Welcome to my blog! Here I'll talk about some recent things I've done, or just ramble on about anything audio.

Some Musings...

Pit People, The End is Nigh, and So Many Other Things

It’s been awhile and some cool new stuff has been happening so I wanted to highlight a few of those here! First of all, no, I’m not dead. I may seem like it, but I’ve just been really busy with a lot of things (both professionally and personally) and have been focusing in on those lately.

Let’s Talk About Games!

Pit People Update 4: Vibrant Villains Is now released for both Steam and Xbox One!! If you’ve been playing Pit People you’ll enjoy some more content, including some sweet ass sounds from yours truly in the new quests!

The End is Nigh was announced  which is the newest game from Edmund Mcmillen & Tyler Glaiel. I was approached to do some SFX for it (which of course I said hell yes!). I’m super excited to show off what I’m doing here in our short timeline and hopefully people enjoy it! As of right now, I’m still working on it so nothing to show off quite yet.

I’m also working with some really cool devs for some projects I can’t talk about yet D: but I swear it’ll be awesome!

But what about this ‘other’ stuff???

Alright so I mentioned some other stuff. I’m going to be doing some more blogs soon talking about a few things I think are important. One, is how to deal with burnout and stress. Another, is how to try and save your games from common audio QA pitfalls. Lastly, I’m having another kid so who knows if any of this will actually come to fruition. Thanks for checking in and If you see me don’t be mad if I’m busy I swear I’m just trying to knock it out of the park!

 

 

What Have I Been up to in 2017??

You might be wondering about what I’ve been doing recently. “Man it sure seems like I haven’t seen Jay around in awhile” or “Hey where’s the next cool loudness article?”  might be some things you mention when looking at my site, but the awful truth is just that I have been really busy so far this year, and not just with games. So what have I been doing with my life? Well, the first thing is completely redoing my backyard and building a wall. Why am I posting about it here? Mostly because I got some really cool sounds out of it and ended up trying to record as much as I could from wood, to concrete, to digging, to machines (though I did get tired of it since it’s really hard work). Once I get around to cleaning some of these up more I’ll post them but they range from things recorded with my M10, other mics, and contact mics!

 

Let’s see…. I released my new EP Rise on Spotify! If you enjoy Outrun, Kavinsky, Synthwave or any of that awesome 80’s synth magic you’ll (hopefully) enjoy this!

Continuing on I also attended this small conference you may have heard of before called the Game Developer’s Conference. Mostly there for business reasons I also had the chance to hang out with a ton of old audio friends as well as making new ones. Sightglass was an amazing opportunity to listen to others and meetup with everyone, plus the coffee is pretty good. The highlight of the top for me was being a part of the #GameAudioGDC and #CarouselCon group, who even let me be a speaker and talk about some stuff during one of the days!

What did I talk about? I pretty much turned my infamous butterfly post into a real life talk, without slides or anything. I spoke to my game audio friends about why I think context matters so much in sound design and why you should consider context even in the very early stages of design. I also spoke about how something can change depending on context and how the user’s perception of this can be leveraged (for better or worse). I received some very awesome positive feedback about it so I’m currently considering attempting to bring it to the big stage and possibly speak at a few other shows (or even GDC next year!).

PIT PEOPLE EARLY ACCESS

Holy cow this game has been on my plate for the last few years and it’s so exciting that we released it into Early Access for Steam and Xbox Game Preview for Xbox One in January. The feedback has been immensely positive and I’m so excited to see players enjoying something that we worked so hard on at The Behemoth. If you listen closely, I have a slew of sound effects, ambiences, and a song in the game (plus helping design some behind the scenes stuff for them in FMOD). Coupled with the other music from Patric Catani and the SFX/VO/Music and other crazy things from Will Stamper, this game packs a talent punch behind the scenes and I’m grateful to help out on it. Eventually I’ll have my contribution on Bandcamp and other places but for now you can enjoy it in the game ^_^ (buy it here or here)

I’m also working on some cool new stuff I can’t really talk about but hope to share soon as well as trying to play some games when I have time (like Night in the Woods which is just SO GOOD). PLUS I’m doing another San Diego Game Audio meetup at Ossic (the 3D headphone people) which should be SUPER AWESOME. Anyways, back to it!

