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About the research

The contents in this site are part of a broader research aiming at the empowerment of small game developers to integrate sound design explorations in their projects, namely through the observation, resynthesis and translation of expert knowledge in to a format that might be relevant to non-experts practitioners.

About the patterns

About the site

Release Date

The site has been prepared to be first publicly presented during the Audio Mostly 2011 Conference, September 7-9, 2011. We have been adopting that date as the site's "release date".

Appropriation by the community

The work exposed in this site ought to be considered as a starting point. Our aim is to provide the means for the community of practice to build upon this basis, by defing and completing the pattern language, and by exposing better ways to explore the collectively gathered knowledge.

About the cards

A deck of cards: (from Sam & Max 301: The Penal Zone)

The cards constitute a minimized version of their corresponding patterns. To date, we identified two main ways to profit from this format:

  • One consists of simply augmenting the contact between potential users and te patterns, through ad-hoc browsing of the cards, possibly combined with visits to the availabe online resources (particularly the video examples and the description that goes beyond the included synopsis).
  • The other consists of using the cards as a tool integrated in a process of game design, in a manner that participants are able to discuss possible explorations of sound to be included in the game being designed. We have documented some possibilities, but we eager to consider variations.

The cards also have been playing an important role in the research that supports this initiative. When used in a setting where designers interact while discussing possible sound explorations during a design session, they are instrumental in auditing the use of the pattern language, which, in turn allows identifying opportunities to enhance the language, the explorations being covered, and the cards themselves.

About the videos

Video grabbing

The videos used in the "Examples" section of each card/pattern's page were trimmed from recordings of game sessions. Most of the video (PS2, PS3, XBox, PSP, iPhone) was acquired through a High-Definition video recorder (receiving Component Video and Stereo Audio (digital audio, whenever possible)). For older consoles (including Nintendo 64) we used an analog to digital hardware converter (receiving S-Video and Stereo Audio). For Mac OS X and MS Windows games we used video capture software.

All videos used in the site are 30 seconds or less. Among other aspects, this length should allow:

  • quickly focusing on the particular aspect in stake;
  • possibly checking several examples without compromising the flow of the task being performed;
  • reduce the overall bytes transferred;

Once trimmed, videos were resized and uploaded in several resolutions so that it is possible to serve an adequate file size and quality according to the scenario (e.g., inline playing of embedded thumbnail versus playing in full window). Resizing has also been convenient to cope with some specific circumstances (e.g., iPhone scaling to screen resolution and maximum playable resolution).

Video hosting

We opted to host the videos ourselves (i.e., they are maintained and served from the same host where the wiki is hosted) in H.264 format. Users are required to use a QuickTime compatible plugin. This may be revised in the future but it has shown to be the best approach by now.