New(ish) Job

I probably should have added this way back in January, but I’m now back at Team Junkfish as Audio Lead for our upcoming project Monstrum 2. Have a cheeky teaser here:

With the game having been announced and a fair while away I’m hoping to cover a few of the ideas and systems for the audio in the game, so keep an eye out! I’ve also found some of the older blogs I wrote for the first game that I’m planning to tidy up and share too, for no other reason that to give a comparison between the two.

Cheers!

The Voices of the Britannic – Dialogue and Conversation Design in Murderous Pursuits

This was originally posted in two parts on the Blazing Griffin Website: Pt. 1 | Pt. 2

It is also available on Audiokinetic’s Wwise Blog in English: Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 and Japanese: Pt. 1 | Pt. 2

We released Murderous Pursuits a few months ago, and I wanted to share a bit of info on what I was working on. This blog post will look at the audio solution for one of the core features, the “Vignette” system. This will cover:

– What the original concept was and audio requirements were

– How we handled the dialogue recording and editing

– The systems design and implementation using Wwise and Unity.

If you haven’t played or seen it yet, Murderous Pursuits is a kill-or-be-killed Victorian stealth-em-up for 1-8 players in which you must hunt and kill your quarry before your hunters do the same to you, all while avoiding witnesses. You can buy it on Steam right now!

Continue reading “The Voices of the Britannic – Dialogue and Conversation Design in Murderous Pursuits”

So I got a new job.

I may have left this as the last place to get updated. Whoops.

Anyway, earlier in the month I left Team Junkfish to join those fiery catbirds Blazing Griffin as an Audio Designer. Woo yay! They’re working on [REDACTED] and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in about it.

It’s a big shift, leaving a group of folk I’ve been working with for over five years on a number of different projects, but sometimes opportunities arise and situations change and you have to adjust course.

So do keep an eye out on what they’re up to, and I’ll keep you up to date on the BG stuff.

…and the 500 words thing.

…and generally updating the site.

500 Words about… Sunsoft

Today’s post is about one of the more interesting NES developers who became known for their unique musical output, Sunsoft. There’s also a lot of annotations too, so do read them!

Chances are that, if you owned a NES you’ve come across a Sunsoft game. Like a number of Japanese developers, Sunsoft transitioned from the arcades to the monster that was the Famicom in the mid to late 80’s. One of their first releases for the platorm was the infamous Ikki, a game so terrible that a new word entered the Japanese lexicon thanks to it: Kusoge. Quite literally: “shit game”.[1] This didn’t stop it being a rampant success for them as well as the source of a few remakes and reboots.

Sunsoft’s original games didn’t always hit such lows. Some, like Atlantis no Nazo, never left Japan and is generally considered “not great”. Others, like Master Blaster, became international successes. This varying quality also carried over to the somewhat surprisingly high profile licenced titles they managed to acquire. Their first Batman game in 1989 was a loose tie in with Tim Burton’s reimagining of the Caped Crusader, and along with its NES sequel is still held in high regard. Less timely was Fester’s Quest which appeared before the 1991 Addams Family reboot and is mostly remembered as being stupidly hard.[2]

Continue reading “500 Words about… Sunsoft”

500 Words about… Thunder Force IV

So I’ve decided that I want to write more and keep this webiste a bit more alive, even if I can’t talk about what I’m working on just now. As such, I’m starting a wee series of posts that will be… mostly about games and sound and music to some extent but probably any topic or thing that tickles my fancy. In order to stop rambling too much, I’ve given myself 500 words, intros and notes/annotations not withstanding. So here’s hoping someone gets something out of it!

And on that note, today’s post is about Technosoft’s final Mega Drive/Genesis STG/Shmup – Thunder Force IV.

There are very few game soundtracks that I will actively listen to on repeat. This doesn’t mean I won’t listen to any odd OST here and there, but few I just enjoy listening to over and over. Recently, it’s been Thunder Force IV and, oh boy, is it a ride.

Continue reading “500 Words about… Thunder Force IV”

Freebie – Volca Keys Sound Effects!

Ahoy!

