Has anybody read this book yet?

Apparently it is written for the UDK which for the time is only free for PC. Is it worth picking it up if you use OSX?

Does UDK translate to any OSX game audio programs?


Few days ago, I had a twitter conversation with Andrew Quinn (One of the main contributors of the GAT book). This is what he said about the Game Audio Tutorial book. "It covers all the theory required to implement game audio. It just uses the udk to give you a practical example & exercise. It can easily be applied to middleware. There is a lot of overlap in techniques and terminology."

The book will be release around April Month end I guess. But I think some people have read the early copies distributed by the authors.

From whatever I have got to know about this book, I think It is going to be one of the must-have's for any game audio enthusiast.

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  • What other middleware is used in Game Audio? – Chris Apr 8 '11 at 0:38
  • Some game developers have their own proprietary audio tools for game audio implementation. While others go third party audio middleware solutions way. The usual suspects for middlewares are the multi-platform ones such as AudioKinetic's Wwise and Firelight's FMOD. There are also other less popular ones such as Miles Sound System, XACT which is included in XNA Game Studio. Also recently some new ones such as GiganticAudio and AudioGesture have come up but not much info on them is available yet. – Rishi Dani Apr 8 '11 at 2:15

There are 2 parts to any game audio system (regardless whether it is middle-ware or home grown). The Tool used by the designers to create assets and the Audio Engine that runs as part of the actual game and handles the real time playback of everything.

Right now the big 2 are wWise and FMOD. The FMOD tool (called fmod designer) I believe is available for MAC. wwise is not. There are many companies that use FMOD's game engine, but build their own tools. THis is not really possible wwise as they are really tightly linked.

I very much recommend downloading either, looking at the examples and/or video tutorials (wwise has some good ones) and then play around with it.

Being tied to a Tool/Game Audio Engine is what really differentiates game audio from traditional audio post.

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  • Nice way to put the brief intro to game audio tools. I was wondering how do you mean "There are many companies that use FMOD's game engine, but build their own tools" .... Do you mean they use FMOD API? – Rishi Dani Apr 10 '11 at 11:19
  • exactly. I know at least 3 companies that that use the FMOD api. The FMOD folks got more serious about their tool a few years ago when wwise (which is tool-centric) came down the pike. Their API has shipped TONS of games. – David Rovin Apr 11 '11 at 2:19

Im reading this book right now, and love it so far. Well written, great examples, and great content provided by the authors through a download.

So far, I highly recommend it.

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I've been wondering about game audio lately. I studied sound for picture at school and currently work in the field as well. I've wanted to know more about game audio so I appreciate the responses to this question. I'll be on the lookout for this book.

Thanks SSD community!

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  • 2
    Don't forget about this month's Sound Design Challenge on dynamicinterference.com ...it's a game audio one that's designed for beginners to participate in as well. info in this post: dynamicinterference.com/2011/03/14/… – Shaun Farley Apr 11 '11 at 2:12

Truth be told, Mac gaming lags behind PC gaming, and with development for consoles like Xbox, PS, or Wii, done largely on Windows systems, there is not much middleware of that class available for Mac (although Fmod is now on the Mac too). You will likely be booting up in Windows to do this, so the more resolved you are to the fact, the less the frustration and pain.

UDK, Wwise and FMod are the three names brought up when discussing game audio. UDK may be old, but the concepts are largely the same, and the fantastic level editor makes it easy to test your concept and/or ideas. Launching Wwise for the first time felt like I was facing a pretty solid wall. The same way you can test ideas in UDK, you can test in Cube/Wwise.

Quinn (mentioned above) is right in pointing out that the theory and principles remain the same. It is down to the individual developer to implement these in any app (including OSX apps). In case you end up developing your own audio layer, inspiration from these solutions is a great starting point as it would mean you can bring in audio developer(s) and/or sound artists easier than with a proprietary layer that ignores such concepts.

If i'm not wrong at the time iOS/OSX only provide core, "low-level", tools for sound playback. Console/platform SDKs may provide the necessary software to automate cues, triggers, levels, panning, or DSP features (Nintendo DS can do psychoacoustic wide-stereo!). Middleware like Wwise and Fmod can automate the organisation, processing, and exporting of assets for multiple platforms - very important if a title is released across several platforms. There's an important factor in these solutions channeling the developers and artists into a common workflow, which then easily justifies borrowing concepts from e.g. UDK, Fmod, Wwise, etc.

Everyone in game audio is aware that UDK is "old", but you rarely see people complain that the concepts in UDK audio are wrong..

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My sources tell me that this book is mostly outdated information and most companies use middle-ware like fmod and wwise. This makes the book a "joke" and not very applicable to most people.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

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    I think this is pretty much the case: It covers all the theory required to implement game audio. It just uses the udk to give you a practical example & exercise. It can easily be applied to middleware. There is a lot of overlap in techniques and terminology. It's the same with anything though right? Don't learn one bit of software, learn the core concepts. That's true for programming, art, whatever. I don't think this book is a UDK book, it's about Game Audio implementation. And if you've not read it, back off calling it a joke! Don't knock it til you've tried it dude. – JTC Apr 12 '11 at 19:59
  • I've been reading it and I'm happy with the introductory ideas for game audio but it is still very unclear exactly what an audio implementation program is and when it comes into play. Everything I see and hear is about FMOD or WWISE and these two are mentioned not at all in the book so far but maybe I'm just not there yet… – Chris Apr 13 '11 at 0:27

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