Game Audio Implementation

Description

This module introduces students to the real-time adaptive processes and structures that drive interactive sound effects and music in games. Students will investigate the different approaches that tools offer for real-time control of sound and music, and the processes through which pre-recorded sound assets are edited, tagged, implemented, and scripted to respond to player input.

Aims

This module aims to provide the student with an applied knowledge and understanding of how sound and music are integrated into a game engine, and the techniques and systems used by sound designers and composers to implement dynamic, reactive audio environments.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Apply suitable methods of analysis to a game soundtrack considering the technical implementation of audio and associated processes, and how they integrate and respond to player input

2.  Implement a library of sound fx within a playable game demo, considering the scripting of event and parameter management for adaptive audio

3.  Implement dynamic background music, considering the variety of different approaches and techniques available with modern audio middleware

Indicative Content

1 Technology

Compare and contrast middleware solutions, exploring functionality and options; Work with game engines, using scripting for event management and parameter control.

2 Interfacing

Explore the different ways that sound and music can be triggered and/or driven by game events, and the different ways that sound and music can either lead or react to player input.

3 Spatial audio

Discuss how spatial placement and reverberation help to create and characterise a sense of believable game space, and how this can be achieved within different sections and/or environments within the game.

4 Implementation

Explore the full implementation cycle of sound assets, and look at what’s involved in getting multiple layers of sound to function correctly in response to player input in a game.

5 Sound file management

Understanding differences in file formats and data encoding, and the artefacts that can be introduced can mean the difference between a soundtrack that behaves as it should, and hours of troubleshooting.

6 Profiling and troubleshooting

Explore the options available for measuring the performance of a games audio implementation. Investigate some of the common problems that affect game audio, and what solutions and/or workarounds exist.

7 Analysis

Analysing the use of sound and music in a computer game requires a particular set of analytical tools and an appreciation of context. Students will explore these notions and develop a framework for analysing interactive game-based audio.

8 Case Studies and exemplars

Review and discuss case study examples that demonstrate how sound and music have been used in videogames across a range of different formats and platforms and at different periods in history.

9

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

In Weeks 1-6 and 8-13, students will participate in 1-hour lectures that focus on the core concepts as outlined in the indicative content, and 2-hour supervised practicals during which they will gain experience of implementation and scripting of audio using appropriate game engines and middleware. Students will be set additional development exercises for completion outside of scheduled class time. There will be no scheduled activities in Week 7. For assessment, students will be set the task of implementing, testing and evaluating a complete set of sound assets for a computer game demo. Both the sound assets and basic game demo project files will be provided.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 0
Supervised Practical Activity 24
Unsupervised Practical Activity 24
Assessment 80
Independent 60



Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


Disclaimer

We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.