Game Audio at GDC 2019 Asbjoern Andersen


Like an alarm clock that rings and throws you bolt-upright out of bed, this year’s Game Developers Conference is swiftly upon us. Packed with more presentations that you can shake a stick at, this year’s hot tips focus on things happening outside the conference and are (mostly) accessible to anyone in San Francisco who is up for some good ol’ game audio. Here’s what’s happening!


Guest post by Damian Kastbauer



 
Sunday, February 26th
DesigningSound.Org Meetup
4:00pm-7:00pm

Maybe you’re hitting the town early, soaking up the San Francisco ambience. If you’re not too busy exploring the Musée Mécanique or drifting away with the Wave Organ, drop by the DesigningSound.org meetup on Sunday afternoon and kick the week off celebrating the scene with some of the folks behind this incredible resource.

RSVP recommended but not required. Details here.

Monday through Saturday
Sightglass Game Audio Podcast Meetups
7:00am-9:00am

Arriving bleary-eyed at 7am for coffee and conversation during the week at GDC is the best/worst thing you could do for yourself throughout the conference. Best, because the brew at Sightglass (7th & Folsom) is worth talking about for the rest of the year. They also allow a motley crew of game audio folks to ascend to their 2nd floor balcony and hold court and wax philosophically about the unfolding day’s game audio epiphanies. Worst, because 7-9am amirite? (I bet you don’t have anything else scheduled during that time though, do you?)

 
 
Monday through Friday
Carousel Con
Lunchtime (Behind the Carousel on the Grassy Knoll)
12:00pm-2:00pm

Brown-bag your way behind the carousel on the corner of 4th & Howard to the concrete stairs for an informal gathering of folks bursting with inspiration. This is a chance to stretch out in the sun (hopefully), grab a bite, and soak up some of the knowledge folks have gleaned throughout the morning’s presentations or adventures. Some of my favorite memories have come from deep conversations shared by anyone and everyone who coagulates. (Bonus points for the mass carousel ride at the end of Friday’s lunchtime.)
This year marks the first Carousel Con, a micro-talk formatted conference that will take place simultaneously off in a corner of the area and will feature speakers sharing their game audio knowledge (in short-form 10 minute bursts) with a circle of interested people. Organized by Matthew Marteinsson, Mike Csurics, Fryda Wolff (and a little help from me), there will be buttons, ribbons, and opportunities for folks to walk up and submit a talk for a chance to jump on the stump and share your passions.

Tuesday, February 28th
Audio Bootcamp
10:00am-6:00pm

Tuesday’s Audio Bootcamp signals the official start of the Audio Track at GDC and is a powerhouse of professionals prepared to submerge the packed room in a comprehensive game audio master class. Matthew Lee Johnston kicks it off with an alarm call for audio developers in his talk titled “GREAT AUDIO DESIGN: BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY” followed quickly by Tomas Neumann (one of the audio programmers on Overwatch) breaking down “AUDIO TECH 101”. We’re then treated to a presentation by Steve Green, Lead Sound Designer and Music Implementor, which leverages his experience on ABZÛ titled “INTERACTIVE MUSIC APPROACHES”. This takes us right into the “LUNCHTIME SURGERIES” where tables full of bootcamp attendees have an opportunity to chat casual-like with all of the presenters while noshing.

The afternoon lineup has some wonders to share! Khris Brown gets the crowd revved up with “FIGHTING LEGOS: AUDIO CHOREOGRAPHY FOR BATTLE DESIGN” which promises to be a workout of vocalization sound, and then Matt Piersall will demonstrate “PERFORMANCE BASED SOUND DESIGN” drawing from his experience creating sound for AAA games. One of the forerunners of VR Audio, Sally Kellaway, will be speaking on “APPROACHING AND DESIGNING AUDIO FOR INTERACTIVE VR APPLICATIONS” and will be sharing experience gleaned from her time working in VR, and then Leonard Paul will bring his considerable expertise as a game composer and educator to explain “DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO GAME MUSIC”. Rounding out the day is Bonnie Bogovich and her presentation “PARTY OF ONE: HOW TO BE ‘THE AUDIO DEPARTMENT'”. All-in-all, a tremendous breadth of information from every corner of the game audio universe. All of these are absolute musts!

 

Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
  • Animals & Creatures Amazon Jungle Play Track 49 sounds included, 357 mins total From: $95 From: $66.50

    Amazon Jungle is a collection of unique ambiences recorded in the Amazon rainforest on the border between Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. The library was recorded during the rainy season when birds are vocal and humidity is at its highest. These recordings feature species such as the Screaming Piha, Toucans, Howler Monkeys, Trogons, Tinamous, Owls, very vocal Bamboo Rats and a multitude of insects and frogs.

    30 %
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  • Destruction & Impact Just Impacts Bundle Play Track 1434+ sounds included $183 $146.40

    This bundle includes these libraries from the popular Just Impact series:

    Just Impacts – Simple
    Just Impacts – Processed
    Just Impacts – Designed
    Just Impacts – Extension I
    Just Impacts – Extension II

    – at a great discount!

