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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wildcat Comic-Con 2014

     Wildcat Comic-Con 2014 happened and it was just about as good as last years (minus one friend who couldn't attend this year). there were a lot of game design related events this year and many contacts were acquired for the school (points to PCT GameDevs). One game audio panel in particular made attending the event worthwhile.

     I dressed up in a Doctor Who outfit to be an accessory for my cosplay loving girlfriend Karissa (We did Derpy & Doctor Hooves) and we set out with a bunch of friends to enjoy a weekend of fun and relaxation to celebrate the end of our first quarterly exams. Silly me forgot to take any pictures in the heat of the moment so once again I have nothing to show I was there (Oops).

     To make up for that, check out a bunch of text below the break!

     We woke up late and missed a couple events I was looking forward to (one about tabletop design and another about copyright). My friend Mike (a PCT GameDevs leader) went to the design one and will share what it was like at the next PCT GameDevs meeting. I'm really wishing I saw the legal issues panel but it's not like I'll never be able to study further on the web. Aside from those the only panels I'm sad about missing are the character drawing, crowdfunding, and trivia events.

    I only missed those because of overlapping time-slots. It was a matter of picking what was the most important to me.

    The thing that made my day (and made the $20 ticket worth it was the "Let's Make Video Game Music" panel presented by Matthew Pablo (please check him out he's awesome) who showed us what it's like creating game music and how to communicate to a hired composer as a designer. He showed how dynamic game sound is made using FL Studio and FMOD.

    Mike went to that one with me and we had a great time learning how to make our games sound better and getting to know Matthew. His portfolio is really incredible and inspiring because he's just a few years older and living the dream of doing what he loves for a living. He's worked on loads of games including Micromon and Cloud Spin (which I have been studying for a while).

    We even had Matthew made music on the spot to match a random game concept Mike and I conjured in a few sentences when he asked for suggestions. It was a request for a happy, bouncy track to go with a game about being a bipedal fish that flings cream cheese at bagels and soon reaches a badass giant industrial toaster boss with a singing choir. It was hilarious and awesome how well it all came together. 

    I now have a deep understanding of how BGM audio transitions in games work. We were shown a bunch of FMOD projects where the audio could be changed dynamically through code and sound so natural. My favorite example was the one with an underwater transition that seemed to fit Assassin's Creed Black Flag perfectly. Matthew Pablo also does sound effects and briefly explained his process for making attack sounds for Micromon.

    He agreed to be a professional contact for the school and says he's willing to help me out as he sees me as a beginner with potential. He gave me numbers to keep in mind so I know what I'm in for budget-wise when looking for an audio professional's help. He wants to keep that stuff private so I won't be sharing that based on respect for him.

    The second most fun event I attended was the "Your First Game in 60 Minutes" one where I helped my girlfriend make a video game with Game Maker for the first time. My Gaming & Simulation instructor taught a class full of beginners how to make a simple game so that they could be inspired to continue developing skill after the con. My girlfriend saw it as a chance to see what it's like to be me when I'm working so I sat in on it and watched her.

    She picked up faster than the 16-19 year-olds attending so I helped her take the game above & beyond by making suggestions on how to turn it into a hilarious parody of a generic impossibly hard app and gave it a long and badly typed description akin to Dolan comics. We had lots of laughs. We also got free 4GB flash drives from the event to keep the game files on. We'll be making joke games from time to time just for the fun of it now.

    I had a great time at the convention and feel like I'm better off career-wise because of it. 

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