The Game Audio Strategy Guide: A Practical Course, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Game Audio Strategy Guide

A Practical Course, 1st Edition

By Gina Zdanowicz, Spencer Bambrick


400 pages | 32 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138498341
pub: 2019-11-05
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The Game Audio Strategy Guide is a comprehensive text designed to turn both novices and experienced audio designers into technical game audio pros. Providing both a theoretical foundation and practical insights, The Game Audio Strategy Guide offers a thorough look at the tools and methods needed to create industry-quality music and sound design for games. The text is supported by an extensive companion website, featuring numerous practical tutorials and exercises, which allow the reader to gain hands-on experience creating and implementing audio assets for games.

The Game Audio Strategy Guide is the essential manual for anyone interested in creating audio for games, inside or outside the classroom.


"If you’re interested in the world of game sound, you need this book! I couldn’t be more excited that this book exists and wish I had had such a comprehensive and well-organized handbook when I was starting out as a sound designer/composer. Gina and Spencer take us through a complete overview of the craft and the skills involved in this growing field where sound is an essential component of game development. They shed light on the creative process, the technical skills, and the practicalities, from sound and music creation to game audio implementation.

"This book is a culmination of Gina and Spencer's many years of professional experience wrapped into an accessible and effective guide. Not to mention, they are seasoned educators, so as you can imagine this book is not only bursting with invaluable tips from professionals, but it’s also instructive and even includes assignments and additional practical information on a companion website to make sure the concepts really hit home. That combination is invaluable and an enormous help! A must-read for up-and-coming game audio folks, in my opinion." - Michele Darling – Professional Sound Designer and Assistant Chair of Electronic Production and Design at Berklee College of Music

"This is an astonishing achievement. It is the definitive book of reference that the industry has needed for years. It will help guide a whole new generation of creative technical audio professionals into this immensely challenging and rewarding area of the video games industry. If you have any serious interest in video games audio or music, you must read this book." - Guy Michelmore, Composer

"A delightful and useful addition to the Game Audio Toolbox of Your Mind (and bookshelf!)" - George Alistair Sanger, "The Fat Man"

"The Game Audio Strategy Guide is a comprehensive text for anyone wanting to better understand the nuts and bolts of music composition and sound design for games. In their information-packed treatise, Gina and Spencer provide an excellent roadmap for understanding the complex and not-so-straightforward art of game music and sound." - Brian Schmidt, Executive Director, GameSoundCon; Brian Schmidt Studios, LLC

"This exciting book is a comprehensive 'walkthrough' of the creative processes of game audio. It uses the experience of industry professionals in tandem with theoretical discussion to present practical wisdom in an accessible manner. The book encourages readers to become reflective, innovative composers and sound designers. A strategy guide, yes, but absolutely no cheating!" - Dr Tim Summers, Lecturer in Music, Royal Holloway University of London, author of Understanding Video Game Music and co-founder, Ludomusicology Research Group

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Getting Started

Our Goals For This Textbook

Game Audio

Game Development Roles Defined

Essential Soft Skills and Tools for Game Audio

Production Cycle and Planning


Chapter 2 The Basics of Nonlinear Sound Design

Chapter 3 Designing Sound

Chapter 4 Voice Production


Chapter 5 The Basics of Nonlinear Music

Chapter 6 Composing Music

Chapter 7: Arranging and Orchestration for Games

PART III: Implementation

Chapter 8 Audio Implementation

Chapter 9 Music Implementation


Chapter 10 The Business of Games Part I: What do we do now?

Chapter 11 The Business of Games Part II: Gigs, Gigs, Gigs!

Chapter 12: Your Game Audio Strategy Guide

About the Authors

Gina Zdanowicz is an accomplished audio designer for games, film, TV, new realities and podcasts. A graduate from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Synthesis, Gina honed her skills in game audio by working in house with game developers and founding her own independent sound studio, Serial Lab Sound. Gina has worked on over 100 video game and interactive titles and her work with Nickelodeon (TV) has been nominated for two Daytime Emmy awards. In addition to her career as an audio designer, Gina is a game audio course author and instructor at Berklee Online, a tutor at Thinkspace Education and lecturer at universities such as NYU and conferences around the world like GDC. Follow Gina at:

Spencer Bambrick is a composer for games, film, and the concert stage. His recent work includes BestLuck (2018, PC, Mobile), Block Party (Emmy-Nominated Nick Jr Series of Animated Shorts), and additional music for Paladins (Hi-Rez Studios). Spencer is the Game Audio Network Guild Northeast Regional Director and he has presented at GameSoundCon (2018, 2017), PAX Dev (2016), and MAGFest (2015). He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Music Composition at The University of Hartford (The Hartt School), studying interactive music, game technology, and social activism.

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