Glad you’re here! I’m videogame composer Winifred Phillips, and every year I compile a “big list” of the top online resources available for game audio folks. It’s an evolving list that expands each year as more awesome professional tools and great networking opportunities become available. However, before we begin, it’s important to acknowledge what the Covid-19 pandemic has done to our industry this year. While the games themselves are as popular as ever, those of us making assets for these games are working under extraordinary circumstances. It’s harder than ever to meet face-to-face, and our community can feel a bit fractured and distant. With that in mind, let’s kick off this list with a look at how we’re connecting with each other in the time of the coronavirus, exploring how conferences and events have adapted to our socially-distant world this year. In doing so, I’ll be sharing some videos from conferences that took place entirely online, including the full-length video of the talk I gave in 2020 at the Game Developer Conference (pictured above). After that, we’ll once again explore the best available resources in the form of online community groups, software applications, and academic institutions with wellsprings of expert knowledge to share.
The kickstarter campaign for the documentary “Beep: A History of Video Game Sound” is entering its final six days. I’m pleased that the producers approached me to be interviewed for their film; I’ll be talking about my career as a game composer and my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music. The “Beep” documentary looks like it will be a fascinating project, and all indications are that the resulting documentary will be a wide-ranging discussion of the audio aspects of video game design and production. Two days ago, the kickstarter announced that its plans include coverage of GameSoundCon, the video game music and sound design conference founded and executive produced by the president of the Game Audio Network Guild, Brian Schmidt.
The conference is less than a couple of weeks away now, and I’m looking forward to giving my presentation, “Advanced Composition Techniques for Adaptive Systems.” The GameSoundCon crowd is one of the most enthusiastic and creatively-charged groups of people I’ve come across, and it will be great fun to meet new people and talk about the current state of adaptive music in games.
When I heard that “Beep: A History of Video Game Sound” would be covering GameSoundCon, I started thinking about the nature of Brian Schmidt’s conference, not only as a great gathering place for creative audio folks, but as a historically-significant event. After all, one of the slogans of the “Beep” documentary is “Be a part of game sound history!”
The GameSoundCon conference will take place at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on October 7 – 8. GameSoundCon will be celebrating its 10th conference this year. Since its first event in 2009, GameSoundCon has been steadily growing as a resource to the game audio community. GameSoundCon concentrates its sessions solely on game audio, which separates it from other industry events that encompass the entire discipline of game development. Further, the GameSoundCon conference embraces both the music composition and sound design disciplines, differentiating it from other music-centric gatherings such as Game Music Connect, the Ludomusicology Conference and the North American Conference on Video Game Music. This particular combination of priorities seems to make GameSoundCon an ideal event for the “Beep” documentary team, and I wonder how their historical perspective will inform their coverage of the conference.
In my own speech at GameSoundCon, I’ll be approaching the topic of interactive music in games from both a modern and historical standpoint, and I imagine that other presentations will do likewise in regards to their topics. It’s nice that the GameSoundCon event will be documented with the intent to understand its historical significance, and I’m looking forward to meeting the documentary team of “Beep: A History of Video Game Sound.” There are still 6 more days to go before the kickstarter ends, so if you want to get involved, you can go here.