A Metronome For Everyone

Let's talk about the metronome again, shall we? I believe a metronome system is a component worthy of being included in all game engines. They have a lot more to offer game developers than simply playing sounds to the beat of the music. What I really want to get across is how the metronome event system can help unify the timing of many elements in games, making them feel complimentary.

It Started Small

Mushroom Men concept art by RedFly StudioOur first title with a metronome events system received a nomination for best sound in Kotaku’s 2008 Game of the Year. We owe this, in no small part, to the music source provided by the one and only Mr. Les Claypool. However, it was the metronome that made this game stand out.

 Mushroom Men’s metronome is locked to 120 BPM. You could say this is a simplistic or limiting approach, but I believe it was an inspiring limitation. We came up with this grungy dub-funk music style and it set the mood for every level in the game. After hearing enough 120 BPM music during production, it became pretty natural to design sounds to the same tempo.

Read More

Pre-Production for an Audio Team

I’ve been in some form of perpetual crunch for nearly my entire career. Since I started GL33k in 2006 I’ve pretty much gone from one fire to the next with a few escapes to Mexico here and there. GL33k has been active for about five years and one thing I’ve never really had the pleasure of dealing with is Pre-Production.

For those of you in game audio that work as contractors- I’m sure you can relate. We are never called early enough. Developers can stand to save a lot of money by waiting to pull the trigger on audio. Unfortunately, waiting on audio ultimately costs the developers more in the long run (not only in cash but also in quality.)

Most of my experience at GL33k has been either supporting in-house audio developers, or being the audio department remotely for a project. We have been lucky to work with some great audio directors and those projects with in-house muscle have always had a lot of ground work laid out. When we are called in to be THE audio team, we’re usually called in when production is in full swing and the developer feels that there are enough things for audio to do. 

Read More