Greetings to our audio friends far and wide! It has been a while since we’ve spoken with you.
And we miss you dearly. Oh, so dearly!
So, we thought we’d catch you up on what we’ve been up to. And not just with the site, but with our three-dimensional lives. We’re all human beings, after all. Well, most of us are. Okay, one of us is.
I make video games for a living. But I can’t get enough! Over the last several months, I’ve been diving deep into Unity development in my spare time. It’s a never-ending tunnel of excitement and fun down an ever-deepening rabbit hole of brain-stretching challenges. I’m addicted to it because there is always something new to learn around every corner.
Over the last month, I’ve been developing some tools that can be used to make board games. I’ve also created a neat little piece of audio tech that I’m especially proud of. When I combine the two together, I have a recipe for a pretty spiffy audio game. I will eventually be releasing the full developer projects for others to tinker with.
I’ve also been composing lots of music. I plan on releasing a new album this year with my colleague, Ramen, under our new band name, Panbrello. You can check out the site here.
I’m also completely hooked on Saints Row IV. I have a way to play the development build from home and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had playing a Saints Row game. I’ve never been more proud to work at Volition. It releases on 8/20 in the states and on 8/23 worldwide. I can’t wait until it hits the shelves.
And finally, I have been working with some brilliant audio heroes to create some new original content for Creating Sound. I know you guys are going to love it!
My Pals! My Buddies! Lend me your earholes – I will give them right back.
So many cool things to talk about. How lucky am I that they’re all audio related?! SO, so lucky. Here are the things:
Fellow CS’er Christian and I are working together to create an app for composers that makes some of the tedious tasks of composition more efficient. As of today, we’ve built prototypes for three different functions, including a Tempo Finder, a SMPTE timecode calculator and Metric Modulation calculator. We plan to release a set of 4-5 tools to start, but our long term plan is to create something robust and awesome. We are also seeking input from people who have an idea for a tool that might improve their workflow. Please let us know! http://soundslikegeorge.com/inquiry-composer-tools/
Valve is allowing community members to submit and sell custom-created announcers for Dota 2 via their Steam Workshop. Therefor, I’m teaming up with my voice-over partner, Kevin Powe, to create such an announcer. After spending time on the Dota 2 forums and workshopping some examples, we’ve had great fun writing a bloodthirsty, demonic announcer that demands satisfaction through competition and sport. We’re on the tail-end of the process and looking forward to cramming that into cyberspace.
Motion design artist, Drew Morton, and I have made it to the halfway mark with our audio/visual alphabet collaborations! I love doing these as I get to experiment with new sound design techniques however I wish without any pretense. Here is one of my most recent favorites – https://vimeo.com/63423023
I’ve teamed up with Arnold and Wiebke, a designer and artist duo, respectively, from Berlin on a super cute, upcoming iPad project for children. Featuring Katrin, her ca Clemens and a strange visitor from the moon, I’m composing a few tracks of music to give additional life to their story! You can check out their progress at TinyTouchTales.com
Mark Winter, a designer out of the UK, reached out to me collaborate on a monthly 5-second video series based on a given theme. Pending time is available, we aim to do one of these every month. This past month’s theme was “Eggs, Eggs, Everywhere.” https://vimeo.com/65863542
My most ambitious project to date! I was invited by the great guys at Lunar Giant Games to join them on the development of the sequel to their game, Delve Deeper. It’s still very early in the process, but that just means that I will have *that* much more input on the audio early. It’s exciting as I am helping to design the audio engine, propose ambitious audio design ideas as well as give input on the design. And BONUS: they’re in the Chicago area, so we can even hang out. Stay tuned for more details. You can play their first title, Delve Deeper, on Steam and many other stores. AAAAAAAAAND….
I’m still in the midst of getting a new series ready for Creating Sound that I believe could be incredibly engaging or hilariously out-of-control. I’ll come up with three buzz words as a hint: EAR-BENDING, VOICE-MAILING, NO-HOLDS-BARRED. How about that, I hyphenated them all. Stay tuned!
Audio programming is alive and well! In the past couple of months I have delved into the SDKs of both Wwise and FMOD, resulting in 3 test programs demonstrating the integration of those sound engines and their features. One of these applications is a simple game of Tic Tac Toe, but one in which the soundscape responds to your moves and the corresponding move by the computer AI. All the sounds are based off a classical minimalist work for solo piano called “Fur Alina” by Arvo Part.
In addition, fellow Creative Sound writer, George and I, have begun developing some audio tools for composers and sound designers, with myself handling the programming side of things. We’re still in the early prototype phase, but we’re having a lot of fun doing it. From my perspective as a programmer, there is a great feeling of reward for building tools to help people in their tasks and creative endeavors.
Right after GDC, I returned to school on some interesting news. A trip to the advisement office revealed that I could graduate by the end of summer! This was a pleasant surprise as I thought (and had been telling people at GDC) that I’d be stuck at school for another year. So with that, my workload kicked up quite a bit, and that’s where all my time has been! I’ll be walking at commencement in June, taking two classes over the summer, and then be done! The downside is that I haven’t worked on anything sound related in eight weeks now… Yep, surprise, I’m a Computer Science major!
Over the past months I have been working with a group of talented audio folks at Deep Silver Volition, getting Saint Row IV shiny and ready for show. As our content lock approaches, everyone is crunching responsibly and spirits are high. Needless to say, this period in development has involved some pretty intense interdisciplinary intercourse with several partners. A few pluses for me have been creating tools in Python to automate tedious tasks and working in Lua for audio scripting.
Besides work stuff I have been doing some light Unity development along with creating standalone MAX/MSP applications.
So, there you have it, friends. A bunch of three-dimensional fellas, doing three-dimensional things, definitely a human in there somewhere.
The Creating Sound Crew!