Guide Game Audio 101

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Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Written by B. Long Edited by Devin Monnens and Lorenz Rychner The author makes no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaims any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose and shall in no event be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damage, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

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Sector 1 What the Beep? The Mobile Landscape This was my life for a solid 10 years. My very first 'studio' consisted of the Roland VS- , which was a digital 8-track with a 2-inch non-backlit LCD screen. Mixing on this thing was like brushing your teeth with a tree branch, but hey, it was digital baby! I got used to being surrounded by bleeding-edge technology and noticed that the game industry was leading the pack.

This book reveals the challenges one faces when trying to make a game sound awesome. It is often these challenges that bring out the best results. I hope to shed some light on the various challenges mobile game developers face these days. Creating audio for games is, in my opinion, the highest form of sonic expression. Nowhere else in audio production do you see this kind of creative freedom. Game Audio is more challenging than any other form of music or sound creation. Because you watch your favorite movie maybe 5 times tops, where as a favorite game can easily be played hundreds of times.

This means the audio must not only entertain, but it must do it again and again for the same person. Many of the challenges faced in video game development in the s came full circle and returned to mobile. Creating custom music, sound and dialogue content for video games requires patience and a willingness to work within technical limitations.

This guide was written not only for composers and sound designers but also game developers. Not everyone has a sound designer or composer at their disposal. The Mobile Landscape The mobile industry moves fast, and games are often developed at breakneck speeds. Audio is often overlooked as developers race to release their product. Think about how long it takes for a next-gen console to come out?

Mobile Can creativity be taught? The smartphone has indeed become a magical device, introducing games to a whole new audience. It seems the smartphone may soon outpace the toothbrush as a standard household item! There are a multitude of mobile devices on the market, but as far as games are concerned, the platform usually falls in one these flavors: iPhone iOS Apple - The iPhone, iPod-Touch and the iPad account for the vast majority of games and apps being downloaded today.

This OS was released in with the iPhone and has introduced mobile games to the masses. Apple has gone to great lengths to make the entire audio experience smooth and appealing. This close attention to design detail is just another reason why the iPhone has been so well received. Android OS Google - Android was released in and is quickly saturating the market, accounting for the majority of new phones being sold today.

Android has a real future in the gaming realm. Google actually handed out free Droid and Nexus One phones to all attendees of GDC to get them more involved with the platform. Windows Phone 7 Microsoft — Windows Mobile first hit the scene in and has evolved into the current version which is part of the Windows Phone 7 line of devices. Although, the phone and platform are brand new, features like Xbox-Live integration hold great promise.

Game Audio 101: Demystifying Game Audio - 1. Introduction

These feature low-res graphics and sound, mainly due to the severe lack of space, system resources and computing power. These phones tend to cater more to the business crowd and have a weak presence in the gaming world. The truth is that all mobile gaming platforms need quality audio if they hope to compete in the growing marketplace. This content can be menu sounds, music, ambience and dialogue content. Developers are primarily occupied with the code, art and design, which is a huge task in itself.

Most game developers outsource the production of new music and sound to a professional composer or sound designer.

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They know that it will make their game that much more unique. They require an intensely unique experience and original audio plays a major role. Nothing in life is silent either. Sure, dead silence has its place in interactive media, but for the most part…games need audio. Applitainment The line between games and apps has been blurred.

If it has the element of interactivity, then it can benefit from sound. The lessons learned in mobile game development apply to all apps. Applitainment is a word I use to describe how even the most boring applications now have an element of entertainment. All of this came from the game industry.

Audio Summit

Consumers these days expect apps to have captivating sights and sounds. Developers are taking advantage of better graphics and audio to heighten the appeal of their apps. There is an endless list of non-game apps that are prime targets for original audio. A few that come to mind are astronomy, educational, exercise, bird watching and the list goes on. These products use everything from bird chirps to dialogue to swirling soundscapes and music. A little more time spent listening can be a big help. Sometimes developers find content that works but maybe the volume is too loud.

Small changes like this can make a HUGE impact and heighten the playability of a game. Remember that a game should sound good on multiple listens. Since pre-existing content cannot be changed, we are limited to basic volume adjustments and other manipulations via the game engine.

One interesting thing developers can do is pitch shifting the file from within the game code. This option gives them much more control over the final sound. Revisions to the music or sounds can be requested and this means they can get several versions to choose from.

Game Audio Lode Runner Goes-

These final selections can then be tweaked until everyone is happy. Game Sound Basics 1. Splash screen at launch 2. Game Title Screen 3.

Game Audio General Info and Links

Menu Screen The very first opportunity for audible content appears at game launch. Often times, 9. This heightens impact and gives the company a professional image. Typically, the game title screen will come next, followed by the main menu screen. Sometimes these two are combined into one screen. The main menu will almost always have sounds for the UI User Interface. Even something as subtle as a navigation button needs quality sound. Usually, a simple click or bubble pop is used, depending on the game. However, you can also use musical notes or even a spoken word or phrase. There can also be ambience and music in the menu background.