Game Audio at GDC 2019 Asbjoern Andersen


For the 3rd year in a row, game audio guru Damian Kastbauer is back with his excellent overview of things to do, see and hear at the 2018 Game Developer's Conference (GDC) in San Francisco when it comes to game audio. Without further ado, here's Damian with The Definitive Guide to Game Audio at GDC 2018:
Written by Damian Kastbauer
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How have you been? What are you up to these days? What’s keeping you busy? What games are you playing? What are you doing for fun? Pulled off any cool tricks lately? What do you get up to outside of work? Have you heard of the cool stuff people are doing? What do you want to be when you grow up? What’s your dream job? What are you listening to lately? How do you find things? What do you think about community? How do you participate in the community? How do you give back in your field? Who do you turn to for advice? How do you know this person? Where did you meet? What have you been up to?k How did you get your first job? What inspires you? Where did you get that idea? What’s it like there? Where do I fit in? How did you end up with that result? Was it worth it?

If it’s your first time to GDC, the largest North American meetup of game developers, you’re probably full of questions: How do I turn this passion into a career? How do I gain the experience to apply for the job I want? How do I gain the knowledge to bring value to a project? Who are my peers? What makes me special in this industry? Do I have what it takes? The good news is that all of these answers can be found in and around the conference during your time in San Francisco if you know where to look.

Some of these answers will be delivered wholesale by a diverse group of professionals attempting to communicate their experience and knowledge during over 500 sessions. Some will come from conversations in the hallway outside of presentations. More still will strike like a lightning bolt of inspiration, piecing-together information you may already know, but not realize. While others will rain-down in a cosmic shower of knowledge from the universe. Ultimately, you will leave the conference full of new information and ready to face the next phase of your journey.

Until the next year.

In the interim you will grow, you’ll work hard to capitalize on the answers you sought out and the time will come when you’ll be faced with the decision of returning to the conference. You’ll have gained some experience, not only with regards to the previous conference, but in your pursuit of a career. Likely you’ll be filled with even more questions and maybe some answers of your own that could help out someone who is not as far down the path. So begins a consideration that will recur the rest of your career: What is the value of attending conferences and why continue going year-after-year. (Keep reading for my answer below…)

The next time you attend the conference, time will start to slow down a bit. You’ll be able to skip the things you tried last year that were boring (loud parties) or unfruitful (loud parties) and maximize the things that proved to be thought provoking (presentations) and dynamically satisfying (conversations). You’ll have a handle on some of the regular happenings that make up the social back-bone of the week and know to leave room for the magic of GDC to happen. You’ll leave with even more answers, a fair-share of questions and, when the post-conference influenza haze has passed, you’ll feel energized and ready to face the year ahead.

Rinse and repeat enough times and you may start to see each year passing like the minute hands on a clock, rapidly accelerating along with your career in a syncopation of knowledge and experience. Ideally, you’ll hold on to the feeling of your first year and maintain an open mind when conversations with fresh faces find their way to you. Hopefully you’ve also found a way to share some of the knowledge you’ve gained with a wider audience by presenting or coordinating a series of roundtables. Maybe you’ll start a trend and spin-up your own regular happening, karaoke jam, or adventure. Perhaps you engage your colleagues and cohorts in long-form discussions on: the state of the industry, the future of interactivity, or how to stay sane in an increasingly crazy world.

In the end, I keep going because I am invested. Invested in the people, invested in the community, and invested in the future of digital interaction and the role audio has to play. I continue to be fascinated by the passion, technology, and conversations around creating experiences with the ability to move people. I’d be interested to know why you’re going to GDC this year, whether it’s your first or fifteenth. Please leave a comment below or drop me a line.

