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Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Consoles

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The following resources come from the 2009/10 BSc in Music Technology (course number 2ELE0077) from the University of Hertfordshire. All the mini projects are designed as level two modules of the …

The following resources come from the 2009/10 BSc in Music Technology (course number 2ELE0077) from the University of Hertfordshire. All the mini projects are designed as level two modules of the undergraduate programmes.

The objectives of this module are to demonstrate within a digital audio environment:
• an understanding of audio requirements for digital editing.
• an awareness of technical constraints for content management and creation.
• the creation of immersive multitrack sound sequences, within a games environment.

Students will be provided with a library of audio samples, captured from a range of sources, from which they must select and edit into a short duration, professional quality multitrack sound sequence. The project provides students with an awareness of current audio standards and also the need to technically appraise the content of source material. The project also introduces the use of contemporary digital authoring tools and processes.

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  • 1. Mini Project – SoundScape for Games Console Author: University of Hertfordshire Date created: Date revised: 2009 Abstract: The following resources come from the 2009/10 BSc in Music Technology (course number 2ELE0077) from the University of Hertfordshire. All the mini projects are designed as level two modules of the undergraduate programmes. The objectives of this module are to demonstrate within a digital audio environment: • an understanding of audio requirements for digital editing. • an awareness of technical constraints for content management and creation. • the creation of immersive multitrack sound sequences, within a games environment. Students will be provided with a library of audio samples, captured from a range of sources, from which they must select and edit into a short duration, professional quality multitrack sound sequence. The project provides students with an awareness of current audio standards and also the need to technically appraise the content of source material. The project also introduces the use of contemporary digital authoring tools and processes. Contents Mini Project – SoundScape for Games Console ......................................................................................................1 Section 1. Project Specification................................................................................................................................2 Section 2. Project Day 1 Tasks Brief..........................................................................................................................5 Section 3. Project Day 2 Tasks Brief..........................................................................................................................8 Section 4. Project Intro and Preparation Checklist...................................................................................................9 Credits....................................................................................................................................................................12 In addition to the resources found below there are supporting documents which should be used in combination with this resource. Please see: Mini Projects - Introductory presentation. Mini Projects - E-Log. Mini Projects - Staff & Student Guide. Mini Projects - Standard Grading Criteria. Mini Projects - Reflection. © University of Hertfordshire 2009 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
  • 2. Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Console Section 1. Project Specification. 1. Learning Outcomes assessed (as taken from the DMD) All Learning Outcomes specified in the Definitive Module Documentation are assessed as part of this miniproject, the specific Learning Outcomes are: Knowledge and Understanding • be able to analyse and breakdown problem tasks into manageable steps. • integrate previous and concurrent learning and to use it to solve technology-based problems. • be able to describe the project life-cycle appropriately. • be able to select appropriate Music Technology and techniques for a given situation. Skills and Attributes • produce a solution to a defined music technology problem. • carry out a simple critical evaluation of their solution. • demonstrate an ability to work effectively in a teams, small groups and individually. • demonstrate an ability to manage time and resources effectively. 2. Project Title: Soundscape For Games Console 3. Project Objectives: (technical, specific to this project) Demonstrate within a digital audio environment: • an understanding of audio requirements for digital editing. • an awareness of technical constraints for content management and creation. • the creation of immersive multitrack sound sequences, within a games environment. 4. Project Summary: (50 words max) Students will be provided with a library of audio samples, captured from a range of sources, from which they must select and edit into a short duration, professional quality multitrack sound sequence. The project provides students with an awareness of current audio standards and also the need to technically appraise the content of source material. The project also introduces the use of contemporary digital authoring tools and processes. 5. Introductory Lecture (2hrs) Content: • Introduction to digital audio. • Use of digital audio editing tools (Adobe® Audition®) and Cross Platform Audio Creation Tool • Use of XNA® Game Studio for embedding audio into games. • Content management strategies, technical standards for content creation, Audio Studio techniques. 6. Preparation Session (3hrs): Page 2 of 12
