GDC | Audio


Join the game industry's top audio professionals to share knowledge and experience from the real-world addressing audio's unique aesthetic, technical, business, and logistical problems.

To access everything that GDC 2018 has to offer – including all Audio sessions in GDC Summits, VRDC@GDC and other GDC Conference Tracks, register for an All Access pass. The All Access pass also allows you to view sessions online in the GDC Vault through March 2019.

Register for an Audio Conference Track + Tutorial pass if you'd like a lower cost option to attend the Audio Bootcamp XVII on Tuesday and GDC Conference sessions labeled Audio Track from Wednesday to Friday only.

2017 Audio Conference Track - Session Highlights (W-F)

Please check back soon for 2018 sessions!

Raising a Ruckus: Bringing the Blues to 'Mafia III'
James Bonney (BigLoudSound)
Jesse Harlin (Dunderpate Music, LLC)
Mafia III's dev team wanted a cinematic score with a twist. Through an experimental and exploratory demo process, the game's score pointed towards the creation of an interactive, all-original blues score. The blues, however, introduces several challenges: its form and structure is very simple, its instrumentation is limited in color, and often its players, while accomplished, are not musically literate. This talk will address the challenges of working with a music tradition that is not typically used for scoring video games. The talk will address creating concept demos for an alternative ensemble, overcoming scoring and orchestration issues, how to produce efficient recording sessions with alternative methods of communicating with players who improvise or don't read music, how to respect the integrity of a music tradition while stretching its boundaries, and how to technically and creatively work improvisation into a dynamic scoring system.
'Gears of War 4', Project Triton: Pre-Computed Environmental Wave Acoustics
Nikunj Raghuvanshi (Microsoft Research)
John Tennant (Microsoft)
Project Triton is the first successful effort for detailed scene-dependent wave acoustics in games. Triton will ship in 'Gears of War 4', resulting from a collaboration between The Coalition and Microsoft Research. Triton robustly models complex wave phenomena such as diffraction, scattered reflections and reverberation on static 3D level geometry. In doing so, it captures important effects like smooth occlusion around obstacles or longer reverberation in large halls, as well as how these effects change when source and listener move through the environment. Nikunj and John will discuss both the technical and design aspects of the system, providing details on its integration in Unreal Engine 4 and AudioKinetic Wwise. They will also discuss how interpreting the Triton data forced them to define stylized cinematic and emotional acoustics for 'Gears of War 4' to navigate their way out of an uncanny valley of game audio.
'DOOM': Behind the Music
Mick Gordon (Game Audio Australia)
A detailed look into the compositional process, production techniques and creative philosophies behind the hell-raising soundtrack to the 4th installment of the seminal first-person shooter franchise, 'DOOM'. Composer Mick Gordon ('Killer Instinct', 'Wolfenstein: The New Order', 'Need for Speed') will give an insight into how to create a high-energy modern first-person-shooter soundtrack that unashamedly sits front-and-center, appeals to fans and stays true to the franchise. Covering musical sound design, synthesis techniques, compositional approach, interactive music, mixing, working remotely and idea generation, Mick will discuss the fine points behind creating an aggressive soundtrack that both engages the player and supports gameplay.
Originality Factor in 'Fallout' Music
Inon Zur (Inon Zur Inc)
This talk will reveal the creative process behind the scores for the rich, open-world of 'Fallout 4' and other titles in the blockbuster series, and will highlight the unique approaches employed. Hear about the 'originality factor' in the music for 'Fallout 4' and its DLCs. Get the behind-the-scenes of the music composition approach for this acclaimed franchise and learn how to recognize, create and fully maximize the original components in a musical score. Learn how to create 'ear candy' that will enlighten the gamer and make the director/producer very happy they hired you! Discover new ways of creating musical elements from non-musical instruments and the use of traditional music instruments in a non-traditional way.
Epic AND Interactive Music in 'FINAL FANTASY XV'
Sho Iwamoto (SQUARE ENIX)
Nick Wiswell (Turn 10 Studios)
Interactive music is common in AAA games, but in games like 'Final Fantasy' that always have a strong melody line and musical progression, it doesn't go well in the same way. Square Enix worked to make an intelligent music system called "MAGI", that allows composers to create music in any tempo or measures and has customized sync points to make it interactive while remaining epic. In this talk, the sound team behind 'Final Fantasy XV' will share how they created actual music data in their proprietary authoring tools, and issues they faced during implementing them such as synchronization with game scene and looping, fading, etc.
Assisting VR Gameplay Through the Use of Iconographic Music
Kenneth Young (AudBod)
Directing the player through the use of audio is central to the success of many VR experiences. The tried and tested visual tricks you rely on in traditional games to draw the player's attention can feel clunky in VR; whilst a big arrow pointing at something works on a utilitarian level, it fights against the wonderful sense of presence. The resultant pressure being put on audio to direct the player towards "off-screen" action is a brilliant opportunity, but it's not one most people have much experience with. Come to this talk to learn about the approach that worked brilliantly in PSVR launch title 'Tethered'.

Audio Bootcamp XVII (T)

Audio Bootcamp XVII (T)
Ramp up, brush up, and get a leg up on a broad range of major themes relating to creating sound for games. Delivered by industry experts speaking to their own experiences and practical skills relating to music composition, sound design, digital signal processing, audio mixing, career development, the logistics of working in both large and small studio settings, and more.

Talks cater to both the audience with multiple games under their belt looking to expand their awareness and knowledge of other fields, as well as to those new to and curious about just how the noise actually makes it out of the speakers. And the lunchtime surgeries offer a unique opportunity to sit and meet with many of the speakers in a small-scale setting to talk about the specific interactive audio topics that are at top of attendees' minds.

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