Monday, 28 September 2015

All About Me

MSc Sound and Music for Interactive Games: Blog Post 1

Hello, My name is Kyle James Worrall and welcome to my blog/website and I apologise, as this post is a long one! 
I have been asked to create a blog for my studies and already having a dedicated blog/website to all things game audio and my own personal endeavours, and as such I've decided to combine them.

On this online e-hub you can find a playable Space Shooter demo that I made in Unity following tutorials, along with music and sounds that I created for it, as well as a few trailers for games and an advert, as well as a video in which I break down an FMOD Studio session in the context of interactive gameplay. Unfortunately the game on this site is not interactive, due to compatibility bugs between the FMOD and Web Player plug-ins inside of Unity.

I was never really interested in music as a child, but would always hum pieces of music from Final Fantasy VII-IX and The Legend of Zelda (composed by Nobuo Uematsu and Koji Kondo respectively). As I grew up, I began guitar lessons extra-curricularly and moved into teaching myself bass guitar while attending high school. From there I moved to sixth form, where my sole focus was my Music BTEC.

While studying at sixth form, I learned about mac computers, Logic Pro and a variety of compositional tasks that led me onto my production degree at Manchester Metropolitan University. While studying my undergraduate degree, I was introduced to Video Game Audio as a subject and was immediately enthralled. Ever since, I have catered my entire academic experience onto Video Game Audio and its relation to both Interactivity and Immersion. 

In my first year of University, I studied composition and production, while doing my best to research and read up on the subject of Video Game Audio, devouring books and sound tracks for hours. This led me to start up a small business with a friend called White Wolf Productions during the interim between my first and second years at university. 

    White Wolf Productions continued extra-curricularly along side my studies and in my second year I learned about FMOD Studio and Max MSP, and spent my time learning how to use these to create interesting and adaptive/interactive music and sound design for projects. During this time my teacher, introduced me to Arduino and with his help and tuition in the programming language C, I created a small play back system which allowed me to manipulate samples in real time. By this I mean it allowed me to control the speed of playback, and as such the timbre and tone of the samples morphed. I also learned how to create basic synthesisers using Max MSP and as such here began my practical aspect of interactive composition. 

During this time, I worked on a few small independent game projects as part of White Wolf Productions, as well as composed music for a youtube channel and in a business module, learned about writing a SWOT Analysis and a business plan and my ambitions became more realistic and went from a dream to a goal. 

    In my third year, I catered more specifically to Video Game Audio by doing my presentation on the Interactive nature of Video Games and the importance of Video Game Audio on Immersion as compared against films, as well as creating this website and all it's content, so that I had a basic platform for stepping into the professional realm of Audio for Video Games. I also created the interactive demos (that I can email to anyone interested) inside of Unity, using FMOD, allowing me to broaden my portfolio and developing my interests in Interactive Audio further. This broadened my coding knowledge as it allowed me to learn C# and develop my knowledge of coding logic, which was also developed by another module in my third year. This module taught me how to create a basic maths app for children. Overall I came out of my degree in June with a 2:1, focused on developing as both a composer and sound designer academically and professionally. 

While studying for my final year of university, I also began collaborating on a small independent game with some students in Manchester and began collaborating with a Canadian Director and some of my musical cohorts on a Short 90 minute fantasy film. Both of these projects are still in the making and will hopefully be realised int he next one to two years.

I also began learning piano and drums in an attempt to broaden my musical and stylistic knowledge as well as beginning to learn to read sheet music. In an attempt to develop my business mind set, I also contacted composers such as Jack Wall (Mass Effect), George "The Fat Man" Sanger, Aaron Marks and Mikko Tarmia (Amnesia: The Dark Descent) and various other composers, who all kindly and thankfully took the time to answer my questions and help me to plan my future accordingly.

During my second and third years, I also played with death metal bands from all over the world such as "Soulfly" and "Hour of Penance" in a 'Progressive Death Metal' band known as "Nihilism Incarnate", which I gave up mid-third year to focus on my goals of becoming a Video Game Audio Composer/Sound Designer 

Anyway, I hope this gives you enough information about my background and interests, and as you can see I'm a mostly self taught musician, who is passionate about this field and who was lucky enough to be accepted onto this course and received a scholarship from Leeds Beckett University to cover my fees. My ambitions are to both advance professionally, to one day work on a 'AAA' title and to also one day study a doctorate in this field, and advance my knowledge and this field.

Thankyou for your time.


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