  • 3. Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Console i. An introduction to digital audio editing using Adobe ‘Audition’ and a dedicated set of ‘Classroom-in-a- book’ tutorials. ii. An introduction to XNA Game Studio through a set of tutorials. iii. Defining technical parameters for source capture. iv. Content Appraisal. 7. Day 1 Expected Outcomes for the day: Students working individually must create an immersive multi-positioning sequence for a game console (e.g. XBOX® 360) which provides the audio back-drop and effects for a mini-game. A briefing pack which contains instructions, the clip and supporting narrative will be provided at the start of the day. An intermediate goal for day 1 is the appropriate selection and creation of the sound effects. Assessment criteria; the way in which the work has been planned and managed, the selecting and placing of audio clips within the soundscape appropriate to the mini-game, the technical parameters considered and the compression strategies used for the target media. Key Tasks: • Project Planning; developing an appropriate strategy to meet a specific set of technical requirements. • Content Capture; selection of appropriate audio samples. • Audio Editing techniques, mixing and effects, stereo imaging, multi-positioning sound sequence. • Technical Appraisal; processing of source material (selection and parameter settings), compression strategies. 8. Day 2 Expected Outcomes for the day: Students working in small groups must embed the audio to the mini-game and demonstrate positioning of sound within the mini-game. The mini-game will be demonstrated using the game console and must deliver the effects intended. A briefing pack which contains instructions, the clip and supporting narrative will be provided at the start of the day. An intermediate goal for day 2 will be; embedding the audio to the mini-game. Assessment criteria; the way in which the work has been managed, embedding of the audio back-drop and effects, the positioning of sound within the mini-game and the compression strategies used for the target delivery platform. Key Tasks: • Project Planning; developing an appropriate strategy to meet a specific set of technical requirements. • Compilation of content; students working in groups and individually to create the required range of audio source materials. • Embedding of audio contents and positioning of sound within the mini-game. • Technical Appraisal; processing of source material (selection and parameter settings), compression strategies. 9. Facilitator guidance (key ideas to draw out from students): Day 1: Digital Audio standards, mixing, editing, technical appraisal of content for stereo & surround sound. Day 2: Embedding of audio content, coordination of team effort, processing sound (individual working). Page 3 of 12
  • 4. Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Console 10. Required Resources: Laboratory Facilities and Teaching Support. Laboratory Resources: 1. PC Workstations with analogue and digital capture facilities, audio editing using Adobe Audition. 2. PC Workstations with XNA Game Studio, and Cross Platform Audio Creation Tool. 3. Access to our dedicated media server which will contain libraries of both audio and video clips. 4. Access to XBOX 360 Development Environment and surround sound system. 5. Headphones. Teaching Resources: 6. Preparatory Session; classroom-in-a-book tutorial exercises with supporting audio samples. 7. Day 1; briefing pack containing instructions for the day with source materials. 8. Day 2; briefing pack for the day; additional source materials, team allocations for group work. Page 4 of 12
  • 5. Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Console Section 2. Project Day 1 Tasks Brief Part 1: Setting the Scene You will be presented with a scenario at the start of Day 1. You will then be required to plan and design a theme to the ‘game’ in order to immerse the player into different emotional state (happy, sad, eerie, funny or a combination of the above). Part 2: Planning and preparation of wave files You are required to prepare the following files in readiness for Day 2 of the mini project. You will also be required to write a short description of how the wave file was composed (i.e. combination of several wave file from the library named sample1.wav and sample2.wav, generation of DTMF tones and post processing using xx filters). Please submit this sheet and the wave files (zipped) towards the end of the mini project session. Filename Type Wave file made using... Beep.wav Sound effect Bleep.wav Sound effect BrakeCurveMajor.wav Sound effect BrakeCurveMinor.wav Sound effect BrakeMajor.wav Sound effect BrakeMinor.wav Sound effect CarCrashMinor.wav Sound effect CarCrashTotal.wav Sound effect Page 5 of 12
  • 6. Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Console CarLose.wav Sound effect CheckpointBetter.wav Sound effect CheckpointWorse.wav Sound effect Gear1.wav Sound effect Gear1ToGear2.wav Sound effect Gear2.wav Sound effect Gear2ToGear3.wav Sound effect Gear3.wav Sound effect Gear3ToGear4.wav Sound effect Gear4.wav Sound effect Gear4ToGear5.wav Sound effect Gear5.wav Sound effect Page 6 of 12
