Ambience
Ambience in the levels act as a base layer of audio, providing location-based sound for when the gunfire falls silent. The wind, birds, and rivers are low in the mix and usually masked by weapon fire, but without it the gameplay area would feel empty and unnatural.

The fun part about game audio is that no matter how realistic you try to make it, it is always entirely fake. Unlike with film where you return to the edit room with some audio from the shooting location, the silent game world is the audio equivalent of a blank canvas. You can apply anything you want as the level ambience, provided it makes sense to the project! In our Pegasus Bridge map for example I use several main wind recordings, mixed with localised bird chirps and rustling trees. The ambience sounds different in each part of the map and you can hear the changes as you are running through it.

While we don’t use a dynamic time cycle in our maps, it was important to create a setup that would cater for it anyway. This means the two different times of day for each of our maps are able to have distinct ambiences that can change just as easily as the lighting, without requiring multiple triggers or map layers.


Foley
There is a lot more to weapon audio than the simple ‘bang’. You want to be able to hear the weapon fire, the casing drop to the floor, the bullet impact, the echo around the landscape, and then the bullets from the enemy whizzing past you as they return fire. It is with all of these stems working together that you get close to the intensity that the game requires.

The bullet impacts are some of the most aggressive sound effects in the game; I wanted every individual bullet to be noticed whether it hits you or not. If you are taking cover behind a crate then expect to hear the wood splinter and crack in front of you. Similarly, hiding behind a car or the metal structure of Pegasus Bridge will cause loud metallic pings to ring out around you, and if a bullet flies past you will hear the ‘swish’ as it whizzes over your head. When this is combined with the visual suppression effect it heavily affects your ability to pinpoint your attacker, and when all of this is combined with our HRTF-based 3D audio, gunfights can be a very tense experience!


Weapons
I set out with an aim to have as much of the ingame audio created by the players as possible. I didn’t want an overly complex atmosphere, instead preferring a focused yet understandably hectic audio mix. I wanted the gunfights and explosions to be harsh and disorienting, but most importantly to be influenced by their real-world characteristics. This is why you can hear every weapon in the game from no matter where it is fired. I have spent far too many hours creating and refining a complex filter system, along with intricate crossfading to make each weapon sound as you would expect it to at 10 meters, 50 meters, and 200 meters distance. This has been time consuming and the parameters are constantly being tweaked as the mix changes, but the outcome is a very dynamic and responsive battleground. I’ve even added a delay that increases with distance, so at range you will see the explosion before you hear it, modeling the speed of sound.


Just like many aspects of the game, the audio is constantly being tweaked and adjusted, and will continue to be refined up to release. Obviously there are many audio requirements that have not been mentioned here, but the weapon audio system has been a large project in itself and thankfully it’s easy enough to expand to additional firearms and equipment in the future.

www.tractionwars.com
"Pila is a beautiful, abstract puzzler that looks a bit like ancient iconography at first glance. Its circles and arcs float in a timeless black space brought into the future by crisscrossing wires and an electric blue and orange color scheme." - Gamezebo

PILA is a 2D puzzle game for mobile and tablet devices. It's minimalist art style and addictive levels make for game that is easy to pick up but difficult to put down.

I was asked by the developer of PILA to add some whirrs and squeaks to supplement the beautiful abstract visuals he had created. It is a puzzle game with lots of moving parts occasionally with elaborate solutions, meaning it was important to allow each sound to easily audibly represent what it was linked to, and stand out in their own right. Below is a short demo of some of the audio elements I created for this project.


It was important to keep with the minimalist sci-fi styling, but also work on audio that has a lot of room for experimentation and elaboration upon the visual identity. The various bleeps and buzzes were primarily synthesised, combined with real-world sounds where appropriate. Each puzzle element has its own unique flair which I wanted to embellish through sound, one of the simplest being the intractable buttons. When pressed, these create simple sine tones at a random selection of 4 pitches; creating a musical element that otherwise isn't present. Everything almost 'floats' above the backing drone, which provides consistent audio while the player attempts to plan their puzzle solution.

PILA is available for iOS devices and can be purchased on the iTunes App Store.
Its that time again! A new showreel featuring recent and memorable projects including my original sound design and composition work. All the projects are listed in the description (links to be added soon!). The showreel features my abstract Particles sound design, a dabble into trailer soundtracks and some in-game recordings from the audio implementation of Traction Wars. Combined with some more traditional composition I have completed over the last year!



