Game Audio II Syllabus

Format:
The first 20 mn of the class will be dedicated to discussion and reviewing weekly assignment, class projects.
The lecture portion of the class will follow.

Week I: Review

• Review: The tools of the trade, as well as new direction with procedural audio
• The Open AL Model
• Sound in Unity: Audio sources, radii, Mixers

Assignment:

1. Find a game of your choice, analyze its audio content, sound design and audio implementation:
- What is the overall sensibility of the sound design?
- How is the audio implementation effective? or not?
- How is the music a part the game? How is it triggered?

Put together a PowerPoint Presentation, using examples from the games, audio, video etc, and be ready to share it in class.

2. Run through the Break Out tutorial at:

- https://unity3d.com/learn/tutorials/modules/beginner/live-training-archive/creating-a-breakout-game

and add sound to it. Be thorough.



Week II: Getting Familiar with C# and Unity

• Understanding the Order of Execution of events
• Working with a simple Unity game to understand basic game design element

Assignment:

Go through the Lynda.com tutorial Scripting Unity with C# by Kelley Hecker
Add sound to the game

Extra credit: Extend the functionality of the game.



Week III: Case Study: Improving audio in a simple 2D game

• Identify weaknesses in a game
• Offer and implement solutions to improve both sound design and implementation
• How to provide user with feedback via audio

Assignment:

Pick a 2D game from the Unity store, or from the approved class list.
Identify its weaknesses and come up with an audio design document
Improve the sound design and implementation based on the concepts discussed in class


Week IV: Case study: Improving audio in a simple 3D game.

• 2D-3D audio
• Issues with 3D audio: radii, fall off curves, reverb and fx zones etc..
• Working with animations, foot steps.
• A systematic look at common audio issues and their solution using scripts

Assignment:

Add footsteps to the level provided



Week V: Prototyping and Procedural Audio Part 1

• Elements of a simple Mix engine, gain staging, panning
• Buffering Vs Streaming, Working with Paths
• Intro to Procedural Audio: Wwise’s wind plug in

Assignment:

The Mix Engine
Start work on the Wind Machine in Max

Week VI: Prototyping and Procedural Audio Part 2

• A closer look at Procedural Audio
• Strategies, Audio analysis
• Modal synthesis

• Case Study: A Sword sound

Assignment:

Combine the Mix Engine and the weather plug in you created.

Week VII: Unity and 3rd Party Middleware

• FMOD Studio vs Wwise
• Integrating Fmod and Unity
• Accessing FMOD Events from Scripts

Assignment:

Integrate FMOD Studio and Unity with the game from the Lynda.com C# tutorial


Week VIII: Working with Wwise

• Wwise and Unity
• Wwise and Mixing
• Linking game states to Wwise events

Assignment:

Integrate Wwise and Unity with the game from the Lynda.com C# tutorial, or from another of the game approved in class.


Week IX: Working with Wwise Part 2

• Working with the Music system
• Transitions and Wwise
• Game States and Music

Week X: Sound Design for Interactive Systems: Environments

• Strategies for creating interactive immersive environments
• Using sound as an element of immersion and narration
• Convincing physics and collision and sound design

Week XI: Advanced Mixing Strategies

• Planning a mix – Interactive and Linear Mixes.
• Surround sound mixing and formats
• Mixing in surround sound – aesthetics and technical considerations
• Creating dynamic mixes using snapshot automation in Unity


Week XII: Other Platforms

• An Overview of the Unreal platform
• Pros and cons of Unity and Unreal
• A look at the audio System and audio Asset management in Unreal


Week XIII: Media Management and Compression

• Asset management strategies
• Audio compression strategies
• Platform specific issues – Audio and compression formats

Week XIV: Class Presentations, Part I
Week XV: Class Presentations, Part II


Assignments
Students will be given weekly assignments of experiments to complement and reinforce the information presented during lectures.
Students will be expected to learn and work with the following software, among


Final Project:
Students will be expected to complete a final project, working in small groups to simulate a professional environment. Final projects proposals will be due class 3 and will be discussed in class to make sure they are relevant, and in line with the course’s objectives.
Weight: 50% of the final grade

Class Participation
Students will be expected to participate in class discussions, which are crucial to the structure of the course.
Weight: 10% of the final grade