  • 7. Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Console menu_buttonclick.wav Sound effect menu_highlight.wav Sound effect menu_screenback.wa Sound effect v menu_screenclick.wav Sound effect RacingGame Game Sound track Music 1.wav RacingGame Game Sound track Music 2.wav RacingGame Menu Sound track Music 2.wav Victory.wav Sound track Page 7 of 12
  • 8. Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Console Section 3. Project Day 2 Tasks Brief Part 1: Obtaining the game template. You will be presented with a Game Template - RacingWin.zip. Extract the file into your working folder and run the game initially to ensure that it is working. Part 2: Replace the audio files Replace the game wav files with the ones generated from last week. You will need to ensure that the sound files can be read from XACT before compiling and running the game in XNA® Game Studio Express. Remember that the sound effects and sound tracks for the game should be focused on a certain theme. You will most likely have to repurpose some of your sound effects to suit the effects in game. If you’re having Wav files compatibility issues with XACT, consult what you have done in Day 1 and preparation day. There is a certain wav format that works well with XACT. Part 3: Demonstrate the game to your tutor Once you have completed the task, demonstrate the game to your tutor. You may leave once you have completed your demonstration. Remember to submit your e-Log towards the end of the session and your reflection sheet a few days after. Theme: Completion and appropriateness of: Sound tracks 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Sound effects 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Page 8 of 12
  • 9. Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Console Section 4. Project Intro and Preparation Checklist Part 1: Familiarisation with Adobe® Audition® 1. The “Classroom in a book” series for Adobe Audition; If you’re unfamiliar with Adobe Audition, go through at least the following tutorial: a. 01_Create a looping soundtrack.doc b. 02_Audition_the_basic.doc c. 03_Audition_glossary.doc 2. Experiment by creating a few sound effect clips through generation of DTMF signals, Noises and Tone. Part 2: Familiarisation with Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Auditioning Tool 1. Download SpaceWarWin.zip and extract this to your working folder. Unzip the files and double click on the file SpaceWarWin.sln. This will launch XNA® Game Studio Express. 2. Click on the ‘PLAY’ button to start the game. You will notice that the sound effects and music soundtrack in this particular game isn’t quite up to modern standards. 3. DO NOT EDIT ANY OF THE C# CODES. In solution explorer ( ), navigate to SpaceWarWin- >Content->Audio->Waves->SpaceWar.xap. Right-click your mouse button on this file and select Open With. Choose “Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Creation Tool XACT” (Figure ). 4. Familiarise yourself with the relationship between: a. Wave Banks b. Sound Banks c. Cue Name 5. It may be worthwhile revisiting a particular tutorial on the “Going Beyond series: Tutorial 3: Making Sounds with XNA Game Studio Express and XACT” (Figure , Figure 41). 6. Revisit the sound effects generated using Adobe Audition and attempt to infuse the game with your newly “engineered” sound tracks/effect. 7. You may also be required to re-create more relevant sound track/effects in the context of the SpaceWar game. Page 9 of 12
  • 10. Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Console Figure 1 XNA Game Studio Express solution explorer Figure 2 Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Authoring Platform (XACT) Page 10 of 12
  • 11. Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Console Figure 3 Location of Going Beyond Tutorial 3: Making Sounds with XNA Game Studio Express and XACT Figure 41 Location of Going Beyond Tutorial 3: Making Sounds with XNA Game Studio Express and XACT Page 11 of 12
  • 12. Mini Project- Soundscape for Games Console Credits This resource was created by the University of Hertfordshire and released as an open educational resource through the Open Engineering Resources project of the HE Academy Engineering Subject Centre. The Open Engineering Resources project was funded by HEFCE and part of the JISC/HE Academy UKOER programme. © University of Hertfordshire 2009 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License. The name of the University of Hertfordshire, UH and the UH logo are the name and registered marks of the University of Hertfordshire. To the fullest extent permitted by law the University of Hertfordshire reserves all its rights in its name and marks which may not be used except with its written permission. The JISC logo is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales Licence. All reproductions must comply with the terms of that licence. The HEA logo is owned by the Higher Education Academy Limited may be freely distributed and copied for educational purposes only, provided that appropriate acknowledgement is given to the Higher Education Academy as the copyright holder and original publisher. Microsoft product screen shots reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft, Visual C# and XNA are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Abode and Audition are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. Page 12 of 12

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