On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the Audio Engineering Society Los Angeles Section hosted a panel discussion about Audio for Games. Moderated by AES-LA Section Vice-Chair Brian Seagrave, a lively discussion was had between his co-presenters Brad Beumont, Audio Director on “League of Legends” at Riot Games, and Christopher Denman, Senior Audio Designer at Disney Interactive.
Brian began the discussion by asking his guests what they did in their day-to-day work. As audio director of “League of Legends,” Brad confessed that he was the “wringed neck” for anything audio, and responsible for coordinating the efforts of a 12-person team. As “League of Legends” is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game, audio plays a critical role in helping the five players each navigate their environment. “I don’t want to say the sound design is musical, but it has a musicality to it,” he stated. “And that’s really making sure that there’s clearly designed sound effects for every single champion. When you’re designing sounds, a part of the process is determining whether something is going to be a global call that every player can hear from anywhere in the field, or a localized call going client-side.”
Chris described his own work by stating: “We are starting to work on a lot of emerging technologies. Those are the most fun projects because we’re really just using our experience with game audio and interactive audio, and then trying to take it to a different place. It’s been amazingly fun to collaborate and maybe just brainstorm with the guys over in Imagineering. At Imagineering, those teams have been making the rides at Disneyland, sound fantastic for so many years.”
“I do a lot with managing the sound for the Disney franchises,” he contunued, “so we find ourselves going from Star Wars to Princesses to Marvel Comics within the span of a day. It’s a boot camp test to represent a light-saber duel then dust off your chimes library. We’re dealing with almost a century’s worth of content. Our team right now doesn’t have dedicated dialogue support, but we do work with another team on the Disney campus and they’re a wonderful resource. They have all the connections for character voice-over casting and when needed stage facilities. Most of the music compositions are done in-house.”
The role of software tools in designing sounds for games is critical. Both Brad and Chris emphasized the importance of learning about the various gaming engines and how they work. These