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2008 Austin Game Developers Conference

dSonic's Simon Amarasingham and Alchemic Production's Brian Gomez to talk us through using music and sound as design tools.


SAN FRANCISCO, CA - 09.09.08 - dSonic co-founder, Simon Amarasingham and Alchemic Production's co-founder, Brian Gomez will give a 60-minute presentation on how music and sound in games can go beyond being static soundtracks, to being used for conveying information to gamers, thereby becoming part of the game-play.

Amarasingham will share techniques for increasing the impact and value audio adds to games by creating music and sound effects that have the ability to become interactive in game-play, while Gomez speaks about how teaming up game designers with an audio director early in a game's development can lead to a new world of possibilities for player-feedback and emotional immersion.

Simon Amarasingham, a game audio veteran, says that using tools such as adaptive music in your game, can give you a competitive edge and has the advantage of not costing any more, and not taking any extra time to produce. Amarasingham adds, "Adaptive music is not being widely used at the moment because the audio is usually implemented after the game design has already been mapped out. The audio ends up being like the icing on the cake, and I guess what I'd like to get across is that it could be a lot more effective if it were actually baked into the cake."?

Brian Gomez, a veteran game designer, writer and consultant points out that designers aren't in the habit of thinking of audio as one of their tools, but that it has the potential to solve some design problems. Gomez gives this example, "Sound and music can deliver a ton of information to a player on an almost subconscious level, providing everything from hints to solving puzzles, to indicating when his health is low, to providing subtext to a plot point. Film and television composers use these techniques all the time, but in games, audio and music are still very much a post-production thing."?

Amarasingham and Gomez will give their lecture on Music and Sound as Game Design Tools at the Austin GDC in the Austin Convention Center on Monday, September 15th, 2008 at 9:30am in Room 10. For details, visit http://www.austingdc.net/audio/index.htm

dSonic, an award-winning audio production company with studios in San Francisco and Boston, provides music, sound effects and voice-overs exclusively to the game industry. They have over seventy titles to their credit and have contributed to AAA titles such as 2K's Bioshock, winner of the Game Developer Choice Award for Best Audio in 2007, and Bethesda's Oblivion. For more information, visit www.dsonic.com

Alchemic Productions LLC was formed in 2004 by veteran game developers to launch original IP and forge new paths for bringing traditional and interactive media together. Alchemic Productions diverse client roster includes writer/director Clive Barker, sci-fi author Larry Niven, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Midway, Novalogic, Edge of Reality, and Eden Studios. For more information, visit www.alchemicproductions.com

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