    20 %
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  • Military TANK T-44 Play Track $149

    Tank T-44: The great hulking mass that would spell doom for the Red Army’s enemies has been captured in all its glory trudging along, with every turn of its metal treads and gears recorded masterfully.

    The sound capture equipment used were best-in-breed Neumann U87 and Schoeps M4 microphones, and the tank’s authoritative rumbles and clangs were recorded from various positions, and at various speeds as the treads grip the ground and transfer the power of its mighty engine, transmission, and parts. There are also stereo recordings for the tank’s engine and the tank’s exhaust pipe.

    We at Flysound have dusted off the cobwebs and taken this 30 tonne beast for several victory laps to record its belligerent brilliance. The T-44: one of the great patriotic tanks! In a time when action productions are all to often devolving into the fake and unrealistic, this sound package is an authentic antidote of epic proportions. Tank you!

    Add to cart
  • DESCRIPTION:

    Here you can find 61 HD quad surround ambiences of the wild North European nature. They were recorded during a two-week recording trip on foot and by rowing boat in the hot July of 2018 at the heart of the national park in Karelia, North-Western Russia. Spacious, transparent, immersive and absolutely free from any technogenic and anthropogenic sounds. Still air and wind through grass or trees. Birds and insects from single and sparse at the cloudy morning to dense and busy at the hot sunny noon, a mosquito chorus at dawn and ear-piercing grasshoppers at sunset. Distant thunder rolls and disturbed Arctic Loon, huge old trees creaking and grumbling in the wind.

    10 % of the library’s revenue goes to nature preserves and animal shelters.

    Add to cart
  • Ambisonics Vintage Trams Play Track 46 sounds included $30 $20

    Vintage Trams: passes and rides from a number of perspectives.

    The bygone sounds of rattly old trams, passing in the street: the rumble of the metal wheels on the tracks, the sound of the pickup rods on the overhead wires, the clang of the bell and the voice of the conductor, all of these are here for your delight. Starts and stops, rides and passes, all lovingly collected in First Order Ambisonic surround and collated in FuMa & ambiX orders and weighting. Full Soundminer metadata and Excel Spreadsheet included.

    And there’s more! A bonus collection of sounds in stereo from my extensive archive, with a ride on a San Francisco cable car, more vintage trams and a series of recordings of a Trolley Bus, an electrically powered bus running form overhead cables, but so quiet in operation, it was known as ‘the silent killer’ as pedestrians tended not to be aware when it was approaching.

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Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

Wednesday, March 1
IASIG Meetup @ Thirsty Bear (661 Howard St)
6:00pm-9:00pm

The IASIG continues to throw one of the best-attended parties during GDC at the Thirsty Bear. For over 20 years, the organization has been a lightning rod for technically-minded interactive audio folks and has been at the forefront of standardization and publications. Mingling with some of the finest minds after the first full day of the Expo Hall is sure to inspire some engaging conversations about some of the exciting things on the show floor. How do the new Nuendo 8 game audio workflows look? What fun is to be had with the new Wwise Authoring Application API? Is there a demo (and how long is the line) for the Valve “Steam Audio” Solution? This will be the first chance to dig deep after submerging in the newest offerings, and it’s a great group of folks to get down with.

Wednesday, March 1
Game Audio Karaoke (177 Eddy St)
Pandora Karaoke
8:00pm-11:00pm

Follow the sound of wild falsetto and pitch-perfect celebrity vocal impressions to the first official(?) Game Audio Karaoke night. Organized by Luca Fusi, this is exactly the kind of bonding experience you might be looking for after a long day of hustle and flow. Bring your setlist, jump in the cue, and sing your life!

Wednesday, March 1
17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards
6:30pm-8:30pm

The glitz and glam of the Game Developers Choice awards Wednesday night is the hot-ticket to see all of the coolest indies and accomplished developers. With the comedy of Tim Schafer and wit of Nina Freeman celebrating Oscar-style across every game genre and specialty, it’s the perfect opportunity to soak up some paparazzi and party like a game developer rock star.

Thursday, March 2
15th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards
7:30pm-9:30pm

The focus on Game Music and Audio makes this an event worth attending. A room full of folks all looking to honor the accomplishments of the last years game audio accomplishments: what could be better than elevating the art of audio to make you feel like part of something much bigger than yourself. This is a great feeling to cultivate because you’ll find that the conference is a great way to understand the role you play (or could play) in developing games.

Friday, March 3rd
SoVGA Meetup – The Hall SF (1028 Market)
5:00pm
Friday Night Foley
(Coordination)

The School of Video Game Audio has been inviting folks for a final hurrah on the last day of GDC in what has become a final meeting before the explosion of a thousand tiny stars that signals the end. Wobble out from the lobby of Moscone one-last-time with people who will be reticent to let the good vibes and experiences go. It’s a time to plan for later in the evening, or for the future of game audio.

Cody Predum & Emily Meo are pulling together an open invitation to let loose on the streets of San Francisco as a wild pack of sound designers with portable recorders. I imagine hanging off fire escapes to capture the perfect squeak, cardboard box physics impact simulations, and plenty of camaraderie. Find them at the SoVGA Party and climb on board…and don’t forget your recorder!

