Meeting Topic: The Audio of Blizzard's Overwatch
Moderator Name: Simon Ashby
Speaker Name: Scott Lawlor:Project Audio Director, Thomas Neumann: Senior Software Engineer
Other business or activities at the meeting: Demonstration of Blizzard Entertainment's utilization of the Wwise audio software for Overwatch.
Meeting Location: iPic Theaters, 10840 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Our section took a trip up to the iPic Theater in Los Angeles in order to attend the Wwise/Blizzard Entertainment's presentation concerning the audio in Blizzard's newest intellectual property: Overwatch. Student Members were given the opportunity to network among many audio professionals in the video game industry; thereby making meaningful connections with possible employers as well as professionals willing to help educate aspiring students of audio in their respective field. During the presentation we were shown how Blizzard's audio team made ample use of the Wwise software in order to present a lucid and incredible audio experience. The Blizzard team presented a motto that struck our members, which was "Gameplay First." This resonated with us as the motto drove the sound team to make choices that though did not make sense from a perspective of an audio professional made perfect sense in terms of the game's mechanics. The example given was the choice to allow the enemies footsteps to be incredibly loud in the mix, but necessary for the player to avoid being snuck up on. Other topics discussed were how the Wwise software allowed the sound team to create plugins such as one that implemented a sound occlusion to immerse players into a living breathing environment, as well as the importance of distinguishing the sounds of possible threats by giving their sound stems more precedence over others when they are nearby or taking you in their sights. Over all the student members had the opportunity to experience the technical innovations of a large scale video game company's sound department, as well as get the chance to put into practice networking skills; so as to establish connections beneficial to our members in their pursuit of education and careers in audio.