In the meantime, here are some other resources to help get your planning off to a great start:
• The School of Video game Audio’s “10 Tips for #GameAudioGDC 2018”
• And Pixelles Guides to GDCSF

The last few years of ASoundEffect GDC Guides might have some helpful nuggets if you can read between the lines:
The Grand Guide to Game Audio at GDC 2017
The Ultimate Guide To Game Audio at GDC 2016
Are you at GDC ’15? Here are the Game Audio Top Picks from Damian Kastbauer, Jack Menhorn & Frank Bry

And some other writings I’ve done on GDC:
Game Audio – Conclusions from GDC 2006 Reprise
Game Audio Aspirations
Every Year I Buy The Magic Beans

DISCLAIMER

This is my daily breakdown, suggestions, recommendations, and top-picks for a jam-packed conference…AND THIS IS JUST THE AUDIO TRACK. If you’re able, you should try to see as many presentations OUTSIDE of audio that interest you. Some of my greatest epiphanies have been while pondering an animation pipeline of setting the way-back machine in one of the historic games sessions. There just aren’t enough hours in the day I tell ya, but thankfully we’ll always have the GDC Vault to fall back on!

Don’t forget to follow the code GDC Code of Conduct while onsite (and please continue to adhere to its sensible advice even outside of the presentation hall). BE GOOD TO EACH OTHER!
 


 

See Emily Play

Sunday March 18th

It’s Sunday and maybe you’re just hitting the ground in the San Francisco Bay Area; city streets alive, the sounds, the smells, the world awake and alive. If you’re not kickin’ it on a corner just peacing out with some foliage you might wanna find your way over to the East Bay on BART to the annual DesigningSound.org Meetup.

2pm – 10pm | Designing Sound Meetup

You can register here for a hands-on tour of the Oakland Vintage Synth Museum or pony-up to the bar anytime after 2pm at the Broken Rack (21 & Older restriction *inside the bar, free and does not require a sign up). Sign ups are only required if you want to visit the Synth Museum as well.

*What goes on outside the bar is all-ages and anybody’s guess!

Broken Rack : 5768 Peladeau St, Emeryville, CA 94608
Oakland VSM : 1145 65th St, Oakland, CA 94608

If you’ve haven’t had the pleasure, DesigningSound.org has been a cornerstone of the film and game sound communities reporting on significant developments, interesting sound-related articles and interviews, while simultaneously engaging their audience through monthly topics and guest contributions. This volunteer run, world-wide network of folks do a lot to channel the creativity happening everywhere into a single location online. If you see ‘em out in the world on the wide web of places, be sure to give ‘em your thanks!

 

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Monday March 19th

7:00am – 9:00am | Game Audio Podcast Coffee Standup
Sightglass Coffee : 270 7th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Monday through Saturday during the conference the game audio community holds court at one of the best coffee houses in San Francisco for a two-hour conversation about what’s happening each day at #GameAudioGDC. Folks graciously lend their voices in order to surface the previous day’s activities and shine a light on the forthcoming day’s events as part of an inclusive environment focused on raising the awareness of the myriad of game audio epiphanies exploding in people’s minds. These meetups have become a catalyst for cultivating ideas, friendships, and new ways of traversing the conference at large. Starting your day winding back the hands of time and reflecting on the day that came before is a great way to reinforce the knowledge gained. Meanwhile, looking ahead to what’s ahead helps provide focus in a way that makes the conference easier to navigate on the day-to-day. This year finds the return of Game Audio Podcast co-founder Anton Woldhek who’s inspiration helped put this yearly event on the map way back in 2011. All welcome!

10:00am – 11:00am | ‘CARNE Y ARENA’: UNCOMPROMISING AUDIO FOR NARRATIVE VR
Speakers: Bill Rudolph (Skywalker Sound), Kevin Bolen (Skywalker Sound), Damian Kastbauer (ArenaNet)
Location: Room 24, North Hall
Pass Type: All Access, VRDC@GDC Add On

