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ask for help! For implementation we use Wwise, which is pretty straightforward but does benefit from expertise.” “At Playground we have two 7.1 mix rooms and one 5.1 edit suite,” explains Playground’s Watson. “Someone looking to work in game audio should already have a strong knowledge of multiple digital audio workstations and a keen ear. “In-house audio designers are able to integrate and work closely with the wider team on a daily basis, that isn’t always possible with a distributed team. This enables audio designers to be included in the design process and apply their passion for sound to shape the project.” “Being in-house means that you are a real part of the team,” says Sumo Digital’s Phelan. “You get to live and breathe the game within the culture of the team. Having that sense of ownership, being able to work with coders and artists directly in order to bring substance to your vision is vital; and it is why we like having our audio designers in house and working directly with the teams. “We mostly work with PCs running Nuendo and a whole swathe of plugins. The useful thing about Nuendo is that it syncs with Wwise very nicely. Some of the guys here prefer Reaper so we’re keeping an eye on that too. We have a bunch of field recording equipment and an in-house studio where we record the JUNE 2017

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audio as, demonstrated by our contributors, everyone’s needs are very different. So it’s difficult to create a showreel specifically for any project. However, one thing that doesn’t change across all of the studios we

source for most of our audio design. Understanding how to use new hardware/software is less important to me than having someone who understands how to create fantastic audio.”

One mistake is to re-score trailers for triple-A games. Having your work compared to the very best doesn’t always work Matthew Florianz, Frontier

Not everyone has the same requirements, however, as Codemasters’ Tebbutt explains. “As we work on quite a realistic sounding game the audio team doesn’t tend to have much use for hardware synthesisers and our mixing desks are all software based. “In fact, the only hardware we really use are development kits. That said, most of our hardware comes in the form of recording gear, from microphones, windshields and recording devices, which we take on location to capture the sound of the F1 cars, tracks and garages.”

HEARING THE SOUNDWAVE So far, you’d be hard pressed to find a definitive answer for how you should approach looking for work in games

talked to is having an ear for audio and getting experience. “Someone looking for their first audio design job would probably need some sort of degree in an audio related discipline,” says Sumo Digital’s Phelan. “They should have a good portfolio of work that demonstrates their understanding of manipulating sound. “Most importantly, passion is needed,” says Phelan. “Audio is always last on everyone’s list and the only reason there so many awesome sounding games out there at the moment is because passionate, capable individuals are willing to push even when nobody else cares. It’s a tough gig, the amount of high talent out there makes this a buyers’ market. I’d suggest you try and develop your identity and style, be authentic and true to yourself


and never ever undersell your services!” “Audio can be very abstract,” says Frontier’s Florianz. “Even where it’s in direct support of the game. Designers have to be able to imagine the player’s experience. A strong portfolio doesn’t require an explanation (though don’t hesitate to explain your thinking in an accompanying document). We tend to like bold choices, attention to detail and concise presentation. “One mistake, especially made by enthusiastic juniors, is to re-score trailers for triple-A games. Chances are that audio guys / gals will have seen that trailer. Having your work compared to the very best in the industry doesn’t always work in your favour.” For Codemasters, Tebbutt’s requirements are more specific. “We ask applicants for an audio-related degree and a decent, relevant portfolio. Applicants should really tailor their portfolio and CV towards the company they are applying for. For us, any high quality racing-related work normally goes down well.” “Most audio designers have some kind of music background and, like other creative disciplines, I think a strong showreel is key,” says Playground’s Watson. “This should be used to showcase the very best of your work. Most importantly, you need to have a passion for games and sound. “One thing I always say to people is do your research. If there is a game or a movie that you love the sound of, then DEVELOP-ONLINE.NET

5/30/17 14:04

Develop 183 June 2017  

Sound Shapes: In this special on audio, we have an interview with legendary developer Tetsuya Mizuguchi on the importance of music, the shor...

Develop 183 June 2017  

Sound Shapes: In this special on audio, we have an interview with legendary developer Tetsuya Mizuguchi on the importance of music, the shor...