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Pair-Dice Dating: Sentenced to Die

Created in 48 hours by a team of 8 friends for the GMTK Game Jam 2022, ending up as the 19th highest rated game out of more than 6200 submissions. 

This is a quirky dating sim where you roll word-dice to impress your dates with the goal of continuing on to the afterlife with one of them.

The short but very intense process of creating this game taught me a lot - not only about sound design, but also about the amazing potential of a project where the team has clear communication between disciplines and makes space for the strengths of each team member.


Voice Design

While creating Pair-Dice Dating, I wanted to try out some new things and make sure to learn as much as I could in as little time as possible. One thing in particular that I set up as a challenge for myself was the dialogue voices - they are heavily inspired by the dialogue in the Animal Crossing games as well as Celeste.

Designing a unique voice that fits for each of the different characters was very interesting and rewarding. Luminarie's voice harmonizing with the background music, Shade sounding otherworldly and annoyed, Oscupp's nervous and bouncy voice, Kimty talking very fast and energetic and Nanako's cute and kind voice are all things I am very happy with. Their voices give nuance to their unique personalities, which of course is very important in a dating sim where the main objective is choosing your favourite.

I created the voices for Kimty, Oscupp and the player character from recordings of my own voice, and one of our artists provided me with the material i needed to create Shade's and Nanako's by recording herself. Luminarie's voice was created by editing notes from vocal sample instrument.

Shade Voice Original Material
00:00 / 00:42
Nanako Voice Original Material
00:00 / 00:29

Heads up - this file has rather high volume

Sound design

The sound design in Pair-Dice Dating focuses mainly two points; providing the player with feedback in a fun and helpful way, as well as building a cozy and cartoony soundscape for the land of Pairgatory.

Examples of how the sounds provide feedback are how they reflect the reactions of your date when you make a statement. It will clearly tell you if they liked what you just said or not, or if they feel neutral about it. When a date is over, the sound effects will clearly communicate what the result was.

When you complete all four dates you will hear the great gate unlock, indicating where you should head next.

Date Positive Reaction
00:00 / 00:02
Date Negative Reaction
00:00 / 00:01
Date Neutral Reaction
00:00 / 00:02
Date Success
00:00 / 00:04
Date Failure
00:00 / 00:04
Gate Open
00:00 / 00:08
Pickup Dice
00:00 / 00:02
00:00 / 00:01
UI Button 1
00:00 / 00:02
UI Button 2
00:00 / 00:02

The soundscape as a whole mirrors the visual and narrative aesthetics; cute, light-hearted and cartoony.

Date Start
00:00 / 00:06

Additionally, there are sounds that don't convey concrete information in the same sense, but still provide feedback to the player. Actions such as jumping, collecting extra dice and picking which ones to use in your sentences are emphasized and feel satisfying in this way.


At first, I wanted to make the music use a randomizer-system that would pick different melodies and instruments at random (though still make sense musically and sound good), as a nod to the theme of 2022's GMTK game jam - Roll of the Dice. However, only having 48 hours to make the entire game meant that this idea had to be cut in favor of other sound tasks.

Still, I was determined to make something that had some variation to it so that it would convey different moods and stay interesting over longer periods of gameplay. It is, after all, the only music in the game and a full playthrough will have it loop multiple times.

The song moves through synths, jazzy piano solos and playful electronic beats before reaching the chill and paradise island-like chorus. It also subtly incorporates the same vocal instrument that Luminarie's voice is made from, as if she would be the one performing, tying the song to the game world. I had a lot of fun making this song in a very short time, and it characterizes the game well!

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