While I did have the pleasure of working on this for a couple of weeks with the folks from Skywalker Sound (and am one of the speakers in the presentation), what this VR experience, from Director Alejandro González Iñárritu, accomplishes is far greater than the sum of its parts. An incredibly artistic, masterfully handled, expertly crafted, and incredibly moving illustration of what is possible when all senses are leveraged towards conveying the struggle and reality of crossing the border between Mexico and America. Having had the chance to visit the installation last month at LACMA, I’m bringing my own perspective; not just as someone having lent a hand, but in awe and appreciation of the hard work and accomplishment of the team at ILMxLAB & Legendary Pictures. Uncompromising Audio? Bill and Kevin know what they’re talking about; they were in on the ground level during explorations into what has become (in my opinion) the gold-standard for room-scale VR outside of the thrill-ride/entertainment focus that can sometimes overshadow the potential of this technology. Hear it from the folks empowering creatives to reach deep into people’s hearts and inspire empathy and the role sound plays in helping to deliver on the emotions being expressed. With CARNE Y ARENA being awarded a special Oscar (the first since Pixar’s Toy Story in 1996) you know that his production is something special and the way that audio took shape is a fantastic display of creativity, ingenuity, and collaboration on all levels.

10:00am – 11:00am | ART DIRECTION BOOTCAMP: “THE DISTRIBUTED ART DIRECTION OF ‘EDITH FINCH'” & “VISUAL LANGUAGE OF ‘ELECTRONAUTS’: AN IMMERSIVE SOUND BASED VR EXPERIENCE”
Speakers: Chelsea Hash (Giant Sparrow), Justin Coury (Survios)
Location: Room 20, North Hall
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits

Ian Dallas has built something special at Giant Sparrow from the humble beginnings of the early prototypes that would become The Unfinished Swan. Their second release, What Remains of Edith Finch, sees the studio coming into their own and delivering on the emotion and storytelling possibilities at the heart of games today. Meanwhile, Suvios has made their name working in VR and are looking to bring the art of DJ/ Music creation into virtual spaces. The line between interactive audio and art becomes fuzzier by the day as game audio works to send audio information back to the game engine in-order to influence visuals. It sure sounds like two different presentations, but I look forward to the synesthetic mashup of ideas that come out of them and how they might help to shape the future of collaboration.

1:20pm – 1:50pm | DEFINING THE LAWS FOR A PARALLEL REALITY
Summit Speaker: Keiichi Matsuda (Leap Motion)
Location: Room 2001, West Hall
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits

When I first saw this video I felt it could be one of the not-so-distant futures we are rapidly iterating towards as a human species. The visionary director of this short film has now signed on as Creative Director at Leap Motion and I think he just might have the best perspective on how to subvert the downfall of civilization. I’m looking forward to hearing his perspective. For real.

2:10pm – 2:40pm | ACCESSIBILITY IN VR: HOW IT CAN BE BETTER
Speakers: Andrew Eiche (Owlchemy Labs), Cy Wise (Owlchemy Labs)
Location: Room 25, North Hall
Pass Type: All Access, VRDC@GDC Add On

Accessibility from the folks at Owlchemy Labs? Have you even played Job Simulator? These folks know what they’re talking about! While I’ll miss Audio Director Daniel Perry‘s perspective on this, the knowledge brought back from experiments in VR are likely to be steeped in first-hand experience and full of lessons learned.

4:40pm – 5:10pm | AAA GAMING WHILE BLIND
Summit Speaker: Karen Stevens (EA SPORTS)
Location: Room 2001, West Hall
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits

Y’all can get a head-start on Karen Stevens presentation by reading this article…then show up to let her fill in the gaps with her first-hand experience as the EA Sports Accessibility Lead, on how she’s working to push for greater inclusion and accessibility. You might as well follow it all up with this talk from Adriane Kuzminski about Breaking the Sound Barrier: How Game Audio Can Improve Accessibility. The tools are in our hands to reach an audience of passionate players if you know how to use them. Come learn how!

 

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

 

Latest releases:  
  • Vehicles Skate on Board Play Track 112 sounds included, 22 mins total $49.99

    Skate on Board is an SFX library with the purpose of bringing alive the hidden sounds of skateboarding. This library has 65 stereo recordings with the best sound quality of actions such as jumps, pass by, and grinds over different surfaces like concrete banquets, and rail tubes. Furthermore, this library contains 47 mono audios of P.O.V perspectives which were reordered with different microphones attached to the skateboard to capture the full maneuvers and details of skateboarding.

