Always a hit at AES, the Game Audio Track at the upcoming 133rd AES Convention, taking place October 26-29 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, has finalized its lineup.
Game Audio Track Chair Steve Martz, a Sr. Design Engineer at THX Ltd., and, an accomplished studio design consultant for over 1500 rooms including Sony Computer Entertainment, Square ENIX, Activision, Electronic Arts, THQ and Skywalker Sound, helped assemble a very strong schedule of events.
Highlights below include “Building an AAA Title,” “Game Audio In A Web Browser,” “Getting into Sound Design,” and a career panel. Additionally, “The Future Is NOW” presenters include the Red Storm Entertainment creative group behind Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier.
Without further ado, behold the full lineup:
BUILDING AN AAA TITLE – Roles & Responsibilities: Presenters: An all-star group from Red Storm Entertainment, a leading game development company formed by best-selling author Tom Clancy. Participants include: Justin Drust, Audio Director; Chris Groegler, Audio Lead/Voice Producer; Fran Dyer, Sound & Music Designer; Matt McCallus, Audio Programmer; and Matte Wagner, Sound Designer – This panel will present a rare look at the genesis of an AAA title by a world-class creative team. Attendees will see the inner workings of the collaborative process as the group engages multiple Ubisoft studios to create the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Multiplayer development experience.
THE FUTURE IS NOW – Mind Controlled Interactive Music: Presenters: Richard Warp, Composer/Sound Designer, Leapfrog; Kyle Machulis, Founder, Nonpolynomial Labs; Dr. Gautam Agarwal, Researcher, Redwood Center for Neuroscience; Nicolas Tomasino, Software Engineer, IGN Entertainment; Jim Hedges, Composer, Zynga; Adam Gazzaley, Director, Neuroscience Imaging Center, UCSF – Consumers are seeking an ever-more immersive environment for their gaming experience. Whether the feedback comes from autonomic processes, or cognitive function there is no doubt that these ‘active input’ technologies greatly enhance the contextual responsiveness of a game. And, things are about to get more real.
NEW MODELS FOR GAME AUDIO EDUCATION IN THE 21st CENTURY: Moderated by: Steve Horowitz, The Code International Inc, MPA; Panelists: Steve Horelick (macProVideo); Scott Looney, Instructor, Academy of Art University; Greg Gordon, Founder/CEO, Pyramind; Michael Sweet, Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music; Stephan Schütze Composer/Sound Designer, Sound Librarian/FMOD – will review the new ways in which the Internet and Social Media are changing the face of game audio education.
CAREERS PANEL – Getting A Job In The Game Industry: Moderator: Steve Horowitz, The Code International Inc, MPA; Panelists: Charles Deenen, Sr. Creative Director Audio, Electronic Arts; Richard Warp, Senior Audio Lead, Leapfrog; Adam Levenson, Agent, Levenson Artists; Jesse Harlin, Composer, Music Supervisor, LucasArts – From full-fledged degree programs, to one-year certificate programs, and single class offerings, game audio education is a hot topic. This panel will discuss the current landscape and offerings in audio for interactive media education.
ADDITIONAL GAME TRACK EVENTS INCLUDE:
DEMO DERBY – Music & Sound Design Critique: Moderator, Paul Lipson, Microsoft: Jonathan Mayer, Music Manager, Sony Computer Entertainment America; Don Veca, Audio Director, Sledgehammer Games at Activision; Paul Gorman, Audio Director, Electronic Arts; Dren McDonald, Audio Director, Loot Drop – Attendees will submit 60 seconds of their best work for detailed critiques from a team of leading pro audio director/producers. The Derby is open to game audio practitioners of all levels, including producers, composers and directors.
LOUDNESS ISSUES IN GAMES: Moderator, Steve Martz, Sr. Design Engineer, THX Ltd. Presenters: Richard Cabot, Qualis; Mark Yeend, Microsoft; Mike Babbitt, Dolby Labs – Loudness wars in games have been hotly debated, but without significant progress. Other industries have taken steps to rein in the content delivered to consumers. Are there parallels that can be applied to games?
HOW TO USE THE ‘INTERACTIVE REVERBERATOR’ – Theoretical Bases And Practical Applications: Chair, Steve Martz, Sr. Design Engineer, THX Ltd. Presenters: Masataka Nakahara (Onfuture), Toshiki Hanyu, Nihon University, Tomoya Kishi, and Takumi Higashi of CAPCOM Co. Ltd. – The ability to apply realistic computed acoustic responses interactively for video game sequences is an invaluable asset for in-game sound processing. The ‘Interactive Reverberator’ was developed to enable acoustical properties to be easily adjusted even after the calculated results are established.
A WHOLE WORLD IN YOUR HANDS – New techniques in generative audio bring entire game worlds into the realms of mobile platforms: Presenter: Stephan Schütze, Director, Sound Librarian – This presentation will examine new methodologies being developed for audio creation and implementation to allow large, complex audio environments to be created using minimal resources. Concepts for developing a new approach to sound design will be demonstrated.
GETTING INTO SOUND DESIGN: Presenters: Shaun Farley, Sound Engineer, Teleproductions International; Elise Baldwin, Audio Director, EA/Maxis; Nathan Moody, Design Director, Stimulant; Kyrsten Mate, Sound Designer/Sound Editor, Skywalker Sound – A cross-section of industry experts will discuss entering the effects editing and sound design field. In addition to Game Audio, the panel will discuss the broader industry (Games, Film, TV). Where the work is, and how they got started.
DOING MORE WITH LESS – How Games ‘Immersively’ Simulate Audio On A Budget: Presenter, Scott Selfon, Sr. Development Lead, Microsoft – How do games pack hundreds of hours of experience onto a disc, hard drive, or the web? Techniques used (and the tradeoffs incurred) to make seemingly infinite, unique, and dynamic sounds and music will be discussed.
AUDIO SHORTS (TOOLS): Three presenters will each serve up 20 minute-long overviews on specific sound design tools that matter most to them e.g. Sound Libraries and Favorite Plug-ins. The session will conclude with a Q&A.
TECH TOUR: San Francisco is home to Playfish and PopCap, two of Electronic Art’s newest studios – EA Redwood Shores’ Julie Wynn will conduct a tour of both of these studios, which are located along the Embarcadero overlooking the Bay Bridge.