
- Walking through a field  (complete with birds and a wagon going by)
- Sentry turret showdown  (shades of Aliens)
- A classic demonic voice 
- Ambient background: aboard a wrecked space station  (awesome!)
- The stone gargoyle awakens 
(If for some reason a link won’t load, copy and paste the link into your browser’s address bar — that should do the trick.)
Want Giorgio to design a set of custom sound effects for your next session? Read on!
Gnome Stew is giving you a chance to win three custom sound effect packages courtesy of PaPeRoTTo and World oF Twilights Studio :
- 1st Prize: 2 scenes featuring 5 layers, 1 scene with 3 layers, 2 SFX and 2 adjustments.
- 2nd Prize: 1 scene with 5 layers, 1 scene with 3 layers, 2 SFX and 2 adjustments.
- 3rd Prize: 1 scene with 5 layers, 1 SFX and 1 adjustment.
I’m not a sound engineer, so I asked Giorgio to spell all that out for me. Here’s what each of those terms means:
Scene: A sound file with multiple elements — for example, running footsteps on a metal floor, the heavy breathing of the runners, the rumble of the boulder they’re running away from, a villain’s cackling laughter and the clanking of machinery in the background.
Layer: One sound element within a scene. The example above includes five layers.
SFX: A simple, reusable sound “unit,” like the crackle of a fireball or the rattle of machine gun fire.
Adjustment: A change made to any of the above. Want louder fire for your fireball, or a deeper laugh for the villain? That’s an adjustment.
How to Enter
We made entering this contest so easy it’s criminal:
- Register  for a free account on Gnome Stew. Make sure the email address you use is valid, since winners will be notified by email (change it here  if you need to). If you already have an account, skip this step!
- Leave a comment on this post. Seriously — that’s all you have to do. We’d love to know how you use sound effects in your game, or what you’d do with a custom effects package if you won, but any comment counts as your entry.
Not registered on the Stew? Read our comment policy and register .
Multiple comments are welcome, but you can only enter once. (And Gnome Stew authors aren’t eligible to win, obviously.)
And We’re Off!
This contest will run from today until 11:59 PM (MST) on Monday, September 1st, 2008. (Edit: Oops — I put 12:01 AM before, but my intention was to give everyone all day on Monday, not just one minute of it. I’ve changed the deadline to 11:59 PM.)
We’ll announce our three randomly selected winners in a separate post on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008. Each winner will also be contacted via email, and we’ll put them in touch with PaPeRoTTo directly so that they can claim their prizes.
Good luck, be sure to check out World oF Twilights Studio  — and get commenting!