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  • The west is still wild.  A collection of clean and loopable natural ambient atmosphere elements – each 3 minutes long. This collection represents my best content and works great in multitrack layers.

    The core of this collection are natural sounds captured in the wilds of Oregon, USA – Western North America. The wildlife in the forests, streams, lakes, coast, and deserts of Oregon are a good substitute for most US and Canadian states west of the Rocky Mountains, including Washington, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, British Colombia, Alberta, Alaska, and Wyoming.

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    Electric Arcs and Energy is essentially two separate collections of sounds.  The first, Electrical Arcs are more raw.  These arc sounds can be manipulated and mangled to be used as design elements in your project.  They are highly flexible and can easily be pitch-shifted -48 semitones or more.  They remain remarkably useful and clean giving each sound multiple “dimensions”.

    The Electrical Energy collection is a series of more specified design elements that I created – Impacts and Powerups.  Meant to be used in Weapon or UI design they should be flexible enough to be used as stand-alone effects or layers in more complex sounds.

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    Bonus – Forge Sound Design Tool Sample Map

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A Saucerful of Secrets

Tuesday March 20th

It’s no secret that I’ve been lending Scott Selfon a hand with the Audio Bootcamp for a few years. Under his guidance and tutelage the first day of the audio track always serves as a soft-crossfade from daily life into the wild maelstrom of deep game audio thinking. Rounded-out by a full day’s worth of presentations across multiple specializations, the bootcamp offers opportunities for first time attendees as well as veterans of the industry looking for a fresh perspective from the point of view of a diverse cast of professionals. This year’s roster includes talks across the spectrum of game audio including: VR, Programming, Composition, Demo Reels, Sound Design, and Dialog. A great opportunity to get to know folks at the start of the conference and build relationships that will carry you through the weeks adventures.

A Composer’s Guide To The Galaxy : Elvira Björkman
Programming Composers and Composing Programmers : Victoria Dorn
Adding Punch to Your Sound : Gina Zdanowicz

Lunchtime Surgeries
An opportunity for deeper conversations with Audio Bootcamp speakers over lunch in a smaller scale setting. Grab some food and then come back to sit at tables in the round with the day’s speakers on the topics that are top of mind for you about the industry, the day’s topics, and the questions at the top of attendee minds.

Reel Talk : Kevin Regamey & Matthew Marteinsson
Talking about Talking : Recording and Producing Well Crafted Dialogue : Amanda Rose Smith
Design to Shine: Crafting a unique sonic pallet to enhance your game score : Brian Trifon & Brian Lee White
5D Audio : Aaron Brown
Zen and the Art of Game Audio Maintenance : Anton Woldhek

Tuesday Night

8:30 PM – 11:00 PM | Beards, Cats, And Indie Game Audio Podcast Live Party
by Matthew Marteinsson, Gordon McGladdery and Kimberley Hansen

Gather ‘round for a live recording of the premiere Indie Game Audio podcast and be sure to stick around for the no-music party afterwards! (whisper whisper)

monument.house
140 9th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
RSVP

 

Atom Heart Mother

Wednesday March 21st

9:30am – 10:30am | A MODERN TAKE ON HISTORICAL FICTION: MUSIC FOR ‘CALL OF DUTY WWII’
Speaker: Wilbert Roget (RogetMusic)
Location: Room 3002, West Hall
9:30am – 10:30am | WHAT’S NEXT? A GAME AUDIO MICROTALK SERIES
Speakers: Dren McDonald (nerdtracks gameaudio), Mike Morasky (Valve), Adele Cutting (Soundcuts, Ltd.), Sela Keating (Electronic Arts), Caron Weidner (Eight Ball Sound), Sally Kellaway (OSSIC), Daria Novo (nerdtracks gameaudio), Sarah Elmaleh (Independent), Scott Selfon (Oculus), Samantha Kalman (Timbre Interactive)
Location: Room 3006, West Hall

How do you choose between these two? On one hand you have the confident perspective of an accomplished composer lay-down his approach on composing for one of the biggest franchises in gaming and on the other hand you’ve got a rockstar lineup of microtalks from a diverse set of speakers on the topic of What’s Next. Is cloning a thing yet?

