GDC 2015 notes on Technical Sound Design

So, Marc Kilborn gave a great talk on basically what a technical sound designer does. This was of particular interest to me as many skills that fall under the purview of techical sound design are ones I need more experience in. The skills Marc outlined as being part of Technical Sound Designer's skill set:

  • Implemention expert
  • Unique scripted solutions
  • can code in high level/scipting languages)
  • can make sounds as well

He went on to compare a technical sound designer as an audio equivalent of gameplay programmer in so far as they should be adept at high level programming, but not low level (that would be the domain of the audio programmer)

The rest of my notes are regarding the scripting part of his talk. They're pretty inane (my notes, not Marc's talk).

  • C# in unity is good example of scripting
  • python is a good place to start for scripting (Lua is good too)

I recently read a comparison between Python and Lua that seemed to indicate that because Lua has a smaller footprint, is faster, uses less memory and was designed intially as a configuration language it is well suited to games in general - I believe it gets used for audio scripting a bunch.

  • Learn to build with unity and unreal
  • disect a game a try to break it
  • Learn to program in C# and PD
  • Device 6

I honestly can't remember if these were my take away's from Marc's talk or things he actually said. I mean, they're all good things to do and definitely on my distressingly long post GDC to do list.

But the most quotable thing that Marc said was a riff on a post audio quote that I've heard attributed to both Spielberg and Lucas - the old "film is 50% sound" chestnut. Marc's take on that was "Game Audio is 50% implentation. Tattoo that on the back of your eyelids"

But let's be realistic. This is audio. When is there time to even close your eyes?