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Video: Designing the audio for Inside, a game that listens

At GDC 2016, Playdead audio wizard Martin Stig Andersen describes various approaches to feedback loops between game and audio that have resulted in an atmospheric experience for Inside players.

Communication between a game and an audio engine is often a one-way street. The game passes information to the audio engine whereby audio is played back.

With no information going the other way around, suggests Playdead's Martin Stig Andersen, the game resembles a dancer unable to hear and respond to the sound playing. In order to retain continuity in such temporal experiences, and transition seamlessly from one temporal quality to another, the game needs to listen and adapt to the sound playing.

At GDC 2016, Andersen -- who did much of the audio work on Playdead's latest game, Inside -- described various approaches to feedback loops between game and audio that have resulted in a refined experience for Inside players.

It was a good talk, packed with useful examples of audio-driven gameplay, situations in which sound conducts in-game actions, and seamless incorporation of death-respawn situations in the overall sound structure.

Now, you can watch the whole thing for free via the official GDC YouTube channel.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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