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Audio directors: Convince your team they need you

As part of a new feature exploring 10 helpful tips from audio directors across the industry -- from Limbo to Saints Row -- EA's Jeff MacPherson explains one essential hint.
As part of a new feature exploring 10 helpful tips from audio directors across the industry -- from Limbo to Saints Row -- Electronic Arts' Jeff MacPherson explains one essential hint. "Audio is one of the areas with the biggest disc footprint, and there are a lot of people vying for resources -- whether that's the CPU, RAM or disc footprint, and rightly so it does become a bit of PR campaign to get those resources," he says. MacPherson works on FIFA -- one of EA's most popular titles, globally, but even he has trouble convincing his colleagues of the essential nature of his work. How does he do it? "It's important to evangelize upwards the importance of audio, because it's not as tangible a discipline as graphics or gameplay. With graphics you can pause a picture, and anybody can look and see if something's wrong immediately, but it's not the same for sound. Unless you point something out specifically, people maybe think it's because the graphics or gameplay is better. They only really notice audio when it's not good." To help win support, FIFA's audio team uses AV comparisons where they show footage from the game with poor or limited audio, and then explain or show how giving more resources to audio could improve the experience. The full feature, which has nine other tips from professionals across the industry, including PopCap and Volition, is live now on Gamasutra.

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