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Sponsored Feature: Sourcing High-Quality Audio for Your Next Video Game Production

In this sponsored spotlight feature, Gamecues CEO Todd Resnick reveals his new service, which enables game creators to search and license audio easily from a massive library of sounds and music.

[In this sponsored spotlight feature, Gamecues CEO Todd Resnick reveals his new service, which enables game creators to search and license audio easily from a massive library of sounds and music.]

Nowadays, high-quality tactical audio is as essential a component to video game production as perhaps the content itself. It's the sound (and the music) that amplifies game sequences and heightens emotion.

Sure, content is king but isn't it the dynamic pairing of audio and visual that together creates the real magic? Without a sound track or a theme song, how does the entertainment value of a title really play out, or does it?

We believe that it's the sound itself that carries, informs and completes the narrative of any game - which is precisely why we've invented a new means of audio delivery, better known as Gamecues.

Over the last 35 years, the very notion of game audio has progressed considerably - from generic sound effects and crude, simplistic melodies to full-scale orchestral productions and top-dollar studio affairs. And though the industry continues to advance, no one has stopped to address the growing concern of "access." And that is, how do independent game publishers and developers in say Kansas, or Kyoto tap into these resources?

Is it merely a budgetary concern or is it just as much about understanding how best to navigate through this relatively new terrain - comprised of talent, agents and a sea of red tape? These questions got us thinking about what we could do and how we could bridge the fundamental gaps in the sourcing process.

Gamecues is essentially re-engineering the way game audio is sourced, delivered and implemented. We've aggregated content from five distinct areas (soundtracks, original scoring compositions, sound effects, foley, and HD 5.1 effects) and published it in a searchable, library type format.

In short, we've streamlined game audio sourcing and have made high-quality audio available at a fraction of the cost. Even more, we're the first to market a licensing model built specifically and exclusively for those in the gaming industry - which is not only a unique proposition but also one that is of great value to our clients.

OVERVIEW

As part of the Gamecues service, developers and publishers can create a variety of licenses, build organized projects, assign cues to various acts, levels and environments, input production notes, choose from a variety of file formats, bit rates and sample rates (including HD 5.1 sound effects).

Though actual content partners (or vendors) cannot yet be disclosed, Gamecues is in discussion with several well-known copyright holders to acquire in excess of 1 million copyrights by year-end. Thus far, Gamecues has licensed users from 33 different countries and hundreds of licenses sold without any marketing or promotional efforts. For more information about the company, and its parent, please see below.

HOW IT WORKS

The Gamecues service essentially functions like a player - similar to that of iTunes. Content is arranged by category (scoring, soundtracks, sound effects, foley, and HD 5.1 effects) and users can browse by category, genre or with more specifics (title, artist, bpm, feel, etc). Each musical cue can be downloaded before it's actually licensed, however sound effect assets are purchased as downloaded.

This process eases comfort and enhances customer satisfaction. The idea is to use the Gamecues library to source your entire audio production, from foley and sound effects to more complex and complete scores. It's a fairly simple concept but so far, the market competition is limited, at best.


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Per the actual functionality of the service, it's best explained as it is on the site:

  1. Explore
  2. Arrange
  3. License

EXPLORE

This is the "library" section of the site, which allows our users to browse our collections, perform detailed searches and finally, preview individual tracks. The premise is basic but the technology is fairly advanced. A few highlights:

  • Cross-category searches - automatically scans the entire library, not just one genre/collection
  • Custom search - by title, artist, track length, even beats per minute
  • Spotlight-like search - enter what you know and the system will retrieve various matches
  • Unlimited previews - test a musical cue before licensing it - download it and try it out.


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ARRANGE

Given that we are a utility, we created a basic "storage" system that allows our users to save all of their preferences, even their browsing history. A few features:

  • Save individual projects, or sub-folders with as many tracks, files as needed
  • Annotate - save production notes and other important details to individual files
  • Export - save and export your organized project to your desktop.
  • File formats - publish tracks in multiple formats: WAV, MP3, AIFF or OGG


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LICENSE

Again, this system or licensing model is built exclusively for the gaming community so it saves time and loads of headache:

  • License Wizard - the built-in licensing engine guides users through the process with a few, quick and easy questions. Automatically configures individual license type and fee.
  • Multiple tracks, one check-out - so long as the same license type applies, users can "click and buy" multiple selections at the same time; no more single track purchases.
  • Flexible pricing - if the individual license fee turns out to be cost-prohibitive, users can change, delete and/or modify their settings until the total price falls within budget, However, the nominal fee for high quality sound fx and/or foley cues are purchased as downloaded.


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ABOUT GAMECUES

Gamecues is owned and operated by Resnick Interactive Development, LLC. Established in 2000, Resnick Interactive is a boutique audio production firm, operating and specializing in video game development.

For more information about either company, please visit http://www.gamecues.com/?pg=about_company or www.resnickinteractive.com. Email inquiries can be directed to Todd Resnick, CEO and Founder, at [email protected].

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