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Current problems and future possibilities of procedural audio in computer games

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Procedural audio is an alternative approach to sound design in computer games, which offers extensive possibilities for dynamic audio. There are many arguments for using this approach to sound design, but as of today procedural audio has not been utilized in many contemporary commercial computer games. This article is based on a series of interviews with audio programmers, sound designers and audio middleware software developers between December 2011 and May 2012. The article discusses and summarizes the most important conclusions from these interviews concerning procedural audio in computer games. In doing so it seeks to answer the question: Why is this approach to sound design not more popular in modern computer games? The lack of well-integrated tools is mentioned as being one of the most important issues. Sound quality, education and poor communication between the industry and academia are other important issues. There are different approaches for designing procedural audio tools and different possibilities for improving the perceived sound quality of the models. In the future, one would not expect to see a full integration of procedural tools directly in the audio middleware, it being more likely to see those tools as plug-ins from third-party companies.
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Keywords: audio middleware; design approach; game audio; integration; interviews; procedural audio

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Aalborg University

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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  • The Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds focuses on theoretical and applied, empirical, critical, rhetorical, creative, economic and professional approaches to the study of electronic games across platforms and genres as well as ludic and serious online environments.
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