The Game Audio Tutorial

So the book I have been working on for the last few months is out very soon it's all very exciting. Thanks to Richard and Dave for letting me work with them as a sound designer on this, it's been a great project. If you are new to game audio, want a job in game audio or are doing audio in the UDK its a must.

However now I have moved to a new town and on to a new job as a sound designer at the UK developer Splash Damage. This means that due to NDA restrictions this blog may take a different turn as I am unable to discuss in any depth what I am doing. Anyway!

The Game Audio Tutorial will be published on the 29th of March 2011 available at any bookshop thats worth bothering with. Such as Amazon.

Here's the blurb;

Design and implement video game sound from beginning to end with this hands-on course in game audio. Music and sound effects speak to players on a deep level, and this book will show you how to design and implement powerful, interactive sound that measurably improves gameplay. If you are a sound designer or composer and want to do more than just create audio elements and hand them over to someone else for insertion into the game, this book is for you. You'll understand the game development process and implement vital audio experiences-not just create music loops or one-off sound effects.

The Game Audio Tutorial isn't just a book-you also get a powerful website (, which includes:

* A unique tutorial game level in which you can learn and experiment * Twenty ten-minute tutorial videos with screen captures, voiceover, and interactive commentary * A library of hundreds of sound files * Up-to-the-moment articles and further resources to keep you at the cutting edge

If you want to learn about game audio implementation, this is the book for you! Stevens and Raybould have written a thorough, practical, hands-on guide to sound and music implementation in games and, by doing so, present the reader with an excellent introduction to the concepts of interactive game sound. Speckled with humour and written in an accessible style, this book is sure to find a home in many classrooms and homes of aspiring sound designers, composers, and audio programmers. -Karen Collins, Canada Research Chair in Interactive Audio, University of Waterloo, Author of Game Sound (MIT Press)

The Game Audio Tutorial is not only an impressive exploration of the UDK audio system, but also a thorough introduction to fundamentals of audio for games. Novices and advanced users alike will find this book an invaluable resource, as it takes the reader through the process of triggering their first sound to scripting complex in-game actions. The authors (Richard Stevens and Dave Raybould) have put together an amazing amount of information about audio for the UDK not easily found anywhere else. The Game Audio Tutorial is one of a kind and has found a way of making seemingly difficult concepts easier to understand. -Chris Latham, Professor of Advanced Interactive Audio at Full Sail University and Technical Sound Designer and Founder of Engine Audio


Chapter 1 : Basic training

Readers will be introduced to the chosen platform for demonstrating the principles within the book, Epic Games 'Unreal Development Kit' (available to all readers for free at They will learn about the importance of ambient sound in adding character and immersion to game environments. Via a number of simple tasks they will learn how to navigate the UDK interface and how to implement basic sound ambiences.

Chapter 2 : How big is the van ?

This chapter will deal with the issues of memory when developing audio for games. A number of solutions to non-repetitive design will be discussed, illustrated and accompanied by tasks to embed knowledge. These techniques and principles are particularly applicable to platforms where the memory is a significant restriction such as the NDS, PSP, iPhone or other mobile devices, but are also equally important for other consoles such as the Wii, XBox360 and PS3 albeit on a different scale.

Chapter 3 : Making it sound real

This chapter will deal with a number of acoustic principles, as applied in games, and their implementation. It also will discuss the need to create a realistic, consistent and believable sound world through the implementation of sounds to accompany the physical interaction of gameplay objects.

Chapter 4 : Making it sound good

This chapter will deal with the crucial issues of how sound can support gameplay and narrative not only through adding characterisation to objects and characters but by also being reactive to game events via the use of interactive mixing.

Chapter 5 : Music systems This chapter will cover music implementation in games. It will deal with a number of different approaches going from simple crossfading systems to more generative techniques.

Chapter 6 : Dialogue

This chapter will begin by looking at some of the tragic history of dialogue in games and posit some reasons for these continuing crimes, before proposing some suggestions and techniques for improving things in the future.

Chapter 7 : Advanced Sound system design

This chapter deals with complex interactive systems for game sound design such as vehicle and weapon design. In this chapter we will dig beneath the usual user interface of the game development tool and look at some of the key concepts relating to the scripting and programming that go on under the hood.

Chapter 8 : Next steps

This chapter will look at career opportunities within the games industry. It will include interviews with industry practitioners, advice on the roles available within industry, and advice for creating an appropriate demo reel.

Appendix A :Sound FX design

This chapter will look at practical sound FX design for games. Taking the reader from basic recording principles to processing and digital audio manipulation for the creation of sound FX.

Appendix B: Sampling and resampling

This demonstrates the application of this important technique via a freely available audio editor package.

Appendix C: Loops and Looping

This demonstrates the application of this important technique via a freely available audio

editor package.

Appendix D : Quickstart Page

This provides a summary of the key techniques for those readers who already have some familiarity with Game Design tools.

Appendix E : Keyboard Shortcuts.

This provides a useful reference for keyboard shortcuts.

Appendix F : Template levels

This appendix contains a description of the Template level included with the book that can form the basis for readers further experimentation.

Appendix G: Sound Library Contents

This appendix will outline the contents of the small sound library which accompanies the book.

Appendix H : Basic terms.

This covers the basic terms that the book will use for any readers unfamiliar with common computing terms.