A quick update

I haven’t updated this in a while for a number of reasons and holy crap it’s been 9 months since the last one sooooo a quick recap:

August 2015 – Edinburgh Games Symposium: Protoplay Edition

The 3rd annual Edinburgh Games Symposium was hosted as part of the Dare To Be Digital festival. I was on a panel on game audio with Joanna Orland, Ryan Ike and Chipzel discussing a load of audio related things. Then Steph and I gave a talk on Monstrum, with her covering the VR implementation and me covering the audio work. These were film and I’ll chase them up and cover them in more detail later!

The Mantra Collective also did a cover of Bad Happenings from the Monstrum OST and it’s super cool. You can check it out here:

 

November 2015 – Got elected to the IGDA Scotland board

The IGDA Scotland board elections happened in November and I managed to get elected some how, so yay! Got lots of stuff in the pipeline and we’ve just hosted three play parties for this year’s Global Game Jam  with thanks to a number of local partners. We have plans for the rest of the year too, so keep an eye out!

November 2015 – Award nominations!

Monstrum also got shortlisted for a few awards in November. Firstly it was shortlisted for Best Debut Game at the TIGA Awards, then later in the month for Best Game at BAFTA Scotland (shout out to Blazing Griffin who got the win). Not bad!

January 2016 – I got a Neo Geo Pocket

And it’s the coolest wee thing. I mention it as I kinda wanna talk about limitations in games at some point. It also is home to the 1st non-Sega hardware Sonic and it’s amazing remixes of the Mega Drive games’ soundtracks. Case in point:

Also been playing a lot of SNK games on the Sega Saturn as well for that additional crossover bonus.

There was a lot of other things that happened in the past few months too that I’ll unpack at a later date, but will hopefully have something a bit more interesting to talk about soon! Busy busy!

Cake Mix – Monstrum’s Audio Systems

Originally posted on the Team Junkfish blog. Also a little old, as I meant to repost it here a few months ago, but this is pretty much how things work in the game.

This’ll be a quick blog on some of the more technical audio aspects of Monstrum. For audio guys this might be fairly basic stuff but it’ll give you a look at how we’re managing some of our audio systems. There isn’t exactly much of an understanding of game audio and its processes to those outside of the audio sphere, so hopefully it’ll be useful in opening up the black box of audio voodoo to people who aren’t too familiar with what we actually get up to.

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Game Audio and the 50% fallacy

Ahoy!

It’s been a while since my last blog, with a few good reasons:

  • Monstrum launched at the end of May! Go buy it! The soundtrack is also up for grabs too.
  • I took up a guest lecturing post at the Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio, which I may cover in a later blog, but some of the experiences from it have influenced this post.
  • My girlfriend moved in and managed to break her leg in fairly short order. But she’s also getting her cast off soon and we’ve managed to play through a fair few games together so it’s not all bad.

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. There’s been a phrase relating game audio that’s been bugging me for a while now, even though I used to say it myself, and I think it needs to be addressed as its popularity increases. This might ruffle some feathers but:

Game audio is NOT 50% of the experience.

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Story in Games Pt. 2.5: A Sonic Shipyard

Originally posted on the Team Junkfish blog.

This audio blog returns to the Story in Games/world building series that I was writing regarding game audio. Last time I looked at the IEZA Framework and broke down Animal Crossing: New Leaf’s sound design using it. As with the first blog on music in games, this time I’m going to break down some of Monstrum into the four components, what the sounds are for, why are they used and how do they make the world that the player is in feel more believable.

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Monstrum – The Hunter’s Soundtrack

Originally posted on the Team Junkfish blog. So much for keeping this up to date. Hopefully will have more to talk about soon though.

In this blog I’m going to talk about some music in Monstrum again, this time: the Hunter. As with the Brute’s themes there is a fair amount of sound design stuff going on as opposed to traditional instrumentation, so I’ll go over that as well as the general ideas that I was aiming for. Here’s the Hunter’s Chase Theme:

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A trip to EGX London

Last weekend Simon and I went down to Earl’s Court to show off Monstrum at EGX London, and all round it was pretty successful! Most people got the game and seemed to enjoy it, with the seat never really being empty outside of doors just opening. We managed to dive off from the stand for a couple of minutes each day, and I took a bit of time to have a nosy around some of the other games on show. Most of them were in the Rezzed area, and are worth keeping an eye on. So without much further ado…

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Story in Games Pt. 2: Sound Design and New Leaves

Originally posted on the Team Junkfish blog.

We’re on to the second proper part of my little series of blogs covering the use of audio in storytelling for games. Previously on Team Junkfish I spoke about the use of music in games and how we’re going about those ideas in Monstrum. This time I’m going to talk a bit more about the use of sound effects and how they build up the world and everything in it.

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Story in Games Pt. 1.5: The Music in Monstrum

So much for writing more… I should try and keep up, but it’s been busy at Team Junkfish. Once again, this is a repost of that blog and is reflective of the development progress at the time. The original post is here.

 
This is one follow up to my previous blog which discussed storytelling in games. You can give it a read here. My original plan for the second part was to speak about the use of sound effects in story telling and world building, however I thought it’d be an idea to talk about how we’re actually going about the music side of things ourselves!

 
In Monstrum we are aiming to use both diegetic and non-diegetic music for a few different purposes. The most obvious use of non-diegetic music are the monsters’ themes, so let’s start there. Simplifying some statements down a bit, these are used to provide information (i.e.: the monster is chasing you), context (which monster it actually is) and emotional content (trying to evoke a certain feeling). I’ve spoken about the “hows” of the Brute’s theme before in detail here, including of the sound design that’s used, so I’ll give you a little summary of the decision making, the “whys”, that went behind it and what I was hoping to achieve.

Continue reading “Story in Games Pt. 1.5: The Music in Monstrum”