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IGDA Perspectives Newsletter June, 2011

Charles Rector's Weblog; Jun. 29, 2011; By Charles Rector
Type: News

JUNE 2011



Welcome to the June 2011 issue of the IGDA Perspectives Newsletter. Available in more formats, we're bringing you the best of IGDA news in easy-to-digest bits: this email,, and an e-reader optimized version (available here ). 


People often ask me what the IGDA does. One new thing we do is IGDA Summit: The Summit is purely about Developers helping Developers educate each other and navigate our careers.

We are looking forward to meeting many of you members and non-members at the inaugural IGDA Summit @ Casual Connect in Seattle, July 18th-19th. We have speakers from Microsoft, Kickstarter, Valve, EA Sports, PopCap, Harmonix, Unity, Hit Detection, Wedbush, Bungie, Playdom, 5th Cell, 343, LucasArts, GasPowered, T-Mobile, Take 2, Zynga, EA, SCEA and many more sharing practical takeaway knowledge and insight for our community. Please join us. At $199 US, it is exciting to see our community come together to educate and elevate our craft in topics selected specifically by IGDA members from QA and Game User Research to Entrepreneurship, Monetization and Narrative Writing at an affordable price. Thank you to our partners at Hansoft, to Jessica Tams and her wonderful team at Casual Connect and to our own IGDA volunteers for being so collaborative to make it possible.

As importantly, the Summit will be a gathering of IGDA Chapter and SIG leadership from across the globe and a good opportunity for you to meet Global Community Manager, Ryan Arndt and members of our full time team and your elected Board of Directors here at IGDA. We will also have our IGDA Scholars program, the scholars represent the best and brightest Ph.d's, graduate and undergraduates from our academic and volunteer community.

In this month's Perspectives we explore the audio craft. One of the pleasures of this role is that I get to reconnect with so many wonderful developers. Before I really even knew what game development was, one of the first names I knew was John Byrd, who was active in our alumni mentoring program at Harvard. He joins contributors Robin Arnott, Mary Kurek and other audio community leaders in this edition.

And next month, at the Summit, we will have our first PRINT edition of IGDA Perspectives. We look forward to your feedback and posts on that and all of our digital editions.

Gordon BellamyExecutive Director, IGDAIGDA Summit Banner
The Audio SIG: What's In A Name? - By Robin Arnott


The Audio Development and Implementation SIG (or Audio SIG, for short) was founded with the goal of serving developers across all production disciplines. It operates on the premise that non-audio disciplines aren't non-audio disciplines at all ... Read more



A Business Argument for Great Game Audio - By John Byrd  

You already know that great audio is the key to making your game awesome. Unfortunately, you also know that it's nearly impossible to make an awesome sounding game with no budget, a tiny schedule and no resources. So how do you convince your boss that an investment in high quality audio will pay off? ... Read more 

Settling the Score: The History and Practice of Video Game Music - By David Federman  


As a form of interactive new media art, video games in general represent a significant expansion in the world of digital entertainment. Over the past decade, while the study of computer and video games has become a burgeoning field for international scholarship, its music has concurrently grown into a recognized and celebrated repertoire in its own right ...  Read more 

Featured Games From the Global Game Jam - Gorm Lai


A monthly selection of noteworthy games created during the Global Game Jam curated by Gorm Lai. This month features Tikkit, World's End: Running, Petals, and Planetary Plan C ...Read more 


IGDA Member Spotlight - Curated by Ryan Arndt

The Member Spotlight features IGDA members who are doing great things. This month, read about Nicolas Leymonerie, Jay Margalus, Hazel McKendrick, and Corey Nolan ...  Read more  


Game Design Aspect of the Month: Emergence in Game Audio - By Gina Zdanowicz


As emergent game play becomes the more desired technique in game design, the outcome is a globally designed game system comprised of rules and boundaries for player interactions, rather than scripted paths and events. Players can use basic elements of the game such as the story or strategic moves to play the game in a way that was not specifically designed or implemented by the game designer. What does this mean for game audio designers? ... Read more  

Blowing the Audience Away! - By Yarron Katz  


Many a time in the industry, a game will be nearing completion, and as an afterthought, the studio will realize that audio is needed. So the question arises, "What is the importance of music and sound in a game? And how much of an impact does it really make?" ... Read more    

Getting the Action Music You Need - By Michael Worth

Epic battles between armies. Intense chases through the far reaches of space. Gritty, "up close" combat between two mighty warriors. These are some of the backbones of great video game experiences. And, of course, the music has to support that gameplay element. There is nothing more exciting than jumping into a boss fight, accompanied by your own larger-than-life soundtrack ... Read more   

Sound Advice for Sound Makers - By Mary Kurek  

Before you see words or a graphically illustrated screen, you hear. You hear tone that sets a game in motion. You sense danger or drama, adventure, or even frivolity... and you anticipate. The sounds that create the excitement around a game come from artists that produce voice, music, and special effects, and it is the business of these artists to get it right. In this article, we'll get advice and opinions from some artists who will share their perspective on the business of making sound ... 
Read more 


Voices in Action - By Ashley Zeldin      


The developers of tactical space combat simulation game The Bridge learned quickly the value of quality voice-acting. No voice-acting, they found, bored play-testers. Computer-generated voices, while more engaging, were laughable. Finally, the team decided to record its members' own voices for everything from the navigator to the ship's artificial intelligence ... Read more 


How Sense-Deprivation Can Promote Immersion - By Robin Arnott        


Last year I was commissioned by the NYU Game Center to expand my experimental monster game Deep Sea for their annual exhibition of new games, "No Quarter". What makes the project interesting is its peculiar controller scheme: a gas mask that deprives the player of sight and monitors their breathing. The game was built as an experiment in maximizing immersion, and I found that robbing the player of their ability to accurately perceive was by far the greatest contributor to the game's emotional success for three reasons ... Read more  

Game Audio Above and Beyond - By Justin Lassen     


We've all seen the game audio landscape change over the years from obscure after-thought to full on planned productions. The first game soundtrack I heard that really made me feel it was as good as a movie soundtrack was Jeremy Soule's Icewind Dale 1 soundtrack. A fully digital orchestra, but still capable of transporting me into that fantasy world. Game audio has always had the potential for appreciation in more mediums than games alone ...  Read more  

Real-Time Generative Audio Environments - By Stephan Schütze    


One of the greatest misconceptions currently in the game industry is that smaller platforms with limited resources do not allow for anything other than a handful of sounds and short repetitive music loops. This is, not only not true now, but has not been so for quite some time. This article will focus on a specific title developed for both iOS and Android platforms to illustrate the possibilities available for the creation of audio environments on all platforms using real-time generated sound effects and music ...  Read more   

Events - Curated by Heather M. Decker-Davis        


Read about various industry events, including the IGDA Summit, a home for our development community that provides valuable professional development, actionable insight and candid discussion to elevate our craft. It will cover topics including: Entrepreneurship, Game Development Community, Quality Assurance, User Testing, Monetization, Indie Boot Camp, Writing about Games, Writing in Games, Quality of Life and Legal Insights ...  Read more


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