11:00am – 11:30am | THE DEMONIC SOUND OF ‘PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE LOST SOUL’
Speaker: Robert Rice (VRWERX)
Location: Room 3002, West Hall
12:00pm – 12:30pm | A MATTER OF MUSIC DESIGN: DRIVING GAMEPLAY WITH MUSIC
Speaker: Eric Hamel (Worthing & Moncrieff)
Location: Room 3002, West Hall
2:00pm – 3:00pm | ACCESSIBLE GAMING FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED
Speakers: Mark Barlet (The AbleGamers Charity), Sam Joehl (Level Access)
Location: Room 3006, West Hall
3:30pm – 4:30pm | GAME AUDIO PROGRAMMING ROUNDTABLE DAY 1: FUNDAMENTALS
Speaker: Guy Somberg (Echtra Games, Inc.)
Location: Room 208, South Hall

You don’t have to learn to program to be in game audio (heck, I’m a technical sound designer and I’d much rather leave the heavy lifting to bonafide bitheads, no offense) but it sure does help if you can throw around terminology, concepts, and cursory understanding of what makes game audio tick under-the-hood. I have a feeling that Guy Somberg, author of Game Audio Programming: Principles and Practices, can deliver on the promise of fundamentals wrapped in an easy to grok format that is bound to level-up the way you think about what’s going on in-engine. Take the ride!

5:00pm – 6:00pm | DEMO DERBY: SOUND DESIGN
EMERGING COMPOSERS GUIDE TO PRODUCTIVITY AND WORK/LIFE BALANCE
THE VOICE-OVER ROUNDTABLE DAY 1: PRE AND POST PRODUCTION (OUTSIDE THE STUDIO)
WOMEN IN GAME AUDIO ROUNDTABLE DAY 1: WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE

This one is up for grabs, something for everyone, you seriously can’t go wrong! Whether you’re interested in feedback from professionals, work/ life balance, the intracticies of Voice Over, or an interactive conversational engagement on gender in game audio, it’s a choose-your-own adventure hour of possibility.

Wednesday Night

6:00pm – 9:00pm | IASIG Audio Mixer
Thirsty Bear Brewing Co
661 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94105

 

The Dark Side of the Moon

Thursday March 22nd

10:00am – 11:00am | GIVING A VOICE TO THE MACHINES OF ‘HORIZON ZERO DAWN’
Speaker: Pinar Temiz (Guerrilla Games)
Location: Room 3002, West Hall

One of the most detail-oriented sound design challenges arrived in the hands of Guerrilla Games in the form of the many & varied machine-creatures that populate the world of Horizon Zero Dawn. Pinar Temiz will outline how the audio team gave voice to these wildly technological beasts in a detailed overview of methodologies. If you’re lucky, you might also get a peek at the proprietary tools they use to integrate sound in-engine. Regardless, this presentation is bound to serve as a fountain of inspiration.

11:30am – 12:30pm | REINVENTING THE SOUND FOR ‘CALL OF DUTY: WWII’
Speaker: David Swenson (Sledgehammer Games)
Location: Room 3002, West Hall
2:00pm – 2:30pm | AUDIO ASSET MANAGEMENT TIPS AND TRICKS
Speaker: Richard Ludlow (Hexany Audio)
Location: Room 3006, West Hall

As someone who knows the value of rockin’ a spreadsheet on occasion, I can tell you that asset management and data management in general can be a sharp sword in the thick of game audio battle. Richard Ludlow has the background and experience at Hexany Audio, working across multiple remote projects simultaneously, to give this talk with his hands behind his back; which is to say, he’s an expert of what it takes to keep things straight. When it comes time to wade into resource management, you’re gonna want these tips and tricks on your side!

