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For my BSc Sound for Media dissertation, I looked into how game audio is created, along with how the requirements have evolved and how the technology has progressed to allow designers to creatively to enhance the gameplay experience of the player. Research included the history of game audio, how it can be compared to the sound design of film, problems designers face in creating game audio and a brief look into the future.

The Creation of Compelling Audio Experiences within Games


Abstract:

Interactive entertainment is an expressive art form that engages and inspires millions worldwide. The audio of games must enhance the visuals, while also helping to immerse the player in an entirely virtual world. Ever since computer chips have been able to produce basic tones, audio has been a vital part of gaming. Arcades awash with various hardware-produced bleeps led to home consoles and PCs that are capable of extremely rich and diverse experiences. Designers of such audio now have few limitations on what they can create, while programmers have tools at their disposal to implement the audio in a believable and creative way. Middleware has made it possible for the designer to become the programmer, allowing greater control over audio implementation while also supporting creativity. The interactive nature of games causes problems, especially when compared to the long-standing conventions of the film industry. Technologies such as real-time HRTF-based 3D audio is an exciting possibility for game audio, but as it is not primarily supported by any widely available game engines, the implementation of it is currently minimal at best.

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