For more information or to find out how you can get me to write music or sound design for your project, please CONTACT me.
After working on the Particle project, those damn abstract waves have just been placed everywhere. I put them in my header, various icons across the internet... Well now I have also put them on clothing! And other products of course, if you don't like clothes or if perhaps you don't wear any, I'm not here to judge.

The waves! They're everywhere!
I have put several of the designs used or created in projects I have made or been involved with on some physical products that you can now see here:



All of the designs have come from projects I have worked on; mostly particles because they are colourful and pretty. There are also t-shirts available from Shapeway, which I am very happy to be able to offer.

I haven't added any logo-based swag yet, maybe for the future...
A delve into some abstract sound design, with very abstract visuals. The particle effects were created over several months in After Effects, with many hours of trial-and-error and rendering time. Pleased with the results though; it is colourful and full of moving things that don't make a lot of sense but who cares when it looks pretty!


For more information or to hire me to paint random waves of colour in your house or in a gallery or on your pets, please CONTACT me.
For my BSc Sound for Media dissertation, I looked into how game audio is created, along with how the requirements have evolved and how the technology has progressed to allow designers to creatively to enhance the gameplay experience of the player. Research included the history of game audio, how it can be compared to the sound design of film, problems designers face in creating game audio and a brief look into the future.


Abstract:
Interactive entertainment is an expressive art form that engages and inspires millions worldwide. The audio of games must enhance the visuals, while also helping to immerse the player in an entirely virtual world. Ever since computer chips have been able to produce basic tones, audio has been a vital part of gaming. Arcades awash with various hardware-produced bleeps led to home consoles and PCs that are capable of extremely rich and diverse experiences. Designers of such audio now have few limitations on what they can create, while programmers have tools at their disposal to implement the audio in a believable and creative way. Middleware has made it possible for the designer to become the programmer, allowing greater control over audio implementation while also supporting creativity. The interactive nature of games causes problems, especially when compared to the long-standing conventions of the film industry. Technologies such as real-time HRTF-based 3D audio is an exciting possibility for game audio, but as it is not primarily supported by any widely available game engines, the implementation of it is currently minimal at best.
Jump, move, die, dodge, die, speed and die your way through
ShapeWay. You die a lot.
ShapeWay! A game about shapes and, erm, way?

ShapeWay is a puzzle platformer developed by Paperbox Studios, with a focus on two components; building a solution and then playing it. The game has been in development for a while, but is now released on mobile platforms!

Following the launch of the mobile versions, the game was submitted to Steam Greenlight where its campaign was successful. Shapeway will launch on Steam in 2016!

Play it now!
Steam 
(coming 2016)



ShapeWay on display at PAX Australia.
No headphones though, tut tut!
This was the first game I worked on with Paperbox, which started way back in 2014. My role was to compose background music and create sound design that would compliment the games visuals and gameplay, including all of the dying. As everything tries to kill you in the game, it was important for the sound to not demean or insult the player. Every mode of death has its own unique sound, from being squished by a crusher to breaking on the spikes.

Every sound was designed to feel 'real', yet downgraded. The seemingly simple pixel-art visual style lent itself well to 8-bit sound effects, however from fear of being too predictable, I thought it was best to stay away from this. Instead, real world sounds were used and distorted to give a downgraded impression; to provide extra depth to the world while being in tune with the visuals. For example the real-world boots for the footsteps, or an angle grinder for the saw blade, and the smashing glass for the poor character getting spiked.

You solve the puzzle, and then platform
your way out!
On the other hand, the soundtrack is almost entirely reliant on an 8-bit sound. Initially the four worlds were to be named after shapes - circle, square, triangle and pentagon. It was my intention to therefore have a different tune for each world, based on the relating audio waves - sine, square and triangle, with pentagon involving a combination of all three. This gave each world a distinct musical sound, while remaining in the 8-bit realm. The menu music was the exception, and includes bells with additional percussion to make it just that little bit different, and hopefully not too annoying!



It has been great to see this game finally release, and I look forward to seeing it on Steam in the future. There is room for expansion, so I'm sure this isn't the last we'll see of Mister BlueCube.