3:00pm – 3:30pm | HOW SOUND TELLS THE STORY OF ‘NIGHT IN THE WOODS’
Speaker: Em Halberstadt (A Shell in the Pit)
Location: Room 3006, West Hall

Having seen Em speak on multiple occasions, I can say with confidence that you’re in for a rare treat. Not only is she a tremendous presenter, but the work that she’s done for NITW is some of the craftiest, cleverest, and humorous around. I’m looking forward to hearing more about power lines, mouth sounds, and dynamic ambiences for this game that oozes with style…a style reflected in sound.

4:00pm – 5:00pm | THE CONFLICT OF THE NEW REALITIES: COMBINING BLEEDING EDGE TECHNOLOGY AND OLD-SCHOOL DESIGN TECHNIQUES FOR AUDIO IN VR/AR/MR
Speakers: Stephan Schutze (Sound Librarian), Sally Kellaway (Microsoft Mixed Reality Audio & AI)
Location: Room 3002, West Hall

Are you kidding me? These two sharing a stage in a presentation of VR/AR/MR? This must be some kind of dream? Not only did Stephan just publish a book on the topic at hand. Not only did Sally just transition from Ossic to Microsoft Mixed Reality Audio. But we get a chance to get their perspectives on this rapidly-shifting space and bask in the bright light of their experience. I couldn’t be more excited to drink from the fountain of knowledge during this presentation!

4:00pm – 5:00pm | WOMEN IN GAME AUDIO ROUNDTABLE DAY 2: NAVIGATING SUBTLETIES OF SEXISM IN THE WORKPLACE
Speakers: Amanda Rose Smith (Independent), Becky Allen (PopCap)
Location: Room 214, South Hall

Roundtables at GDC are the premier platform for interaction with the community. Guided by Amanda Rose Smith and Becky Allen, “Navigating the Subtleties of Sexism” is poised to be an eye opening discussion that would benefit everyone’s ears and voices. It is through interactions with people that we all navigate through each day on the job and we can only benefit from having a greater understanding, appreciation, and sensitivity in the way we act towards one another. The Women In Game Audio Roundtable, happening once each day during the conference with different topics, is a vital platform to engage in this discussion and increase visibility for issues that arise as part of discourse. See you there!

Bonus Round:

5:30pm – 6:30pm | ‘MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA’ AUDIO RETROSPECTIVE
Speaker: Michael Kent (Bioware)
Location: Room 3002, West Hall

Thursday Night

7:30pm – 9:30pm | 16th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards
Moscone West Hall Room 2016

 

Wish You Were Here

Friday March 23rd

10:00am – 11:00am | DON’TS: HOW NOT TO WORK IN GAME AUDIO
Speakers: Ryan Ike (Independent), Akash Thakkar (Independent), Carlye Nyte (Camouflaj)
Location: Room 3002, West Hall

The cool kids might be headed off to hear about sound for Star Wars, and rightly so as DICE continues to provide a premium multi-player experience for the popcorn crowd, but just down the hall is the comedy troupe of Ike, Nyte, & Thakkar who are set to unfold the “DON’TS: HOW NOT TO WORK IN GAME AUDIO” complete with valuable insights, hard-won experience, and belly laughs ta-boot (if I can prejudge based on past presentations and personalities). These folks can be counted on for real-world (like the TV show) insights into game developments practices and obscure idiosyncrasies. I can’t wait to soak in their suggestions and sup from the table of their knowledge.

11:30am – 12:30pm | MENTORING ROUNDTABLE
Speakers: Ariel Gross (The Audio Mentoring Project), Stephan Schutze (Sound Librarian)
Location: Room 206, South Hall

Are you mentoring? WHY NOT? It can be said that we all have something to share; no matter what your experience or feelings of adequacy there is a value to the path you’ve walked. The potential that you could help lift someone up or help unblock the creative flow of a colleague, student, or someone just finding their way is just too great. Wondering how to make it happen or how to find some mentoring for yourself? The answer could be simply by showing up.

