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The Game Audio Strategy Guide

A Practical Course

Gina Zdanowicz Spencer Bambrick



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CRC Press
12 December 2019
The Game Audio Strategy Guide is a comprehensive text designed to turn both novices and experienced audio designers into technical game audio pros. Providing both a theoretical foundation and practical insights, The Game Audio Strategy Guide offers a thorough look at the tools and methods needed to create industry-quality music and sound design for games. The text is supported by an extensive companion website, featuring numerous practical tutorials and exercises, which allows the reader to gain hands-on experience creating and implementing audio assets for games.

The Game Audio Strategy Guide is the essential manual for anyone interested in creating audio for games, inside or outside the classroom.
By:   Gina Zdanowicz, Spencer Bambrick
Imprint:   CRC Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 191mm, 
Weight:   730g
ISBN:   9781138498341
ISBN 10:   1138498343
Pages:   396
Publication Date:   12 December 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  College/higher education ,  Undergraduate ,  A / AS level
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Foreword Preface Acknowledgements INTRODUCTION 1. Getting Started Our Goals for this Textbook Overview and Learning Outcomes Who Should Read this Book? How to Use this Book Requisite Knowledge Theoretical Framework Practical Framework, A.K.A. Companion Website (Sound Lab)? Visiting Artist's Tips Key Terms Further Reading Game Audio Game Development Roles Defined Essential Soft Skills and Tools For Game Audio Production Cycle and Planning Research Making Use of Downtime PART I Sound Design 2. The Basics of Nonlinear Sound Design What is Nonlinear Sound Design? The Sound Design Process Challenges in Nonlinear Sound Design Exploring Immersion and Interactivity Essential Skills for Sound Designers 3. Designing Sound Dynamic Audio Sound Effects The Function of Sound in Games Designing the Sonic Palette Choosing the Right Source for Your Sonic Palette Sourcing Audio from Libraries Sourcing Sounds through Synthesis Sourcing Audio through Studio and Field Recording Field Recording Microphone Choice and Placement Performing Sound with Props Location Scouting and Preparation Designing Sound Effects Sound Design Techniques Effects Processing as a Sound Design Tool Putting It All Together 4. Voice Production Dialogue vs. Voice-Over PART II Music 5. The Basics of Nonlinear Music What is Nonlinear Music? Challenges of Nonlinear Music Writing Essential Skills for the Game Composer Exploring Music as an Immersive Tool Diegetic vs. Non-Diegetic Music Production Cycle and Planning Working with a Team Platforms and Delivery 6. Composing Music Generating Musical Ideas and the Creative Cycle Starting Points for Musical Composition Composing Game Music Form and Structure in Game Music 7. Arranging and Orchestration for Games Genre and Style Considerations Foundations of Musical Texture in Games Arranging and Orchestrating Using Samples Templates Template Planning The Orchestral Instruments Writing for String Samples Writing for Woodwind and Brass Samples Writing for Choir Samples Writing for Percussion Samples Writing for Full Sampled Orchestra Advanced Orchestration and Arranging for Live Ensembles Working with Synthetic Timbres Other Styles of Arranging in Game Music PART III Implementation 8. Audio Implementation Implementation Basics Dialogue Systems Dynamic Mix Systems Resource Management and Performance Optimization Testing, Debugging, and QA 9. Music Implementation Approaching Implementation Arranging and Orchestration as Implementation Advanced Vertical Techniques Advanced Horizontal Techniques Adding Randomness and Variation Composing Complex Adaptive Systems Using Middleware Aesthetic Creativity and Composing Outside the Box Tools for Experimentation Pure Data Simplicity vs. Complexity in Game Music PART IV Business and Networking 10. The Business of Games, Part I: What Do We Do Now? Career Development: Overview and Philosophy Selecting Tangible Goals The Pyramid of Sustainability Career Paths in Game Audio 11. The Business of Games, Part II: Gigs, Gigs, Gigs! Networking and Creating Value Demonstrating Value Finding Work Business and Price Considerations The Final Bid Navigating Contracts 12. Your Game Audio Strategy Guide Audio Creator as Game Developer Index

Gina Zdanowicz is an accomplished audio designer for games, film, TV, new realities, and podcasts. A graduate from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Synthesis, Gina honed her skills in game audio by working in house with game developers and founding her own independent sound studio, Serial Lab Sound. Gina has worked on over 100 video game and interactive titles and her work with Nickelodeon (TV) has been nominated for two Daytime Emmy awards. In addition to her career as an audio designer, Gina is a game audio course author and instructor at Berklee Online, a tutor at Thinkspace Education, and a lecturer at universities such as NYU and conferences around the world like GDC. Follow Gina at: Spencer Bambrick is a composer for games, film, and the concert stage. His recent work includes BestLuck (2018, PC, Mobile), Block Party (Emmy-Nominated Nick Jr. Series of Animated Shorts), and additional music for Paladins (Hi-Rez Studios). Spencer is the Game Audio Network Guild Northeast Regional Director and he has presented at GameSoundCon (2018, 2017), PAX Dev (2016), and MAGFest (2015). He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Music Composition at The University of Hartford (The Hartt School), studying interactive music, game technology, and social activism.

Reviews for The Game Audio Strategy Guide: A Practical Course

If you're interested in the world of game sound, you need this book! I couldn't be more excited that this book exists and wish I had had such a comprehensive and well-organized handbook when I was starting out as a sound designer/composer. Gina and Spencer take us through a complete overview of the craft and the skills involved in this growing field where sound is an essential component of game development. They shed light on the creative process, the technical skills, and the practicalities, from sound and music creation to game audio implementation. This book is a culmination of Gina and Spencer's many years of professional experience wrapped into an accessible and effective guide. Not to mention, they are seasoned educators, so as you can imagine this book is not only bursting with invaluable tips from professionals, but it's also instructive and even includes assignments and additional practical information on a companion website to make sure the concepts really hit home. That combination is invaluable and an enormous help! A must-read for up-and-coming game audio folks, in my opinion. - Michele Darling, professional sound designer and assistant chair of Electronic Production and Design at Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA This is an astonishing achievement. It is the definitive book of reference that the industry has needed for years. It will help guide a whole new generation of creative technical audio professionals into this immensely challenging and rewarding area of the video games industry. If you have any serious interest in video games audio or music, you must read this book. - Guy Michelmore, composer A delightful and useful addition to the Game Audio Toolbox of Your Mind (and bookshelf!) - George Alistair Sanger, The Fat Man The Game Audio Strategy Guide is a comprehensive text for anyone wanting to better understand the nuts and bolts of music composition and sound design for games. In their information-packed treatise, Gina and Spencer provide an excellent roadmap for understanding the complex and not-so-straightforward art of game music and sound. - Brian Schmidt, executive director, GameSoundCon and Brian Schmidt Studios, LLC, USA This exciting book is a comprehensive 'walkthrough' of the creative processes of game audio. It uses the experience of industry professionals in tandem with theoretical discussion to present practical wisdom in an accessible manner. The book encourages readers to become reflective, innovative composers and sound designers. A strategy guide, yes, but absolutely no cheating! - Dr Tim Summers, lecturer in Music, Royal Holloway University of London, UK, author of Understanding Video Game Music, and co-founder, Ludomusicology Research Group

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