Specialization in Sound Design for Video Games

 

The sound design for video games specialization groups related required and elective courses in order to prepare an electronic production and design student for a professional career as an audio lead and/or audio designer for video games. To prepare for such a career path, a student must master a variety of advanced sound design, synthesizer programming, digital signal processing (DSP), and sampling techniques, audio recording and manipulation (including dialog production, Foley, and music cue editing and placement), sound layering, and mixing audio elements for stereo and surround playback. A student must also learn how to conceive, design, build, and test interactive audio systems and routines, and develop skills in audio implementation, the unique process of integrating and triggering sound effects and music layers in a nonlinear environment such as a video game, as opposed to the fixed, linear timelines found in film and television formats. Video game production at the professional level requires members of a creative team to adhere to long arcs of milestone-based project management, strict deadlines, professionalism, and effective communication skills in a pressure-filled environment. The sound design for video games specialization provides immersive instruction in all these creative and technical areas, and is ideally suited for the electronic production and design major who wishes to sub-specialize in this vibrant and ascendant segment of the music profession.

Entrance Requirements

This specialization is open to electronic production and design majors only.

Students must complete the following coursework before beginning the specialization and follow the regular declaration of minor/specialization procedure as outlined in the Registration Guide. This specialization is managed by the Electronic Production and Design Department.

  • EP-220 Studio Technologies (2 credits)
  • EP-223 Modular Functions and Signal Flow (2 credits)
  • EP-225 Control Systems in Electronic Production (2 credits)
  • EP-320 Digital Mix Techniques (2 credits)
  • EP-321 Control Systems in Advanced Production (2 credits)
  • EP-322 Advanced Sound Design Techniques (2 credits)
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will: 

  • record, edit, process, and mix all sound elements in an interactive game environment;
  • collaborate effectively in creative teams;
  • design and implement effective project-based management;
  • develop effective strategies for realizing sound-guided gameplay;
  • analyze visual events, and provide convincing sound support; and
  • design simple interactive systems that integrate audio and control elements. 
Curriculum and Courses

Twelve credits (six courses) are required for the specialization.

Required Courses (10 credits): 

  • EP-341 Programming in Max (2 credits)
  • EP-351 Advanced Studies in Digital Sampling Techniques (2 credits)
  • EP-381 Digital Audio Production and Design (2 credits)
  • MTEC-321 Music and Sound Production for Games (2 credits)
  • MTEC-421 Audio Implementation for Video Games (2 credits)

Elective Courses (2 or 3 credits; choose one from the following): 

  • EP-337 Csound: Sound Design and Composition (2 credits)
  • EP-353 Audio Programming in C (2 credits)
  • EP-410 Audio for Virtual Reality and Immersive Environments (2 credits)
  • EP-413 Digital Signal Processing: Composition and Sound Design (2 credits)
  • EP-414 Digital Signal Processing for Music Production and Postproduction (2 credits)
  • EP-432 Procedural Sound Design (2 credits)
  • LMSC-261 Introduction to Computer Programming  (3 credits)
  • MTEC-340 Game Programming with Unity 3D (2 credits)

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