12:15pm – 1:15pm | IASIG TOWNHALL
Moscone West Hall Rm 3002
1:30pm – 2:30pm | MAKING GOOD TOOLS FOR MAKING GREAT AUDIO
Speakers: Guy Somberg (Echtra Games, Inc.), Tomas Neumann (Blizzard Entertainment)
Location: Room 3005, West Hall

If I wasn’t already sitting on a panel next door on the dance between freelance and in-house, you can bet I would be squarely planted in this talk from two outspoken advocates for great audio tools.

3:00pm – 4:00pm | AN INTERACTIVE SOUND DYSTOPIA: REAL-TIME AUDIO PROCESSING IN ‘NIER:AUTOMATA’
Speaker: Shuji Kohata (PlatinumGames, Inc.)
Location: Room 3006, West Hall

This is a great sounding game, like…wow, I really like it. Which makes me keenly interested in how they’re pulling off all the cool tricks a runtime. The last talk on the last day of a long week. Who’s with me?

Friday Night

5:00pm – 7:00pm | School of Video Game Audio Party
California Pizza Kitchen
3 Third Street @ 53 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103

If you’re still around, this annual fall-out to a nearby establishment for eats, drinks, and premature goodbyes is absolutely the place you want to be in order to avoid the inevitable separation anxiety that ensues once your bags are packed and you’re on the long road home. The School of Video Game Audio has been coordinating the last few years of this and, while Leonard Paul won’t be making the trip down from Vancouver, it’s up to everyone to lift a glass in his honor and keep the spirit of education alive. Find the blob of game audio milling around in the audio hallway or desperately trying to make an escape at the bottom of the escalators and bounce to this party in celebration of a week of hardcore learning. YOU DESERVE IT!

Afterparty | Friday Night Foley

When the party starts winding down, find your friendly Friday Night Foley hosts Emily Meo & Cody Predum for another round of FNF; where wild adventurers (LIKE YOU) equipped with portable recorders (BYO) will let slip the noise the likes of which you can only imagine. Set off into the San Francisco evening with like-minded folks, bring anything that might be interesting to record…or just find some exotic sounds along the way to bring back to your lab. Promises of violin bows, windscreens, and cacophony implied.

Follow #FridayNightFoley hashtag for updates!

 

The Final Cut

Saturday March 24

7:00am – 9:00am | Game Audio (The Last) Podcast
Still with us? Swing on down for the final installment of the Game Audio Podcast, where Anton & I will wrap-down the week’s events with the skeleton crew that drags themselves in for this bedraggled send-off. Previous years have seen: Anton plagued by a flat bike tire, me overslept and slow to ambulate, as well as a bright-eyed bunch of warm hearts trying hard not to let the conference end.
 
What happens between the end and next year assumes the same cyclic ebb-and-flow alluded to at the beginning of this article. How will this years brain-trust sharpen your definition of self in the context of the game industry? Will you find what you’ve come seeking? What new questions will need to be answered? What new knowledge will you have to share?

For me, the day after GDC begins the countdown until the next one. But let’s just all take this one step at a time. See you in San Francisco!

 

A big thanks to Damian Kastbauer for sharing this extensive and insightful guide to getting the most out of GDC!

 

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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:
 
 
  • Electricity Electric Arcs and Energy Play Track 266 sounds included $39.99 $19.99

    Electric Arcs and Energy is essentially two separate collections of sounds.  The first, Electrical Arcs are more raw.  These arc sounds can be manipulated and mangled to be used as design elements in your project.  They are highly flexible and can easily be pitch-shifted -48 semitones or more.  They remain remarkably useful and clean giving each sound multiple “dimensions”.

    The Electrical Energy collection is a series of more specified design elements that I created – Impacts and Powerups.  Meant to be used in Weapon or UI design they should be flexible enough to be used as stand-alone effects or layers in more complex sounds.

