October 19th is the next application deadline for the November-December 2012 term for the online School of Video Game Audio so I thought that I’d give a bit of information for sound designers that might be interested in the possibility of taking a course at the school.

The two courses currently being offered are Audiokinetic’s Wwise and Firelight Technologies’ FMOD Designer. The goal of the courses is to give the student enough training so that they can make their own professional demo reel in eight weeks using either Wwise or FMOD. No certification is given but if you happen to be chosen as the featured student in the course then you will have your reel and information posted on the site so that industry professionals can hear your work and you will receive a 50% discount on your course fee.

The primary advantage of taking the course instead of just working on tutorials and working through demos on your own is that you have direct access to an industry professional who can answer nearly any question that can come up while you’re working on your demo reel.  This helps eliminate that frustration when you get stuck when trying to learn these technologies on your own.

Currently, the breakdown of the eight weeks for the Wwise course is roughly as follows:

  • Week 1: Introductions, setup and initial tutorial videos
  • Week 2: Footsteps – How to think about footsteps for games and have them sound convincing but not overly repetitive
  • Week 3: Effects – How to work with reverb that the game renders in real-time depending on where the sounds are occurring
  • Week 4: Monster sounds – Making creature sounds that help inform the player about the specific monster who is attacking them
  • Week 5: Compiling the game – How to be comfortable seeing game code and setting up a basic build environment
  • Week 6: Demo reel sound design and implementation in Wwise
  • Week 7: Submit the first draft of the demo reel for review
  • Week 8: Final review of demo reel

The course material will likely change over time but the goal is to keep it streamlined such that all work is a step towards the final demo reel. There are no grades in the course but each of the three mini-projects for footsteps, effects and monsters are reviewed by the instructor to give guidelines for improvement and also understanding the strengths as well.  I am currently teaching both the Wwise course and the FMOD course but depending on interest, more courses and more instructors may be added to the school in the future. I find game audio fascinating which is why I have continued to work in the industry since 1994 and have taught game audio for since 2001.  I don’t believe it is my job to motivate students but I hope that I can inspire people to want to learn more by showing how much fun I have working within the industry.

The cost for a class is $300CAD and this includes the initial $25 application fee. One of the main goals of the classes is to be as flexible as possible so that people that can fit the course into their existing work or school schedules. Ten hours a week learning the materials is required to keep pace with the materials for people that have a bit of experience with game sound design already. For audio people that are just getting started with games it will likely require additional time to study the material which might be new to them. People’s schedules can often change and it is easy to apply for an enrolment extension for a month which is $75. Student participate from India, Spain, Costa Rica, Brazil, Portugal, Norway and many other places from around the globe.  The primary goal of the school is to help raise the art of game audio on a worldwide scale at an affordable cost for people from different countries.

If you think that the school might be a match for you, feel free have a look through further details on our application page at: http://School.VideoGameAudio.com/apply

You can also follow us on twitter for updates at: http://twitter.com/@SchoolGameAudio