A career as a video game sound designer is a lucrative one and many sound engineers dream to become one.
There is absolutely no need to talk about the importance of sound in a video game. Play your favorite game on mute to realize how important sound is when it comes to creating a captivating experience.
As you all know sound effects are included in the games to make the virtual characters, stories, and worlds we are playing come alive and of course, music is a very powerful tool when it comes to evoking emotion from players as well.
A video game sound designer is the person who generates and manipulates audio elements for the game.
While there are a few key differences, the role of a sound designer in the gaming industry is similar in many ways to that of television production, theatre, and filmmaking.
How Do You Start?
The first step is that all aspiring sound designers must take is deciding if game audio is really the job for them.
Do you think that creating audio for the video games in the modern world is an easy job?
Well, think again.
According to video game sound design experts, in addition to having audio engineering talent, you have to learn a wide variety of hardware, software, and different techniques to create the audio and get it into the game.
First of all answer the questions below, if your answer is yes, then you can start preparing for a career,
Do you have a strong passion for sound along with great amounts of creativity?
Are you also technically savvy and capable of learning new programs and software needed to create and edit sound?
Are you a team player?
Needless to say that which is very challenging but also a rewarding career.
The Internet is a great source to learn new things and video game sound design is no different.
It has tons of great resources, videos, and tutorials from which you can learn how to be a sound designer.
But learning the basic aspects of sound and new age technologies from an audio engineering school definitely lays a strong foundation for your sound design career.
When looking at the industry statistics, most who got hired by the top game developing companies across the globe went to school to learn sound design and audio implementation.
Attending school is also an essential part of Sound Design, but there’s a lot more skill-development work to be done once you’re out of the classroom.
This is because this field is more technical than people imagine; it requires learning and becoming familiar with all sorts of software, hardware, and techniques.
Having an awesome demo that demonstrates your sound design skills will separate you from the crowd more than anything else.
A simple technique to assess your skill
Take any edit / film sequence / trailer (games or movie), remove the audio, and add your own. You should ideally do this without listening to the original audio — it will make you think about the sounds rather then just blindly trying to copy the original approach.
The Process Involved in Game Audio Design
Since every game is developed differently, there’s really no one single process that every sound designer follow.
Either way, the sound designer usually gets started by creating a library of sound effects that are needed in the game.
Communication and collaboration are key.
The goal of the sound designer is to work together with the design and animation team to create rich audio that fits the virtual experience being developed.
Strong communication both with the audio engineers in your team, with the composers to create and edit music for the game and with the rest of the video game development team.
This will definitely help the designer in understanding the type of audio content which needs to be created for the project, and how best to implement the audio in the game.
Sound designers also have the task of testing the game during the later stages of development to catch any audio bugs or mistakes.
You need these skills.
We have gone through the technical skill sets and requisites published by some of the major game developing companies like Velan Studios, HI-REZ STUDIOS, Epic Games, Ubisoft, Amazon.com, Kabam, Electronic Arts, Blizzard Games for hiring video game sound designers and here are the most important ones
Skills & Must Haves
Originate and implement all aspects of game audio from concept to optimization.
Identify technical dependencies and get support for audio features.
Work with designers and programmers to identify audio needs.
Create sound fx and implement sounds fx within the game.
Play the game regularly and continually identify opportunities to improve audio quality.
Work with outsourced audio engineers and manage an outsourced pipeline.
Having the vision to create the best sound design for games in the industry.
Engaging with a world-class team to create amazing gaming experiences.
Pushing the development of audio features and integration for future Unreal audio engine development.
Technical Requisites / Qualifications
Experience in game audio development with at least a shipped AAA titles.
Knowledge and experience with multiple industry standard DAWs, such as Pro Tools or Reaper.
Working knowledge of WWise, FMOD and/or other audio engine middleware.
Good working knowledge of Maya or Max for production.
Proficiency in Audiokinetic’s Wwise.
Basic understanding of DSP and audio programming skills.
Vast knowledge of modern sound design techniques and tools.
Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work productively and efficiently toward deadlines.
Audio editing, synthesis, processing, and mixing skills – particularly with sound effects and dialog.
Experience with Unreal or Unity editors, including scripting, level editor, animation and linear editors
Shipped FPS title; ideally a multiplayer FPS.
Understanding of PC and console development, capabilities, and limitations.
Work well with all departments and accept and run with feedback.
Familiarity with UE3/UE4.
A strong understanding of current generation console audio functionality and capabilities.
Good luck with everything to start a lucrative career in Video Game Design.
Happy Sound Engineering