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Making More of Audio in Gaming

Across the various events the Futuresource team have attended this year, there has been a notable uptake in gaming as an entertainment vertical running throughout. Indeed, the rise in consumer time and money being spent on gaming over the last few years alone has presented a lucrative vertical for the audio and music industry alike. 

 With gaming technology evolving, audio must follow in curating an optimised player experience like no other. Sound design and music play a significant role in how the player perceives the tension and emotion of the game. Many of the audio techniques we benefit from today are an evolved version of the ingenuity of game composers and sound designers of the past. 

What started out as bleeps and bloops to determine whether a ball was landing on a target, scoring a point, or hitting a wall, we now have libraries of sound for a single game. Working with limited memory, games previously could only have monophonic, looped audio, that would be used only between stages or at the start of a new game. Even though these sounds alluded to a target being met or a character being annihilated, it was clear that interactive music could increase the level of enjoyment for the player. Eventually, as memory became less of an issue, the potential for audio in gaming became endless.  

Today, audio in gaming rivals the film industry in terms of cinematic quality, with entire award shows dedicated to the incredible work produced for the games we all know and love. We're a long way ahead from generic bleep sounds in gaming, but the fundamentals are still the same in terms using audio to create a more rounded gaming experience.  

What’s Next for the Market?  

Back to modern day, and we are being presented with technology that transforms yearly in terms of how consumers immerse themselves in games. It is now virtual surround sound – a staple of the gaming headset market for years. 

This bidirectional sound, encoded into games, has enhanced the competitive space in gaming. As players can now distinguish the general direction of enemies’ footsteps, they have an edge within the game, and can compose a game plan on the spot dependent on the scenario. 

Looking to the future, the next frontier for games is spatial sound, otherwise known as 3D audio. Although the concept has been around for a while, this feature has only recently begun working its way into gaming again due to advances in the field of VR (virtual reality) audio. For the player, spatial sound delivers spatial dimensionality that is not possible to grasp through a screen. It adds deeper meaning to the gameplay by encouraging exploration to investigate where certain sounds are coming from.  

For studios, spatial sound unlocks new immersive storytelling tools that can trigger emotions to a more extreme effect such as claustrophobia, fright, and anxiety to name a few. New innovations present new competition, where the quality of atmospheric immersion is at the forefront of development. If a smaller title secures a talented sound engineer, its game will inevitably stand out from the crowd and end up being a lucrative payoff.  

Secure your Place at Audio Collaborative today! 

To hear from vendors, publishers, and innovators on the steps being taken to maximize audio in gaming, book your place at Audio Collaborative 2022 today.  

The event provides an opportunity for networking as well as an inside look into all the exciting things coming to fruition in the audio tech industry. 

Click here to register for the event. 

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About the author

Katie Biddle

Audio Collaborative 2022 returns to London!

10th November | Ham Yard Hotel, London

Join us for Audio Collaborative 2022, where we will explore the evolution of audio and embrace the creativity, strategy and development of technology across the entire space.​ Audio Collaborative brings together delegates from some of the leading companies in the industry, providing sponsors with the opportunity to showcase their brand and products in the presence of an influential audience. 

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