There’s just too much, and there’s something about the max-saturation, living-in-the-moment slip-stream that makes the best laid plans superfluous. So bring your flexibility, your dynamic personality, and above all your kindness and compassion. The best thing is to go with the flow.

See you on the other side!
Damian

A big thanks to Damian for all the great information!
 

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A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
 
 
  • Animals & Creatures Amazon Jungle Play Track 49 sounds included, 357 mins total From: $95 From: $66.50

    Amazon Jungle is a collection of unique ambiences recorded in the Amazon rainforest on the border between Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. The library was recorded during the rainy season when birds are vocal and humidity is at its highest. These recordings feature species such as the Screaming Piha, Toucans, Howler Monkeys, Trogons, Tinamous, Owls, very vocal Bamboo Rats and a multitude of insects and frogs.

    30 %
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    Ends 1576537199
  • Sci-Fi Lo-Fi Sci-Fi Play Track 1,000+ sounds included, 431 mins total $30 $15

    Lo-Fi Sci-Fi is a library packed full of characterful, authentic and gritty sounds. It was lovingly created by sound designers Barney Oram and Derek Brown, in homage to classic late 70’s and early 80’s sci-fi movies.
    The collection is comprised of a wide range of sounds, including metal, organics, fire, mechanical, interfaces, creatures, foley and footsteps, abstract, ambience, and much more.

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  • Foley Footstep and Foley Sounds Play Track 812 sounds included $10 $8

    Footstep & Foley Sounds contains 511 high quality professionally recorded footstep sounds. Surfaces included: concrete, dirt, grass, gravel, metal, mud, water, wood, ice and snow. Plus 141 Foley sounds covering a variety of character movement sounds. A perfect addition to add realism to your footstep sounds.

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Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Animals & Creatures Amazon Jungle Play Track 49 sounds included, 357 mins total From: $95 From: $66.50

    Amazon Jungle is a collection of unique ambiences recorded in the Amazon rainforest on the border between Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. The library was recorded during the rainy season when birds are vocal and humidity is at its highest. These recordings feature species such as the Screaming Piha, Toucans, Howler Monkeys, Trogons, Tinamous, Owls, very vocal Bamboo Rats and a multitude of insects and frogs.

    30 %
    OFF
    Ends 1576537199
  • Destruction & Impact Just Impacts Bundle Play Track 1434+ sounds included $183 $146.40

    This bundle includes these libraries from the popular Just Impact series:

    Just Impacts – Simple
    Just Impacts – Processed
    Just Impacts – Designed
    Just Impacts – Extension I
    Just Impacts – Extension II

    – at a great discount!

    20 %
    OFF
  • Military TANK T-44 Play Track $149

    Tank T-44: The great hulking mass that would spell doom for the Red Army’s enemies has been captured in all its glory trudging along, with every turn of its metal treads and gears recorded masterfully.

    The sound capture equipment used were best-in-breed Neumann U87 and Schoeps M4 microphones, and the tank’s authoritative rumbles and clangs were recorded from various positions, and at various speeds as the treads grip the ground and transfer the power of its mighty engine, transmission, and parts. There are also stereo recordings for the tank’s engine and the tank’s exhaust pipe.

    We at Flysound have dusted off the cobwebs and taken this 30 tonne beast for several victory laps to record its belligerent brilliance. The T-44: one of the great patriotic tanks! In a time when action productions are all to often devolving into the fake and unrealistic, this sound package is an authentic antidote of epic proportions. Tank you!

  • DESCRIPTION:

    Here you can find 61 HD quad surround ambiences of the wild North European nature. They were recorded during a two-week recording trip on foot and by rowing boat in the hot July of 2018 at the heart of the national park in Karelia, North-Western Russia. Spacious, transparent, immersive and absolutely free from any technogenic and anthropogenic sounds. Still air and wind through grass or trees. Birds and insects from single and sparse at the cloudy morning to dense and busy at the hot sunny noon, a mosquito chorus at dawn and ear-piercing grasshoppers at sunset. Distant thunder rolls and disturbed Arctic Loon, huge old trees creaking and grumbling in the wind.

    10 % of the library’s revenue goes to nature preserves and animal shelters.

  • Ambisonics Vintage Trams Play Track 46 sounds included $30 $20

    Vintage Trams: passes and rides from a number of perspectives.

    The bygone sounds of rattly old trams, passing in the street: the rumble of the metal wheels on the tracks, the sound of the pickup rods on the overhead wires, the clang of the bell and the voice of the conductor, all of these are here for your delight. Starts and stops, rides and passes, all lovingly collected in First Order Ambisonic surround and collated in FuMa & ambiX orders and weighting. Full Soundminer metadata and Excel Spreadsheet included.

    And there’s more! A bonus collection of sounds in stereo from my extensive archive, with a ride on a San Francisco cable car, more vintage trams and a series of recordings of a Trolley Bus, an electrically powered bus running form overhead cables, but so quiet in operation, it was known as ‘the silent killer’ as pedestrians tended not to be aware when it was approaching.

    33 %
    OFF
    Ends 1577228399
 
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