Video Game Music and Sound Design
Video games are rapidly evolving, both technically and creatively, and this is creating enormous opportunities for game audio professionals. The video games industry is the largest sector of the entertainment industry and larger than the film and music industries combined. Our master’s degree in Video Game Music and Sound Design has been developed in close consultation with the industry to ensure you are learning the skills the industry requires.
The MFA course is an advanced degree and prepares you for a career as both a video game composer and as a game sound designer, the kind of full-stack game audio professional that is increasingly in demand. 76% of games composers also produce sound design so this combination of skills opens doors to employment. Scoring video games is rewarding and challenging but highly competitive. Our real-world, project-based approach, tutored by working professional game composers and sound designers, is designed to help you compete at the highest level. Being able to provide a complete audio service makes you much more employable.
There is no other course in the world that offers tutors and support staff as well connected as ThinkSpace Education, and no offline campus can compete with our wealth of talent from around the globe.
- Learn to create interactive music and audio systems using industry standard middleware FMOD and WWise.
- Find your voice both as a sound designer and composer with help from leaders in the field.
- Personal 1-to-1 tuition from top professional sound designers and games composers.
- Regular online workshops and tutorial groups, forum discussions and exclusive webinars.
Module 1 - Research Skills
You start this module and module 2 at the same time so you are working on creative and practical skills at the same time. This is a rich and rewarding module that is closely tied to the practical projects. Designed by leading game music academic, Dr Tim Summers, this module leads you deeper into the conceptual thinking surrounding games. It gives you the research tools to reflect on your own work and to draw more meaningful conclusions about the nature, structure and future of video game audio and music.
Module 2 - Elective 1
A chance to get up to speed with a core skill. Remember you get full access to all the course materials on all courses and all electives so just because you choose Sampled Orchestration for example doesn’t mean you can’t dive into the course materials on Sibelius as well. There is a second elective module later in the course so you can choose a second option then.
Elective: Sampled Orchestration
Learn to produce professional grade sampled mock-ups.
Learn this widely used piece of middleware and implement your sound and music interactively in game environments. You will learn FMOD, the other major piece of middleware in the next module so choose the WWise elective to get up to speed with both systems.
Elective: Cinematic Sound Design
Learn to create state of the art musical soundscapes using digital audio manipulation and a range of plugins and virtual synths including Serum and Razor.
Elective: Music Business - Work and Money
Everything you need to know about making money from your music in film, games and television.
Elective: Advanced Sibelius
How to use this scoring software to produce industry standard orchestral scores and parts.
Elective: Pro Tools for Orchestral Recording
How to setup a pro tools session for live orchestral recording.
Module 3 - Game Audio Technology
You start with an intensive course in audio middleware that you will use to implement your music in the game. You will also learn about memory budgets, CPU restrictions, game engines, different platforms and version control. There is information on who does what and how game audio teams are put together.
Module 4 - Foundations of Game Sound Design
Your first practice based module and you’ll be creating sound for a range of puzzle games, an infinite runner and a simulator. It’s all about learning to work to a brief and finding a creative space inside the game aesthetic. You’ll be learning about atmos loops, spot FX and dealing choosing and implementing music. The business focus is on one of the fastest growing and most accessible sectors, mobile and handheld gaming.
Module 5 - Sound, Music and the Moving Image
Trailers and cut-scenes are an essential part of the gaming experience. This module looks at how to create stylized textured sound to picture. You will also learn music editing so you can take pre-existing tracks and incorporate them into the cut scene or trailer. We have a wide selection of cut scenes and trailers to work on including the triple A title Red Bull Air Race and the multi-award winning Armello.
Module 6 - Adaptive Music 1
Writing music that responds to game play and enhances the players experience is the aim of every composer. In this module you will be learning basic adaptive music strategies and implementing them inside the game using the audio middleware. Throughout the course, these two things, music composition and in-game implementation will become inextricably intertwined. The business focus is on working with very small indies, those bedroom developers who can go on to great things.
Module 7 - Interactive Audio 1
You will learn many of the fundamental tools of the sound designers trade from foley to idles, weapon and machine sounds to vehicles and impacts. All of this you will implement using middleware inside specially selected game levels. As with the music, you will be learning both to create engaging and distinctive sounds and how to implement the audio interactively inside the game.
Module 8 - Adaptive Music 2
In this module we extend the range of adaptive techniques and further reinforce the core skills as well as further developing creative and technical problem solving skills with yet more games and game levels to work on. The business focus is on working with medium sized indies and small teams.
Module 9 - 3D Audio Environments
How do you create the sound of a 3D world? What are the implications of VR and AR for game audio? In this module you learn how to create the sound and implement the audio to bring 3D worlds to life.
Module 10 - Advanced Game Music 1
This module brings everything together and extends your adaptive strategies to include compound techniques for creating innovative solutions to musical and technical problems. We look at the world of the AAA games, the workflows and what it takes to break into the big time.
Module 11 - Advanced Game Audio 1
This module brings together all the individual techniques you have learnt so far. You will be applying the problem solving skills you have been developing and following a complete project workflow through from start to finish.
Module 12 - Elective 2
In addition to the choice of electives from Module 2, we have added:
Advanced Game Audio 2
A chance to further extend your skillset and get more experience of dialogue editing and foley, two skills that are frequently required of entry level sound designers.
Advanced Game Music 2
An opportunity to experiment and develop a distinctive approach, recombining the interactive tools you have learnt so far and finding a new voice as a composer.
Final Major Project
The dissertation is a substantial piece of work taking 12 weeks to complete. It will take the form of a major project or portfolio of smaller projects in which you create the sound and implement all the audio inside the game. You will also write a commentary on your work to explain your choices and problem-solving strategies.