At HKU University of the Arts Utrecht we offer a four year course on audio design for games and interaction. In the first seven weeks of the third year, students are challenged to implement their newly created sound and music into Unity‘s tech demo Angry Bots. For most students, this means a first experience with hacking, programming and coding.
Now why would we ask designers to program? Perhaps it’s good to know that we don’t require full-fledged programming skills. But we have noticed that a slight notion of the practice of audio programming increases their insight of what a programmer does and how one could ease the process of coupling assets to game code. So once you know what coding comprises, you know how to create the right assets and have the right mindset to conceptualise and collaborate together with programmers.
The integration of sound assets into a game engine eventually defines what you hear during interactive gameplay and when done wrong, it can make Triple A quality assets sound like complete – excusez le mot – crap. And of course, we carefully monitor the profiles of job opportunities in the game audio field and increasingly see the wish for designers with programming and scripting skills (audio programmers, audio implementers, technical audio designers, etc).
So program or be programmed, that’s the question…
Two of the students, Steven Hoes and Gijs Driesenaar were willing to share their results with the outside world. They implemented an adaptive music system into Angry Bots and their purpose was to make the gameplay experience of Angry Bots more compelling. I really like the gradual buildup from the beginning towards the end. For your information, they added more than only sound, so be prepared for some thrilling moments!
For your reference, this is the ORIGINAL Angry Bots.
Play ANGRIER BOTS by Steven and Gijs.
Please note: You’ll need Unity webplayer and it’s a rather heavy download, so it might take a while to load. This is OK, your patience will be rewarded with good sound quality. 😀
Note to the other students, if you’d like to have your version of AB listed here as well, just send me your web build or project.