The Mastering Show (Ep. 27)

Recently I had the pleasure of hanging out online with Ian Shepard and Jon Tidey on their newest episode of The Mastering Show! It was a ton of fun and also a good opportunity to help explain some of the unique workflows in game audio that don’t really exist in other forms of linear media. Some of the things discussed:

  • Why audio is critical to the gaming experience
  • How “mastering” works in games (Or how it doesn’t really work that way)
  • Challenges and solutions in gaming audio
  • How to measure the loudness of a game, what to aim for, and why it matters
  • Some of the best games for audio (way too many to list!)
  • Why Jon hates “3D sound”

You can listen to the whole thing here on their site Or on iTunes

Or here:

Goodbye 2016, and Thanks for all the Fish!

After seeing some really inspirational posts from A.C. Menes and others about what they accomplished in 2016, I decided it’s a fantastic idea and wanted to do one of my own! Now… there might not be a ton of really cool things on here, but that’s sort of the point is that these are things I’m personally proud of. PLUS It’ll help me figure out how to make my 2017 even better! Without further ado, here is my list of accomplishments:

  • I continued working on my current large game project, helping a bit with audio and other things on Pit People.
  • I worked on SFX for a cool project with a friend on a Leap Motion Interaction Engine Unity demo
  • I took part in the Good Bundle, which helped raised over $100k towards the ACLU and Planned Parenthood
  • I competed in EP Jam (again) and released my new EP “Resist” 
  • I took part in Reel Talk as a participant where my site and demo were reviewed by others in Game Audio
  • I remastered my EP “Space Odyssey” and released it on Spotify as well as all of the other popular places
  • I created 10+ songs of varying genres for personal fun + work (some as seen on my Soundcloud)
  • I did a few (and had to stop because of time) Do Stuff Monthly blog posts, where friends and I would make something each month and post it.
  • I created MY FAVORITE THING EVER and talked about what good and bad sound design can really be.
  • I talked more about Loudness in video games (including another blog post) and helped other designers and devs make sure their games weren’t too loud.
  • I moved to fully using Reaper as my main DAW (finally).
  • I bought my first (and second) hardware synth 😀 & upgraded my studio monitors/studio.
  • I met some sweet fans, audio people, and devs at PAX West, PAX East, and San Diego Comic-Con.
  • I helped release some of my favorite games including Firewatch, The Witness, Salt & Sanctuary, Hyper Light Drifter, and Inversus through my main job at The Research Centaur.

I’m sure there’s other cool things but these are the ones I remember the most. I’m still trying to figure out what my 2017 will look like (besides being filled with work). Some of my goals include getting to GDC, releasing audio in my first major indie release (even if just helping our audio team), and recording WAY more with my M10 and mics. Here’s to a great 2017!

Turn Down For What??
Why Loudness Matters In Video Games

TooDarnLoud

This post is a continuation of my previous blog post where I talked about what loudness is so now I will go into more of why it matters with a focus on video games.

Now, there are different things which loudness affects that should be considered. Some of them might be very noticeable to many users while some may very subtle. The more noticeable something is the more someone can point at it specifically as a problem, like a single sound that’s too loud. But the subtle issues can be widespread and harder to pin down. They may be veiled as comments about audio ‘lacking polish’, being ‘too loud’ overall, or just being uncomfortable to listen to for long periods of time. All of these are things developers and designers should strive to fix (and some are!); even console manufacturers are jumping in! Loudness in games has an effect on how much a player enjoys the game, the length they will play in one sitting, and how they talk about it to others, though the amount of these effects is not certain as it can be subjective, but it’s one piece of the puzzle! Look at it this way, if there are ways to make games more polished (or call it “better” since most would agree) and have less “bad” things to point out, then why wouldn’t you want to?

Read more

Do Stuff Monthly February Edition #DSM

 

I also did another blog post about the best/worst sound design about this video!

