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Hi all,

I have no experience in audio for games but would like to start engaging with it. Up to now I have worked only with different DAWs and sound manipulation software (i.e. Cecilia).

Please suggest me any software for game audio (if one needs any) as well as important readings, resources etc. related to the field of sound design for audio. My intention is to create a small prototype in collaboration with a friend of mine who is also a newbie in game development.

thank you very much,

panjethro

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7 Answers

You can get FMOD or Wwise for free and use their free tutorial's on YouTube, here's the ones I've watched for FMOD which are great. Another great resource would be to get The Game Audio Tutorial Book which covers UDK which is also a free software. Another good book would be The Complete Guide To Game Audio by Aaron Marks, I would recommend getting it once you feel confident enough to start finding work in this field since it has a lot of helpful information on the business side of things.

More Resources:

The Game Audio Podcast

Stephan Schutze's Tutorials

Gamasutra (Audio Section)

Game Audio Relevance

Game Sound Design

School of Video Game Audio

I'm fairly new to this field as well, I just want to learn it as an extra skill. Good luck to you :)

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There are quite a few game audio geeks on this forum - feel free to give us a shout any time!

I know past discussions have included Unreal, Fmod, Wwise, and FMOD. Theres a pretty good backlog of forum posts you can read as well.

  • C3
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The Game Audio Tutorial is indeed a great resource, but its biggest advantage is its biggest disadvantage: it really is UDK-focused. That's OK because UDK is a complete, important and really good tool, but it has its own audio system, unrelated to anything and clearly less a priority for Epic than almost all graphic features.

Note that the tutorial level detailed in the book is freely available for anyone, if you just want to have a look at it.

If you want to get a good grip on a complete game engine anyway I think you should rather look for:

  • Unity which is easier to learn, use, has a huge user base and documentation available everywhere
  • or the CryEngine 3 which rely for its audio part on Fmod, one of the "standard" audio tool in game industry (see below)

All of the precited tools are free to try anyway.

Or, as stated above by Stephen Saldanha, you can try one of the game engine-agnostic audio tool, Fmod or Wwise. Both of them are currently in use for a lot of AAA titles and for a few indie ones.

They're made of an UI part - a simplified DAW where you associate sounds with "events" to trig in-game (for instance a creaking sound when opening a door, etc.) - and a code part which allows you to call created events when things happens in your game. Integration into some game engine like CE3 allows to do all of that without having to write a single line of code.

  • Fmod is the "programmer-oriented" one, with a really nice programming interface (which makes it easy to integrate in game or learn how to program audio software) and a simple UI.
  • Wwise is the "sound designer-oriented" one, with a nice (although messy) UI and - that's my opinion - a terrible programming interface.

Both are them might be described as "easy to understand, hard to master"; these are huge machinery entirely dedicated to audio, which will prevent you from being distracted by anything else (as it might be the case with UDK, CE3 etc.) but will have to be integrated into a game if you want to create a working prototype.

I am more on the audio programmer side but I have worked with all these tools, both on the sound design and programming/game integration parts. I know a few complete beginners, non-programmer which have tried all of these tools too...and, well:

  • I think that Unity is the definitive great choice for beginners; the audio part is a bit less sophisticated than the others but getting started on it is no more than a few hours work.
  • If you really think you can discipline yourself enough for it, you could try the CE3 + Fmod combo; I think that these are the most powerful and modern tools - but that does not means at all the best nor the most widely used.

Good luck anyway, and do not hesitate to ask if you have any further questions !

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FMOD Studio, the new FMOD tool, is supposed to be a lot more Sound Designer-friendly, as well. –  Joseph Harvey Jul 2 '12 at 5:16
    
Yes it is, with a few new tools integrated in it (they have a partnership with various audio companies such as Izotope for instance). Only problem is, it is supposed to be released ...last year. –  misept Jul 2 '12 at 7:30
    
@misept We're working on it, I swear. It's now scheduled for beta release on the First of August, so not long now... –  Joseph Harvey Jul 6 '12 at 5:18
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I teach game sound at a University, and I can highly recommend "Thegameaudiotutorial" book. It takes you through actual examples of every aspect of implementation and is based on the most popular third party game engine in the world.

Unity is great for smaller titles and has a strong user base as well. Its has far less audio functionality than Unreal (UDK) but there is a lot that you can do with it.

Middleware tools like FMOD and Wwise are powerful and important parts of the production pipeline, but I see far less wisdom in concentrating on something that you cant really integrate to any high level without the actual license and source code.

"TheGameAudioTutorial" comes with an audio library, countless step by step tutorials and video demonstrations as well. It has a scripted music racer game and more info than you could probably digest without killing yourself. I have read almost every book and learning system out there, and nothing even comes close to giving practical information about how to make game sound work.

Good luck!

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The best resource I have found is The Game Audio Tutorial. Its a book that comes with some SFX's for you to get to grips with and also has a tutorial level that the book walks you though with exercise levels. It uses UDK as the engine to work with but the knowledge it gives is very transferable and will put you in the right mind set for other engines that you may wish to use.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Game-Audio-Tutorial-Interactive/dp/0240817265

Fmod and Wwise are awesome as well to learn but the advantage of learning in UDK is that you will get an understanding of the graphical/animation/design elements of games which is quite important.

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if you want to "create a small prototype in collaboration with a friend" Unity is your best. The UDK game audio tutorial book is also excellent however its very specific to UDK and the supporting audio systems. If you used Unity you would learn more general skills related to game development and it would provide a more flexible solution for creating your own prototype.

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Lots of good advise already given in this thread. Please note though that whilst Wwise is commonly used and integrated in UDK-created games, and you can download the general software to try out for free, as far as I'm aware you won't be able to implement it into UDK to use to create a prototype without paying for licensing. I'm not sure if it's the same case with FMOD.

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FMOD can be used with a non-commercial licence (i.e.: free-as-in-beer) provided you don't make any money off the project. –  Joseph Harvey Jul 2 '12 at 5:15
    
Ah, just took another look at the Audiokinetic site; non-commercial licensing is available for Wwise too, so ignore my reply above! =P –  Skarik Jul 2 '12 at 10:41
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