Audio Design for Video Games

The audio design for video games minor 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; a unique process of integrating and triggering sound effects and music layers in a non-linear 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 audio design for video games minor 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

Open to Electronic Production and Design Majors only.

Students must complete the following coursework before beginning the minor:

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

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

1. Record, edit, and process, and mix all sound elements in an interactive game environment.

2. Collaborative effectively in creative teams.

3. Design and implement effective project-based management.

4. Develop an effective strategies for realizing sound-guided gameplay.

5. Analyze visual events and provide convincing sound support.

6. Design simple interactive systems that integrate audio and control elements. 

Read more about this program

12 credits (6 courses) required for the minor.

Required Courses (10 credits): 

  • EP-341 Programming Interactive Audio Software and Plugins in Max/MSP (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-P421 Audio Implementation for Video Games (2 credits)

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

  • EP-337 Programming, Sound Design, and Composition in Csound (2 credits)
  • EP-340 Speech and Vocal Synthesis (2 credits)
  • EP-353 Programming Audio Applications and Plugins in C, C++, and Objective-C (2 credits)
  • EP-373 Sound Design for Animation (2 credits)
  • EP-413 Digital Signal Processing: Theory and Composition (2 credits)
  • EP-414 Digital Signal Processing for Music Production and Postproduction (2 credits)
  • EP-431 Physical Modeling and Additive Synthesis (2 credits)
Assessment Evidence

Assessment evidence varies by course. Typical projects for this minor include:

1. Producing the sound for a picture project.

2. In collaboration with a film scoring student, designing the sound for a video game.

3. Creating a unique library of sound assets.

4. Programming software examples of interactive audio playback.

5. Taking written exams and quizzes. There is no specific capstone project for the program. Students produce a capstone project for the Electronic Production and Design major.