Audio Engineering involve the creation of the soundtrack for a game. This might include music, sound effects to support the game action (such as gunshots or explosions), character voices and other expressions, spoken instructions, and ambient effects, such as crowd noise, vehicles or rain.
Audio Engineers work for development studios. The size of the audio department depends on the company, but can consist of just one or two people who are sometimes required to work very long hours. Audio Engineers also work for specialist outsourcing companies and localization services that re-version games for different territories.
Working to a creative brief, the Audio Engineer produces a sound design for the game and, when this has been agreed, realizes it. This might involve the composing, scoring and recording of music.
The Audio Engineer will sometimes also audition and record any actors that are needed – in other languages if the game is being re-versioned – and this might involve lip syncing to animation.
They are responsible for sourcing any sound effects that are needed, improving or creating them where necessary. These might be real or imaginary sounds, depending on the type of game. The Audio Engineer then edits, mixes and masters the music and sounds to produce the soundtrack for the finished game.
Creating a soundtrack for a game is a complex process. Games are non-linear, interactive experiences and the Audio Engineer needs to keep that in mind, particularly when scoring music. There are various technical constraints to be taken into account as well.