Outside of composition I have been trying to extend my practice into the VR/gaming world. Since the beginning of this year I started working with Unity for the first time during a 3 month residency at Locus Sonus, in Aix-en-Provence, France. Below you will find some really useful links that I have discovered along the way (Massive thanks to Douglas Edric Stanley who gave me some tutorials and introduced me to the art of creative gaming).
I had an idea where I wanted to create a natural environment (forest, beach, ponds) and then find a way of putting sounds (I have a lot of field recordings) in the environment. Since I had a strong idea for a project it made it easier for me to learn. e.g. Ok I need terrain, grass, I need trees. How do I get trees? How do I make a pond? How do I put sound in that pond? I also started thinking about how the player would trigger and experience the sounds.
In order to make a game or environment you need assets. Assets are items that you use in the game to create your environment. The image below (CampSite) is a still from my project. Everything in this scene is an asset. e.g. the tent, logs, lights, background picture, rocks, sounds. These assets are sitting on top of a terrain 3D object. This is the base of the project on which you paint different textures to create, grass, gravel and sand terrains. You sculpt the terrain adding hills and mountains to make it more realistic. You can also paint trees and grass and make them move in wind. Unity has a built in standard asset package that you can download for free. There are also lots of other free asset packages available in the asset store. Others you have to pay for. Or you can build your own in Blender or Maya.
As the project progressed I started thinking about the environment I was creating and how the player would interact with it. I am not a game designer and didn't really want to create a game. I slowly began to realise the creative potential of Unity outside of traditional Game Design. I didn't want the player to move from one end to the other to achieve a goal. I wanted them to observe something, similar to being on a soundwalk or when you are out field recording. The image above is a still from my project which is made up of multiple different perspectives as result of using many cameras. This is when I got really excited about the project!
So this is where I am at, experimenting with the environment that I have created, focusing on the idea of multiple perspectives and generative soundscapes. The idea of creating generative soundscapes began when I started working with Fmod to create the soundscape for the project. Soundscapes and sound design in games change continuously depending on where the player is, which route they have taken, objects they interact with (sound emitters) and the level they are on. As a result you will usually never hear the same soundtrack twice and this is what I am trying to incorporate when I am creating the sound for this project, a soundscape that continuously evolves and changes over time. This is still a work in progress......
This is a demo of my current project in Unity. I have built a scene in Unity and added multiple cameras each with a different perspective which results in the deconstruction and reconstruction of the environment. I am currently using Fmod to integrate audio into the project. The sound is currently in stereo just for demonstration purposes.