Background: In October 2016 I was looking through the long list of things I wanted to finish *sometime* ranging from small personal projects, cover songs, original music, game jams, prototypes, demo reels and whatever else you can possibly think of. Just looking at the list became a bit overwhelming so I decided to cut it into smaller pieces so I could slowly start finishing these things. If you want to follow along in my #DSM journey  hit me up on twitter!

Why I Made the Best/Worst Sound Design Example I Could Think Of

I would like to show you this video, which is my ‘finished’ sound design example using a butterfly:

What did you think? Greatest rendition of a butterfly you’ve heard? Confusing? Did you laugh at least? In the post I would like to explore the reasons why I made this and talk more about choices for sound design, why details matter, and how you could be doomed from the start.

Read more

Do Stuff Monthly January Edition #DSM

Background: In October 2016 I was looking through the long list of things I wanted to finish *sometime* ranging from small personal projects, cover songs, original music, game jams, prototypes, demo reels and whatever else you can possibly think of. Just looking at the list became a bit overwhelming so I decided to cut it into smaller pieces so I could slowly start finishing these things. If you want to follow along in my #DSM journey  hit me up on twitter! (@JayMFernandes

 

JANUARY

 

It has been a pretty interesting month for me and I was able to start some really interesting projects as well as finish some other ones! The first project I finished is a Ben Prunty inspired Chill/Ambient track that I used to explore Reaktor and what I could.

Read more

DO STUFF MONTHLY DECEMBER EDITION! #DSM

Background: In October I was looking through the long list of things I wanted to finish *sometime* ranging from small personal projects, cover songs, original music, game jams, prototypes, demo reels and whatever else you can possibly think of. Just looking at the list became a bit overwhelming so I decided to cut it into smaller pieces so I could slowly start finishing these things. If you want to follow along in my #DSM journey  hit me up on twitter! (@JayMFernandes

THE RULES

There really are none. I was doing this for personal growth but I think it’s fantastic to see others want to join as well. But… Maybe just tag whatever your doing on Twitter with #DSM so I can search for it! I plan to curate everyone’s projects each month so other’s can see what you’ve done!  There’s no requirement of feedback or anything since the goal is to GET SOMETHING FINISHED. (I’d try to get it done by the last day on the month)

DECEMBER

Lots of things have been happening this month! Sadly, I have not finished my sound replacement I mentioned in November, but I did do a lot of administrative things as well as some cleaning up. One of the things I did was release a new song that I submitted to the Starr Mazer contest earlier in the year (as well as made my whole Bandcamp library free to download). This can be seen here:

I also edited a bunch of my personal sound library (metadata etc.) as well as went through my released music and made them all the same loudness values for better listening. Read more

DO STUFF MONTHLY NOVEMBER EDITION! #DSM

Background: In October I was looking through the long list of things I wanted to finish *sometime* ranging from small personal projects, cover songs, original music, game jams, prototypes, demo reels and whatever else you can possibly think of. Just looking at the list became a bit overwhelming so I decided to cut it into smaller pieces so I could slowly start finishing these things.

THE RULES

There really are none. I was doing this for personal growth but I think it’s fantastic to see others want to join as well. But… Maybe just tag whatever your doing on Twitter with #DSM so I can search for it! I plan to curate everyone’s projects each month so other’s can see what you’ve done!  There’s no requirement of feedback or anything since the goal is to GET SOMETHING FINISHED. (I’d try to get it done by the last day on the month)

NOVEMBER

For myself, I finished 1 thing and started work on another. I did a stylistic cover of one of my favorite songs: “Imagine” by John Lennon. Especially with everything happening around the world I felt this would fit. I’m in the process of releasing it for sale of which 100% of the proceeds will go to various charities promoting peace and non-violence. It can be heard here:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/jayfernandes/im_gine[/soundcloud]

 

I also worked a bit on a sound replacement on Unity’s ‘roguelike’ project. Mostly prototyping my adaptive music system as well as recording sounds to be used in the game. Not playable yet, sorry!

gamepic


 

@GabeCastro Also finished two awesome retro/16-bit styled tracks that you can check out here:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/gabecastro/mecha-zone[/soundcloud]

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/gabecastro/final-lap[/soundcloud]