The GDC happened and it feels like I got hit in the neck repeatedly. So. Much. Shit.
520am everyday –just making sure I’m on time- to make it to the game audio meetup at 7am. Meeting your pairs from all over the world is something, man. You can dive in a second on very specific topics that you can’t talk to to anyone otherwise and for a week, you can. I had a memorable discussion with a sound designer working at Konami, she was awesome and I still think about what we exchanged. GDC is dope as hell.
Mad props to my dude Damian for being such a profound and dedicated game audio catalyst through the years. And Matt M joined him in building a nice community online and at that carousel on 4th/Howard in San Francisco for the annual CarouselCon™. It wouldn’t be the same at all without their efforts and dedication.
Six years ago I wrote a few blog posts about how MIDI should be back and kind of central in games and in 2017 I saw that everywhere: Unreal has it, Wwise was first a few years ago, Elias followed and made it really good. So happy to see they based their sampler format on .sfz, as planned in my head! I feel like Da Vinci designing the parachute. Close, close.
Anyway we really do have great tools today. To make a difference, to enhance game audio is all about budget and will now more than ever. The hardest part to change amirite?
There’s a lot of talent in this community and I think it’s stifled, it’s not getting the attention it deserves. Game developers when thinking about sound switch to “safe mode”. They are already dealing with complex issues on other sides, they don’t want to wonder if that sound effect or that music are working or creating an interesting dynamic within their games. is it action-y? Put some “epic music”. Is it melancholic? Put some fragile piano drenched in reverb. Colorful game? Music needs to jump in your face like buckets of paint thrown at you. Very safe and predictable. IMO it’s part of the blandness people are talking about and experiencing with computer games these days. Things are just super predictable and thus, forgettable. We need to shake them up!
Inside was the game of the year from an audio point of view to me, not so much for the fact that it has fantastic sound design but because the game listens to its audio and truly becomes something else. Timelessness is triggered. Devil Daggers is another great example of beautiful fusion when Audio, Visuals and Input are together in such a way that it elevates the experience ten fold. In the first 30 mn of the new Zelda Breath Of The Wild almost everything is communicated through sound design and musicality. Very sparse voice over and music. It’s wonderful. Look, Listen, Do. Listen, Do, Look. Do, Listen, Look. And on.
My journey through game audio continues. So. Much. Shit.