One afternoon a few months ago I was kinda bored and had an hour or two going spare, so I decided to see what type of sounds I could get out of my Volca Keys. After some fiddling I managed to knock out a few… beeps and boops and other lo-fi assorted noises! In the time honoured tradition of giving back, I’ve decided hand them out for free, so you can grab them here!

Download! (Dropbox)

You’ll find some laser-esque sounds, some drones, some short pulses that could work for UI or percussive sounds, a fair mixture of stuff. I recorded different patches and effects at each octave interval (1′ – 32′) and across a few different oscillator setups (Unison, Octaves, Fifths and Unison Ring Mod) for a few different flavours too. Hopefully you’ll find something handy in there!

Some caveats:

  • They’re very raw, and the audio output of the Volca series isn’t exactly clean. But lo-fi’s half the charm with analogue gear right? …right? Outside of chopping them up they’ve been left completely unprocessed. Spent longer editing them than recording them!
  • The naming convention is a bit odd, please read the document in the .rar to understand what’s going on.
  • They’re also only 44.1k/16bit which isn’t great for pitch/time stretching into extremes, but they are across a wide range of octaves so hopefully you’ll find something you can use.
  • These are free, please don’t try to sell them or claim ownership of them. I am a-okay with you using them in commercial/for-profit projects though!

So there you go! Please share them about and let me know if you find a use for them. Best way is on Twitter: @speedyjx

Cheers!

IGDA Scotland July Audio Meetup

In July I had the pleasure of chairing a game audio panel at the IGDA Scotland meet up. The panel featured Will Morton of Solid Audioworks and Matthew Smith of Square Peg Games, both formerly of Rockstar North, and Orfeas Boteas of Krotos, makers of Dehumanizer.

We covered a few different topics, such as how they got into game audio, advice for fledgling sound designers and composers applying for positions, and how the transition from AAA games to indie and freelance has been. Or in Orfeas’ case, how scaling up from a Masters project to renowed sound software production company has went!

Obviously the proof is in the pudding, and we discussed a lot more in a fair amout of detail, so do give it a whirl!

AWEdio Jam!

So I’m happy to say that I’m helping out with Edinburgh Game Symposium’s AWEdio Jam! It’s being organised by Luci Holland of EGS with some help from Sam Hughes of The Sound Architect and myself along with IGDA Scotland :). We’ve got a few other things in the pipeline that we’ve yet to announce, so do keep an eye out! The current schedule is on the EGS website here.

awedio-logo-pink-1

You can also join the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1198225880221374/

Here’s the blurb:

Are you a composer? Are you a sound designer? A voice actor? An instrumentalist? Are you working in or are you interested in working in game or film audio in some way? Or are you a games designer looking to collaborate with musicians/soundies?! Ever wondered if you could do a game jam with audio??!

Then come and get creative at our AWEdio JAM on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd October in Edinburgh – a weekend hands-on hub for creatives interested in sound, music, media, and design!
Sign up either as teams or individuals, and collaborate to make amazing sonic artworks over the weekend (inspired by a secret theme to be announced on the first day!), share and learn new skills, network, and hear from professionals in the game and sound world. We’re thrilled to be joined by Will Morton of Solid Audioworks on the Friday night, and hope to announce another speaker soon!

What’s more – early bird prices are available until Fri 30th September. We’re looking forward to an amazing creative weekend!

More info on how to book on our website – and any questions, please just give us a shout.
http://www.edingame.org/awedio-jam/

-INFO-
Fri 21st, Sat 22nd, Sun 23rd October | Roxy Assembly, Edinburgh

With a talk from Will Morton of Solid Audioworks

Take part in a weekend hands-on creative jam for composers, musicians, sound designers, voice actors, and other audio professionals!

-TICKETS-
EARLY BIRD (available until Fri Sept 30th): £20 per person
Full price: £30 per person
Friday only (for social and talk – limited tickets!): £5 per person

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE (please make sure to also read the ‘Registration Info’ section on our website): http://awedio-jam-tickets.eventbrite.co.uk/

Early bird pricing available till Friday 30th September!
Registration closes midnight, 20th October.