The Game Audio Tutorial : A Practical Guide to Sound and Music for Interactive Games book cover
1st Edition

The Game Audio Tutorial
A Practical Guide to Sound and Music for Interactive Games

ISBN 9780240817262
Published March 15, 2011 by Routledge
448 Pages

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Book Description

Design and implement video game sound from beginning to end with this hands-on course in game audio. Music and sound effects speak to players on a deep level, and this book will show you how to design and implement powerful, interactive sound that measurably improves gameplay. If you are a sound designer or composer and want to do more than just create audio elements and hand them over to someone else for insertion into the game, this book is for you. You'll understand the game development process and implement vital audio experiences-not just create music loops or one-off sound effects.

The Game Audio Tutorial isn't just a book-you also get a powerful website (, which includes:

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 : Basic training

Readers will be introduced to the chosen platform for demonstrating the principles within the book, Epic Games 'Unreal Development Kit' (available to all readers for free at They will learn about the importance of ambient sound in adding character and immersion to game environments. Via a number of simple tasks they will learn how to navigate the UDK interface and how to implement basic sound ambiences.

Chapter 2 : How big is the van ?

This chapter will deal with the issues of memory when developing audio for games. A number of solutions to non-repetitive design will be discussed, illustrated and accompanied by tasks to embed knowledge. These techniques and principles are particularly applicable to platforms where the memory is a significant restriction such as the NDS, PSP, iPhone or other mobile devices, but are also equally important for other consoles such as the Wii, XBox360 and PS3 albeit on a different scale.

Chapter 3 : Making it sound real

This chapter will deal with a number of acoustic principles, as applied in games, and their implementation. It also will discuss the need to create a realistic, consistent and believable sound world through the implementation of sounds to accompany the physical interaction of gameplay objects.

Chapter 4 : Making it sound good

This chapter will deal with the crucial issues of how sound can support gameplay and narrative not only through adding characterisation to objects and characters but by also being reactive to game events via the use of interactive mixing.

Chapter 5 : Music systems

This chapter will cover music implementation in games. It will deal with a number of different approaches going from simple crossfading systems to more generative techniques.

Chapter 6 : Dialogue

This chapter will begin by looking at some of the tragic history of dialogue in games and posit some reasons for these continuing crimes, before proposing some suggestions and techniques for improving things in the future.

Chapter 7 : Advanced Sound system design

This chapter deals with complex interactive systems for game sound design such as vehicle and weapon design. In this chapter we will dig beneath the usual user interface of the game development tool and look at some of the key concepts relating to the scripting and programming that go on under the hood.

Chapter 8 : Next steps

This chapter will look at career opportunities within the games industry. It will include interviews with industry practitioners, advice on the roles available within industry, and advice for creating an appropriate demo reel.

Appendix A :Sound FX design

This chapter will look at practical sound FX design for games. Taking the reader from basic recording principles to processing and digital audio manipulation for the creation of sound FX.

Appendix B: Sampling and resampling

This demonstrates the application of this important technique via a freely available audio editor package.

Appendix C: Loops and Looping

This demonstrates the application of this important technique via a freely available audio

editor package.

Appendix D : Quickstart Page

This provides a summary of the key techniques for those readers who already have some familiarity with Game Design tools.

Appendix E : Keyboard Shortcuts.

This provides a useful reference for keyboard shortcuts.

Appendix F : Template levels

This appendix contains a description of the Template level included with the book that can form the basis for readers further experimentation.

Appendix G: Sound Library Contents

This appendix will outline the contents of the small sound library which accompanies the book.

Appendix H : Basic terms.

This covers the basic terms that the book will use for any readers unfamiliar with common computing terms.

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If you want to learn about game audio implementation, this is the book for you! Stevens and Raybould have written a thorough practical, hands-on guide to sound and music implementation in games and, by doing so, present the reader with an excellent introduction to the concepts of interactive game sound. Speckled with humour and written in an accessible style, this book is sure to find a home in many classrooms and homes of aspiring sound designers, composers and audio programmers.
-Karen Collins, Canada Research Chair in Interactive Audio, University of Waterloo, author of Game Sound (MIT Press)