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Game Sound: Working Practices, Technologies, Challenges and Emerging Opportunities.

Gibson, D. and Cryne, M., 2022. Game Sound: Working Practices, Technologies, Challenges and Emerging Opportunities. In: Sound and Music for Immersive Storytelling (SAMIS), 5-6 July 2022, Virtual Conference.

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SAMIS Presentation MC DG V2.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.



This presentation aims to focus on game sound and specifically the relationship of music, dialogue, and sound effects with respect to the game’s narrative. It will discuss four key areas of working practices, technologies, challenges in integrating creative disciplines and also the emerging opportunities that present themselves in this area. Unlike traditional linear media the narrative can and should be affected by the player's interactions to provide a more compelling experience. This means that potentially the plot, music, sound effects, atmospheres and dialogue may all be affected by player choices and gameplay. This being the case they should be created and developed together. In working practices, the current state of play in game music and sound will be examined. This is a huge topic, which is impossible to fully cover here, but common working practices will be presented. This will provide an overview of the relationship between sound and music, including how the two things interact in game studios at varying levels, from solo developers through to AAA companies. The second area of investigation is the technologies that allow the working practices to develop and how they shape the way game audio and music works with respect to the narrative. From middleware through to procedural music and audio, we aim to provide a broad overview of how technological developments are affecting and shaping working practices and the relationship between the game narrative and its sound and music. Next the challenges inherent in the modern world of game audio will be discussed, from the interaction of creative silos, through to the issues involved in unique asset creation and integration. This will include musical areas of interest, such as varying compositional strategies and how often the current state of software can be a limiting factor. Challenges in blending music and audio into an overall cohesive soundworld that helps to enhance the narrative will also be considered. Alongside challenges, there are obviously opportunities, and there are many technological advances that are happening at the moment. From the development of in-game AI and its game audio applications, including dialog, music and SFX, through to the ever-increasing flexibility and sophistication of middleware. The resulting possibilities for development in this area are substantial. At the heart of all this is crafting more effective stories, and as the field is ever evolving so the narrative strategies need to be developed in conjunction with these advancements. As a result, the community should take stock of where we are currently, and where we might go in the future.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:37152
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:05 Jul 2022 15:24
Last Modified:05 Jul 2022 15:24


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