Archive for Research

Game Audio Lab featured on AES International Conference: Audio for Games 2009

My colleage Kees Went and I attended the AES International Conference Audio for Games 2009. We presented a paper about the Game Audio Lab that was developed in 2008 at the Utrecht School of the Arts.

Game Audio Lab: a educational framework for the research and design of realtime, nonlinear sound and music design

Game Audio Lab: an educational framework for  research and design of realtime, nonlinear sound and music design. Photo © Sander Huiberts

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Adaptive music prototyping

In 2007, I supervised an internship for the Adaptive Music Systems Research group under Jan IJzermans. The group [1] researched adaptive sound design and composition for games and developed the Adeptive toolkit, which helps composing in nonlinear settings.

To make things clear: we’re not talking about composing a song from the beginning to the end (linear music); the composer makes a large amount of musical ‘cells’ and the system selects new cells based on the rules of the composer (nonlinear music). Such an approach can be highly suitable for games, that mostly have a nonlinear character, as the music is able to correspond with the narrative or the presupposed experience of the player. And at least, we’re preventing the repetitive background track that drives players crazy.

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Audio-only menus

This post is about an old thesis written in 2002 for the Utrecht School of the Arts, School of Music and Technology.[1] It contains guidelines for the usability of audio-only menus. It’s written in Dutch and I’d like to share some insights that might be useful for designing audio menus or audio games.

In the past years, I’ve designed quite some audio menus for audio games and supervised projects that used audio-only interaction for blind users. Below I share some of my experiences concerning these menus, and include the original recommendations of the thesis.

illustration by zkukkuiz

illustration by zkukkuiz

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What blind gamers want the industry to know

This is a document Richard van Tol and I compiled in 2006 for the GDC’06. If you’re into the experiences of blind gamers, in relation to regular video games, it can be an interesting read. There are no conclusions, it is just a compilation. Feel free to draw your own conclusions…

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IEZA: a framework for game audio

The IEZA framework defines the communication by means of audio in games. Richard van Tol and I published the theory of IEZA in an article on Gamasutra.

Based on our review of literature and repertoire we have formulated a framework that uses an alternate approach to classify game audio: the IEZA framework. The primary purpose is to refine insight in the communication by means of game audio by providing a coherent organization of four domains belonging to two dimensions.

IEZA framework can be used to conceptualise the communication by means of game audio

IEZA framework can be used to conceptualise the communication by means of game audio

The authors would like to thank Jan IJzermans for his conceptual contribution to IEZA, as well as the feedback to the article.

[Read the article about the IEZA framework at Gamasutra]

[PDF]

Reference:

  • Huiberts, S. en Tol, R. van, (2008). IEZA: a framework for game audio. Retrieved December 1, 2008, from: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3509/ ieza_a_framework_for_game_audio.php

IEZA is featured in the following book chapter by Ulf Wilhelmsson and Jakob Wallén. The authors combine IEZA with the model for the production of film sound by Walter Murch and the affordance theory by Gibson.

  • Wilhelmsson, U. and Wallén, J. A Combined Model for the Structuring of Computer Game Audio. In: Grimshaw, M. (2010). Game Sound Technology and Player Interaction: Concepts and Developments. University of Bolton, UK.

Other uses of IEZA are listed at the IEZA Wikipedia page. Feel free to add your own reference:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEZA_Framework

Popmuziek in games (Dutch post)

Dit is een artikel dat Richard van Tol en ik geschreven hebben voor het symposium eTonaal, dat gehouden werd op 27  juni, 2006. De sprekers discussieerden over muziek en nieuwe media. Mijn lezing ging over de voordelen en eigenschappen van popmuziek in games, terwijl de lezing van Kees Went ging over de nadelen van het gebruik van popmuziek in games. Het artikel dat Richard en ik schreven ging over zowel de voor- als de nadelen. Het is hieronder gearchiveerd, klik op de link hieronder om het te lezen op het mediaplatform Cut-Up.

[Lees het artikel op Cut-up.com]

[Download als PDF]

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GDC Game Audio report 2006 (in Dutch)

In 2006, Richard van Tol and I visited the Game Developers Conference in behalf of the Utrecht School of the Arts. This is an (originally intended as internal) report which contains the developments in the field of game audio, after attending the audio sessions of the GDC ’06.

Disclaimer: this is an document reporting the state of a rapidly developing field, many facts may be outdated. Mainly intended for “nostalgia” or reference! You can download the original report as PDF (Dutch) or read the article below this line, oftewel het artikel hieronder lezen: (Dutchy stuff has already started)

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Gaming with a visual disability

This is an article about visually disabled gamers written by Richard van Tol and me for the project Game Accessibility. It can be used as a very basic reference to gain understanding of the properties of this target group and the challenges that exist when designing audio games. Also, several audio games that are useful to start with when you are interested in blind gaming are discussed.

Read the article at Game Accessibility