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Audio for Games : Wwise and Unity

Computer game sound has come a long way from the bloops and beeps of its beginnings. Gamers now expect a detailed sonic environment, to match the stunning graphics found in a modern game.

Though there are similarities with film sound, game audio and music is interactive - it changes according to events in the virtual world. Sound design and music arranging for games has its own unique set of challenges.

There are courses that will teach you Unity, and others that will teach you Wwise. This course is different. It focuses on Wwise, but it also shows you the basics of Unity, so by the end of the 8 weeks, you’ll be able to create your own playable first-person-shooter game, complete with interactive sound and music.

All the tools for this course are available for free - if you have access to a computer, headphones and a DAW, you already have everything you need to get started. There’s never been a better time to get involved in Game Audio.

TOPICS:
  • Game engines and audio middleware
  • The design of interactive audio
  • Integration of interactive audio in a computer game
  • Dynamic interactive audio mixing techniques
  • The construction of a first person shooter game


Course Content
This is not a coding course - we’ll provide you with all the assets that you need to make a playable game. However, making a computer game will inevitably involve some aspects of coding, and a Game Sound Designer should at least understand the very basics.

On this course we’ll look through the code assets, giving you enough background to be able to follow the code logic, and to edit and change the code for your own purposes.

Delivery will be through the online VLE.
Teaching and learning will occur through:
  • Delivery of theory through videos
  • Learning consolidation through practical exercises and VLE tests
  • Self-directed research and learning to advance knowledge and skills acquired
  • VLE discussion boards to exchange and compare work with other students

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILO)
Upon completion of the module, you should be able to:

ILO 1
Design and construct interactive audio artefacts
ILO 2
Integrate interactive audio elements within a game
ILO 3
Design and implement interactive music
ILO 4
Construct a simple FPS game

ILO 1
Design and construct interactive audio artefacts

METHODOLOGY
Discuss the need for interactive audio elements within Game Audio.
Discuss the need for efficiency in game sound design.
Use a series of examples and exercises using Wwise to introduce and demonstrate the software features to achieve the desired results, e.g.
  • 3D vs 2D sound and sound positioned relative to the listener
  • Sound that is controlled by game parameters (e.g. distance from a game object)
  • Dynamic sound mixing (e.g. reverb, ducking and mix scenes) within a game

ASSESSMENT METHOD
You are given situation briefs where sound design is needed.
You will submit Wwise built games that demonstrate their ability to design and construct interactive audio elements as specified in the brief.

Criteria for achievement:
The submission demonstrates a competency in sound design and interactivity
The interactive audio artefact achieves the specifications of the brief.

ILO 2
Integrate interactive audio elements within a game engine

METHODOLOGY
Using a series of examples and exercises using Wwise and Unity, students are provided with the code and audio assets to construct their own interactive audio elements.

Examples include:
  • creating footsteps for a FPS level
  • adding 3D sound objects (emitters) within a level
  • using Cone emissions on emitters
  • using triggered sounds (e.g. Trigger on Enter/Event)
  • using the distance from a GameObject as a Real-Time Parameter Controller
  • using Wwise switches to change footsteps sounds on different surfaces
  • setting up Reverb zones

ASSESSMENT METHODS
You are given a brief for audio implementation in a game
You will integrate audio artefacts into their own Unity projects using Wwise Audio Middleware.

Criteria for achievement:
The student successfully implements interactive audio artefacts within a Unity project.
The interactivity is implemented to the specifications of the brief.

ILO 3
Design and implement interactive music

METHODOLOGY
A series of examples and exercises are used to teach you how to implement interactive music in Wwise.
We will discuss how music will need to be composed and edited for best implementation.
You are give the code and resources to allow you to implement your interactive music.

Examples include:
  • music that is controlled by a point system
  • music that is controlled by distance from an object music “stings” that are triggered by in-game events

ASSESSMENT METHODS
You are given a brief that states the interactive requirements for music within a game
You will submit a built game that includes interactive music elements.

Criteria for achievement:
You have successfully implemented interactive music within a Unity project.
The interactivity is implemented to the specifications of the brief.

ILO 4
Construct a simple FPS game

METHODOLOGY
Use a series of examples and exercises to teach students to create a simple 3D level in Unity. Example topics will include:
  • creating and editing Terrain
  • applying textures
  • creating simple 3D objects (spheres, boxes)
  • using colliders
  • using layers to avoid interaction between GameObjects
  • using triggers
  • adding prefab objects (e.g. FPS characters)
  • importing 3D model assets
  • basic coding (e.g. adding Wwise footsteps code)
  • creating user controllable interactive weapons and GameObjects
  • building the game

ASSESSMENT METHODS
You are given a design brief for a simple FPS game.
You will submit a stand-alone, playable game.

Criteria for achievement:
  • The submission achieves all requirements specified in the brief.

There is one Summative assignments for this module.

SUMMATIVE ASSIGNMENT (100%)
You are given a Unity level design brief. This includes audio specifications, which includes interactive music.

You are to construct a Unity level, and to integrate this with Wwise to achieve the design brief specifications.

The design brief is very open, and you are encouraged to add their own interactive elements (this gives an opportunity for you to demonstrate excellence beyond the remit of the assessment brief).

Key information

RESOURCES
  • Mac or PC computer capable of running Wwise 2016.2.1.5995 and Unity 5.5.1 or later
  • Audiokinetic Wwise
  • Unity
  • DAW software (e.g. Pro Tools First, Audacity)
  • MonoDevelop (Mac) or Visual Studio (PC) - included as part of the Unity install
  • Internet access
  • Headphones or audio monitors

TIME COMMITMENT
  • The course is run over an 8 week period.
  • At the start of each week, lessons, assignments and resources are released in the form of a Session on the VLE.
  • Study is self-paced, but there are weekly exercises to be completed.
  • You can expect between 1 and 2 hours a week will be necessary to complete the workload for the Session.
  • There is one Summative assignment. It should be possible to complete this to a passable level in under 8 hours (though there is room to take this projects much further should you wish).

SESSION STRUCTURE
  • All videos are created on a Mac, but where there are significant differences between the Mac and PC software, these are indicated.
  • The MonoDevelop IDE is used for all videos, but PC users will be able to complete the work using Visual Studio.
  • A Session is made up of several Sections
  • There are between 1 and 6 video lessons in each Section.
  • A video lesson can range from approximately one to six minutes long.
  • A course teacher will monitor the discussion boards and give feedback to submissions, and will be available for one-to-one assistance upon request.


Qualification – SSR Certificate
Duration – 8 Weeks
Mode of Study – Part Time Online
Time of Study – Flexible
Hours of Study – A minimum of 1-2 hours per week
Start Date
Entry Requirements – Basic DAW experience: the ability to record and edit audio
Some computer gaming experience will be useful (but not essential)
Tuition Fees – £545.00
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Course Information

Subject Area
Games Development
Music Production
Course Modules –