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Christopher Onlyson Tjajadi

Starting out as sound designer

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I've been doing sound work for film for years, but just started recently wanting to go doing sound in gaming. How different are the processes of doing sound in gaming than doing them in film? How do I get started?

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts and watching a ton of tutorial videos on things like middleware or mixing SFX in games, I really want experiences and I'm not sure where to find a gaming community who will need sound work. How do I find projects to work on, especially since I have no prior experience in doing sound specifically in gaming? 

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Do you have a reel that you can share? I would seek out young(er) teams that need sound work done and see if you can get involved. I don't like advocating working for free so try to make it some kind of exchange but other than that, it's all about becoming active in the industry. Social media can really help - sites like this help - conventions help. Go to your local colleges and see if you can connect with some local students making games. 

Even though you don't have game audio experience, you do have experience so I'm confident you'll be able to find work if you dig around long enough. Good luck!

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You just need some wavefiles at some samplerate and bitdepth, so the programmer can load.

For movie you add yourself, for gaming the programmer does.

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Besides the variation of styles (which is something you already deal with in a film sfx career, but you can go through very unique styles of gaming scene like working with 8-bit sounds, or some other recurring themes), the biggest difference is in the implementation - the programmer will, in theory, include the whole sound file you send him in the game, which is different from editing a raw videofile.

This means you'll have to check each sound individually and make adjustments directly on the file, imagining (or testing in many different ways) how it'll work in the final product. With that, other challenge you might find is producing good looping audios.

But being very sincere, as you already have experience I don't think you'll have a hard time at all.

Join game jams, get in touch with students and go to events. For sure you'll find some project to work on.

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On 1/25/2019 at 10:20 AM, Sound Master said:

You just need some wavefiles at some samplerate and bitdepth, so the programmer can load.

For movie you add yourself, for gaming the programmer does.

Game audio sound design goes WAY deeper than what this post implies. I would study middleware options like Wwise, Fmod and Unity. Begin to learn how audio needs to be constructed so it can transfer over quickly to any given game state based on gameplay. And often times, the sound design themselves are the ones putting sounds in these days - not the programmers. Although the programmers will most certainly be involved with setting up the structure and overall engine. 

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I am waiting for the days that all sounds are realtime synthesized with DSP algorithms, then i have a big plus, been programming synthesizers for years.

Edited by Sound Master

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43 minutes ago, nsmadsen said:

Game audio sound design goes WAY deeper than what this post implies. I would study middleware options like Wwise, Fmod and Unity. Begin to learn how audio needs to be constructed so it can transfer over quickly to any given game state based on gameplay. And often times, the sound design themselves are the ones putting sounds in these days - not the programmers. Although the programmers will most certainly be involved with setting up the structure and overall engine. 

Yeah, you're absolutely right.

Quite ashamed of going so simplistic and not making justice to game audio design.

That said, FMod and Wwise is indispensable. And learning to work on Unity is a great way of standing out as a sound designer since you can work directly on the project without necessarily depending on a programmer.

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