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|    Audio

Please note: this information refers to GDC 2014, check back for updates.

The Audio Track brings the industry's top professionals to share their knowledge and experience from the real-world, addressing these unique problems: aesthetic, technical, business, logistical and then some.

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Tomb Raider Rebooted: Audio Reimagined
Jack Grillo (Crystal Dynamics)
Alex Wilmer (Crystal Dynamics)
Tomb Raider has been recognized as one of the best-sounding games of 2013. In this talk, the audio team from Crystal Dynamics will explain how their dream of setting a new standard in immersive audio became a reality. Every angle will be covered, including dialogue, music, sound design and the technology behind it all. A dream such as this requires many groundbreaking processes in audio production. The creation of these processes is unpredictable at best and subject to resistance from many angles. The team will describe where they feel they succeeded and where they failed. Tomb Raider has given the audio team unique insight into the future of the industry. They will examine where they see potential for innovation on the road ahead.
Aural Immersion: Audio Technology in The Last of Us
Jonathan Lanier (Naughty Dog, Inc.)
In The Last of Us, immersive audio played a critical role in supporting the gameplay and story. The audio team was faced with difficult challenges: the immersion had to be believable, but subtle. It had to convey tactical information, but important dialogue and effects still had to be audible. Cinematic setups sometimes conflicted with standard audio models. Solutions required compromise and collaboration between sound design and technology. This talk examines how specific problems were solved, such as getting the environment to lead the player to or from tactically important areas, ensuring the audibility of important dialogue, adjusting the mix dynamically based on game state, and dealing with obstruction/occlusion issues. The emphasis is on successful implementation of immersive audio in a modern game using a synergy of sound design and technology, citing specific examples from The Last of Us.
Checkered Flag: Forza Motorsport 5 Soundtrack Postmortem
Chase Combs (Microsoft)
Lance Hayes (DJDM Dot Com Music Publishing)
The Forza Motorsport 5 Soundtrack Postmortem pulls together two of the principles creatives from the Forza audio team for a detailed look at how the soundtrack was conceived and executed. Coming from diverse backgrounds, lead composer Lance Hayes and audio content lead Chase Combs will focus on their roles in the project, and how they fit into the larger scope to create the unique and remarkable soundtrack for one of the first next-gen titles. Augmented by notes, images and video, the discussion will start with the initial concepts to the composition phase to nationwide recording at top facilities to final implementation and on to release. Attendees will come away with information pertaining to the process and scope of scoring a large AAA title, as well as ways that next-gen technology is helping create fresh experiences in game audio.
Next-Gen Audio in Killer Instinct
Mick Gordon (Mick Gordon)
Jean-Edouard Miclot (Double Helix Games)
After a 17-year hiatus, Killer Instinct came back as an Xbox One launch title. This presented the audio team with two challenges: be true to the series and deliver a next-gen audio experience. This lecture will demonstrate how these creative and technical challenges were overcome by asking three questions: What made the original sound great (analysis)? What audio experience does the player expect from a next-gen fighting game (anticipation)? And what doesn't the player expect and how can we evolve the series (surprise)? You will learn what went right and what went wrong, including mix choices, loudness standards, the dynamic soundtrack, designing around 60fps, contractor budgets and the creative use of surround.
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