    Recording and Editing

    This library was designed from scratch by recording highly unconventional metal sources with a cello bow and processing them (see one example in video). Great care was taken during the recording and editing process to ensure maximum flexibility of these sounds.  The recording was done at 24/192kHz using the Sennheiser MKH 2050 mic which captures frequencies up to 50kHz.  All processing and design was then performed at 192kHz.

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  • Animals & Creatures Broken Robot Play Track 87 sounds included $12.99 $6.99

    This library is a small “utility” collection of sounds great for use as Robot/Machines but also great for UI and Weapon design elements.  Servos, various metal objects and analog synths were recorded as source material to create this library.  The library includes raw servo recordings and meticulously performed or designed robotic/machine-like sounds.

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  • Foley Footsteps & Movements Play Track 7.400 sounds included, 228 mins total $49 $39

    The Foleyart Collection | Footsteps & Movements brings high quality Foley Artist footsteps to every audio production studio: offers high end recordings in different distance to adjust perfectly to your scene. All sounds in WAV and tagged with Metadata.

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Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Vehicles Skate on Board Play Track 112 sounds included, 22 mins total $49.99

    Skate on Board is an SFX library with the purpose of bringing alive the hidden sounds of skateboarding. This library has 65 stereo recordings with the best sound quality of actions such as jumps, pass by, and grinds over different surfaces like concrete banquets, and rail tubes. Furthermore, this library contains 47 mono audios of P.O.V perspectives which were reordered with different microphones attached to the skateboard to capture the full maneuvers and details of skateboarding.

  • The west is still wild.  A collection of clean and loopable natural ambient atmosphere elements – each 3 minutes long. This collection represents my best content and works great in multitrack layers.

    The core of this collection are natural sounds captured in the wilds of Oregon, USA – Western North America. The wildlife in the forests, streams, lakes, coast, and deserts of Oregon are a good substitute for most US and Canadian states west of the Rocky Mountains, including Washington, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, British Colombia, Alberta, Alaska, and Wyoming.

    These recordings are from a pristine environment that avoid any human caused sounds.

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  • Animals & Creatures Broken Robot Play Track 87 sounds included $12.99 $6.99

    This library is a small “utility” collection of sounds great for use as Robot/Machines but also great for UI and Weapon design elements.  Servos, various metal objects and analog synths were recorded as source material to create this library.  The library includes raw servo recordings and meticulously performed or designed robotic/machine-like sounds.

    Bonus – Forge Sound Design Tool Sample Map

    If you own the Forge Sound Design Toolkit this library also comes with a specially curated sample map.  The sample map can be loaded into the sampler for randomization and the creation of more complex sounds.

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  • Electricity Electric Arcs and Energy Play Track 266 sounds included $39.99 $19.99

    Electric Arcs and Energy is essentially two separate collections of sounds.  The first, Electrical Arcs are more raw.  These arc sounds can be manipulated and mangled to be used as design elements in your project.  They are highly flexible and can easily be pitch-shifted -48 semitones or more.  They remain remarkably useful and clean giving each sound multiple “dimensions”.

    The Electrical Energy collection is a series of more specified design elements that I created – Impacts and Powerups.  Meant to be used in Weapon or UI design they should be flexible enough to be used as stand-alone effects or layers in more complex sounds.

    Recording and Editing

    This library was designed from scratch by recording highly unconventional metal sources with a cello bow and processing them (see one example in video). Great care was taken during the recording and editing process to ensure maximum flexibility of these sounds.  The recording was done at 24/192kHz using the Sennheiser MKH 2050 mic which captures frequencies up to 50kHz.  All processing and design was then performed at 192kHz.

    Bonus – Forge Sound Design Tool Sample Map

    If you own the Forge Sound Design Toolkit this library also comes with a specially curated sample map.  The sample map can be loaded into the sampler for randomization and the creation of more complex sounds.

     

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  • Whooshes liftFX Play Track 275+ sounds included $89 $71.20

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