Game Music Middleware, Part 2: FMOD

Middleware-Blackboard

 

Since third-party audio middleware in game development is becoming slowly more prevalent, I’m devoting two blog entries to some tutorials by game audio pros who have produced videos to demonstrate their process working with the software.  I posted the first blog entry in February — you can read it here.

This second blog is devoted to FMOD, and the tutorials were produced by two game composers who have generously shared their experiences.  The first video focuses on the creation of adaptive music for a demo competition hosted by the Game Audio Network Guild and taking place during the Game Developers Conference 2014 in San Francisco.  The tutorial was produced by composer Anastasia Devana, whose game credits include the recently released puzzle game Synergy and the upcoming roleplaying game Anima – Gate of Memories.

Adaptive music in Angry Bots using FMOD Studio and Unity

border-159926_640_white The next tutorials come to us from composer Matthew Pablo, who produced a series of videos on the implementation of game music via the FMOD middleware.  Matthew’s work as a game composer includes N-Dimensions, Arizona Rose and the Pharaoh’s Riddles, Cloud Spin, Micromon, and many more.  Here is the first video — the rest can be found in Matthew’s YouTube playlist.

FMOD Studio: Overview & Introduction

 

 

How I got my big break as a video game music composer

I had a wonderful time last week, speaking before a lively and enthusiastic audience at the Society of Composers & Lyricists seminar, “Inside the World of Game Music.”  Organized by Greg Pliska (board member of the SCL NY), the event was moderated by steering committee member Elizabeth Rose and attended by a diverse audience of composers and music professionals.  Also, steering committee member Tom Salta joined the discussion remotely from his studio via Skype.

SCL-GameMusic-Feb2015

Towards the beginning of the evening, I was asked how I got my first big break in the game industry.  While I’d related my “big break” experience in my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, it was fun sharing those memories with such a great audience, and I’ve included a video clip from that portion of the seminar.

After the event, we all headed over to O’Flanagan’s Irish Pub for great networking and good times at the official NYC SCL/Game Audio Network Guild G.A.N.G. Hang.  I especially enjoyed sharing some stories and getting to know some great people there!  Thanks to everyone who attended the SCL NYC seminar!

 

Game Music Documentary at GameSoundCon

beep_kickstarter

The kickstarter campaign for the documentary “Beep: A History of Video Game Sound” is entering its final six days.  I’m pleased that the producers approached me to be interviewed for their film; I’ll be talking about my career as a game composer and my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music.  The “Beep” documentary looks like it will be a fascinating project, and all indications are that the resulting documentary will be a wide-ranging discussion of the audio aspects of video game design and production.  Two days ago, the kickstarter announced that its plans include coverage of GameSoundCon, the video game music and sound design conference founded and executive produced by the president of the Game Audio Network Guild, Brian Schmidt.

GameSoundCon

The conference is less than a couple of weeks away now, and I’m looking forward to giving my presentation, “Advanced Composition Techniques for Adaptive Systems.”  The GameSoundCon crowd is one of the most enthusiastic and creatively-charged groups of people I’ve come across, and it will be great fun to meet new people and talk about the current state of adaptive music in games.

When I heard that “Beep: A History of Video Game Sound” would be covering GameSoundCon, I started thinking about the nature of Brian Schmidt’s conference, not only as a great gathering place for creative audio folks, but as a historically-significant event.  After all, one of the slogans of the “Beep” documentary is “Be a part of game sound history!”

Beep_history_kickstarter

The GameSoundCon conference will take place at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on October 7 – 8.  GameSoundCon will be celebrating its 10th conference this year.  Since its first event in 2009, GameSoundCon has been steadily growing as a resource to the game audio community.  GameSoundCon concentrates its sessions solely on game audio, which separates it from other industry events that encompass the entire discipline of game development.  Further, the GameSoundCon conference embraces both the music composition and sound design disciplines, differentiating it from other music-centric gatherings such as Game Music Connect, the Ludomusicology Conference and the North American Conference on Video Game Music.  This particular combination of priorities seems to make GameSoundCon an ideal event for the “Beep” documentary team, and I wonder how their historical perspective will inform their coverage of the conference.

In my own speech at GameSoundCon, I’ll be approaching the topic of interactive music in games from both a modern and historical standpoint, and I imagine that other presentations will do likewise in regards to their topics.  It’s nice that the GameSoundCon event will be documented with the intent to understand its historical significance, and I’m looking forward to meeting the documentary team of “Beep: A History of Video Game Sound.”  There are still 6 more days to go before the kickstarter ends, so if you want to get involved, you can go here.