#1: Starting from Scratch - Elements of Game Development

How I became interested: 360 video to game development...


As it come close to the end of my MSc Muisc Engineering & Production course, I had to decide on a final major project. I wanted to pick a element of muisc technology that was forward thinking, futurist and that allowed me to move further from what I have currently learned. After doing many modules relating to recording, synthesis and theory I felt that these areas are the fundamentals of the industry, however do not quite cater for my desires of progression. Once of the modules utilised modern methods of hearing sound/audio/music (that has actually been around since the 1970's) called ambisonics. Ambisonics is a particular sound format that creates a spherical soundfield that replicates the direction of sound more accurately than mono or stereo fields.


 The module led me into the wonderful world of 360 video and the use of spatial audio mixing for the video. I explored the new frontier of ambisonics and spatial audio methods and came to my own opinions and conclusions for what a good ambisonic experience is. But I prefer the term Spatial Audio, as it is less specific then the format of ambisonic A or B. (I will be doing a article on ambisonics soon). The 360 video project can be seen below but you must be using Google Chrome browser for the ambisonic audio to work correctly.



Video Game: 


Although I was happy with the outcome of the 360 project, it was not quite enough for what I had in mind with spatial audio. I wished that I could walk around and hear the position of the audio elements at their source from any position that I wanted. In order to do this it would require a digital 3d environment with some complex setup initially to do the actions that I concieved. I know the tools for what I need are already out there. So I decided to learn how to make a video game. I had a few months to learn everything that I needed or to aquire the people to help me do so. This was the biggest challenge I have had so far being that I am unfamilar with the industry workings. However this is the type of challenge that I felt that I needed.


Elements of Game Development 


Game development as I have found, has a lot of elements involved in its production. Usually done by a small team (Indie Game Dev Teams) all the way up to a company that includes thousands of people (AAA Game Dev Companies). The higher in quality the game, the longer it takes or the more people it takes. I have yet to cover all of the required elements for everything that is possible within a video game, but I have gathered a list of things that I feel are the fundementals of a simple game. These include...


- Level Design visuals: Enviornment, Lighting, Characters, Objects etc. These are usually refered to as 'components'. 


- User Interface and mechanics: Usually the aspects of the game that connect the player to the digital world. Such as interactive menus and characters/objects. 


- Interest: What the game is about. A simulation, a role play experience etc. 


These basic categories allow me/us to get a basic understanding of the direction that is required to begin learning what I/we need to get started. After some quick research I found that all games are organised within a program known as a video game engine. A game engine is a software developed purly for organising 'assets' (components) into what we recognise as a playable game using a variety of styles and methods to get to a end goal. 


Please follow the rest of the blogs/articles to find out my next step...