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AES Presses Play With Game Audio Track

Building An AAA Title, Web Browser Game Audio + Game EDU Programs

SAN FRANCISCO: In keeping with the skyrocketing trajectory of its namesake, the popular AES Convention Game Audio Track continues to break new ground. Committee Co-Chairs Jim McTigue and Valery Tyler report that Game Audio Track Chair, Steve Martz has developed a group of innovative presentations guaranteed to fascinate, stimulate and educate attendees. “As a Sr. Design Engineer at THX Ltd., and, an accomplished studio design consultant for over 1500 rooms including Sony Computer Entertainment, Square ENIX, Activision, Electronic Arts, THQ and Skywalker Sound, Steve Martz is eminently qualified to Chair our Game Audio Track,” Valery Tyler said. “The events and presenters he has assembled for the 133rd AES Convention are exemplary. We anticipate an extremely high turnout for each of them.

133rd AES Game Audio Track Events Include:

BUILDING AN AAA TITLE – Roles & Responsibilities: Presenters: An all-star group from Red Storm Entertainment, a leading game development company formed by best-selling author Tom Clancy. Participants include: Justin Drust, Audio Director; Chris Groegler, Audio Lead/Voice Producer; Fran Dyer, Sound & Music Designer; Matt McCallus, Audio Programmer; and Matte Wagner, Sound Designer – This panel will present a rare look at the genesis of an AAA title by a world-class creative team. Attendees will see the inner workings of the collaborative process as the group engages multiple Ubisoft studios to create the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Multiplayer development experience.

GAME AUDIO IN A WEB BROWSER: Presenters: Roger Powell, Senior Producer, Audio Technology; Electronic Arts Chief Creative Office; Owen Grace, Sr. Software Engineer, Electronic Arts; Chris Rogers, Sr. Software Engineer/Architect, Google; Guy Whitmore, Sr. Audio Director, PopCap Games – This session will focus on a research project to create a game sound engine in Javascript based on the W3C WebAudio API draft proposal. The sound engine generated 3D ‘spatialized’ rich audio content within a WebGL-based graphics game framework. The result is a networked, multi-player arena combat-style game that rivals the experience of playing on a dedicated console gaming device.

THE FUTURE IS NOW – Mind Controlled Interactive Music: Presenters:
Richard Warp, Composer/Sound Designer, Leapfrog; Kyle Machulis, Founder, Nonpolynomial Labs; Dr. Gautam Agarwal, Researcher, Redwood Center for Neuroscience; Nicolas Tomasino, Software Engineer, IGN Entertainment; Jim Hedges, Composer, Zynga; Adam Gazzaley, Director, Neuroscience Imaging Center, UCSF – Consumers are seeking an ever-more immersive environment for their gaming experience. Whether the feedback comes from autonomic processes, or cognitive function there is no doubt that these ‘active input’ technologies greatly enhance the contextual responsiveness of a game. And, things are about to get more real.

NEW MODELS FOR GAME AUDIO EDUCATION IN THE 21st CENTURY: Moderated by: Steve Horowitz, The Code International Inc, MPA; Panelists: Steve Horelick (macProVideo); Scott Looney, Instructor, Academy of Art University; Greg Gordon, Founder/CEO, Pyramind; Michael Sweet, Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music; Stephan Schƒtze Composer/Sound Designer, Sound Librarian/FMOD – Panel will review the new ways in which the Internet and Social Media are changing the face of game audio education.

CAREERS PANEL – Getting A Job In The Game Industry: Moderator: Steve Horowitz, The Code International Inc, MPA; Panelists: Charles Deenen, Sr. Creative Director Audio, Electronic Arts; Richard Warp, Senior Audio Lead, Leapfrog; Adam Levenson, Agent, Levenson Artists; Jesse Harlin, Composer, Music Supervisor, LucasArts – From full-fledged degree programs, to one-year certificate programs, and single class offerings, game audio education is a hot topic. This panel will discuss the current landscape and offerings in audio for interactive media education.

ADDITIONAL GAME TRACK EVENTS INCLUDE:

DEMO DERBY – Music & Sound Design Critique: Moderator, Paul Lipson, Microsoft : Jonathan Mayer, Music Manager, Sony Computer Entertainment America; Don Veca, Audio Director, Sledgehammer Games at Activision; Paul Gorman, Audio Director, Electronic Arts; Dren McDonald, Audio Director, Loot Drop – Attendees will submit 60 seconds of their best work for detailed critiques from a team of leading pro audio director/producers. The Derby is open to game audio practitioners of all levels, including producers, composers and directors.

LOUDNESS ISSUES IN GAMES: Moderator, Steve Martz, Sr. Design Engineer, THX Ltd. Presenters: Richard Cabot, Qualis; Mark Yeend, Microsoft; Mike Babbitt, Dolby Labs – Loudness wars in games have been hotly debated, but without significant progress. Other industries have taken steps to rein in the content delivered to consumers. Are there parallels that can be applied to games?

HOW TO USE THE ‘INTERACTIVE REVERBERATOR’ – Theoretical Bases And Practical Applications: Chair, Steve Martz, Sr. Design Engineer, THX Ltd. Presenters: Masataka Nakahara (Onfuture), Toshiki Hanyu, Nihon University, Tomoya Kishi, and Takumi Higashi of CAPCOM Co. Ltd. – The ability to apply realistic computed acoustic responses interactively for video game sequences is an invaluable asset for in-game sound processing. The ‘Interactive Reverberator’ was developed to enable acoustical properties to be easily adjusted even after the calculated results are established.

A WHOLE WORLD IN YOUR HANDS – New techniques in generative audio bring entire game worlds into the realms of mobile platforms: Presenter: Stephan Schƒtze, Director, Sound Librarian – This presentation will examine new methodologies being developed for audio creation and implementation to allow large, complex audio environments to be created using minimal resources. Concepts for developing a new approach to sound design will be demonstrated.

GETTING INTO SOUND DESIGN: Presenters: Shaun Farley, Sound Engineer, Teleproductions International; Elise Baldwin, Audio Director, EA/Maxis; Nathan Moody, Design Director, Stimulant; Kyrsten Mate, Sound Designer/Sound Editor, Skywalker Sound – A cross-section of industry experts will discuss entering the effects editing and sound design field. In addition to Game Audio, the panel will discuss the broader industry (Games, Film, TV). Where the work is, and how they got started.

DOING MORE WITH LESS – How Games ‘Immersively’ Simulate Audio On A Budget: Presenter, Scott Selfon, Sr. Development Lead, Microsoft – How do games pack hundreds of hours of experience onto a disc, hard drive, or the web? Techniques used (and the tradeoffs incurred) to make seemingly infinite, unique, and dynamic sounds and music will be discussed.

AUDIO SHORTS (TOOLS): Three presenters will each serve up 20 minute-long overviews on specific sound design tools that matter most to them e.g. Sound Libraries and Favorite Plug-ins. The session will conclude with a Q&A.

TECH TOUR: San Francisco is home to Playfish and PopCap, two of Electronic Art’s newest studios. EA Redwood Shores’ Julie Wynn will conduct a tour of both of these facilities, which are located along the Embarcadero overlooking the Bay Bridge.

Photo 1 AES Game Audio Track Chair, Steve Martz

Photo 2 Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Multiplayer is featured in the AES Audio Game Track

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The Audio Engineering Society was formed in 1948 by a group of concerned audio engineers. The AES counts over 14,000 members throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Japan and the Far East. The organization serves as the pivotal force in the exchange and dissemination of technical information for the industry. For additional information visit http://www.aes.org

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