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Gamasutra Podcast: 'Somatone's Kane Minkus On Casual Game Audio'

Gamasutra Podcast: 'Somatone's Kane Minkus On Casual Game Audio'

June 8, 2007 | By Brandon Boyer




Gamasutra is proud to present the latest Gamasutra Podcast, part of our regular weekly GDC Radio podcasts, which include both the Tom Kim-presented Gamasutra Podcast show, alongside the best lectures, tutorials, and roundtables from this and previous years' Game Developers Conferences.

For today's show, we feature an interview with Kane Minkus, principal and founder of Somatone Interactive Audio.

Although you might not be familiar with Somatone, you are probably quite familiar with their work. Somatone scores and produces music, sound effects, and voice overs for over 120 titles a year, including some of your favorite console, casual and downloadable games, such as EA's Medal of Honor series, PlayFirst's Diner Dash series, 3-Rings' best of IGF winner, Bang Howdy, and PopCap's fiendishly addictive Peggle.

Not only does Somatone handle music composition, sound design, voice overs, and mixing and mastering, but they are also responsible for developing a highly optimized, high quality sound and music technology specifically tailored for downloadable games.

In the interview, Kane talks about his motivation for starting up Somatone, specifically with an eye, or ear, toward servicing the game industry. Kane explains how their movement into the downloadable casual space has been a great challenge to the sound designers and composers at Somatone in terms of the breadth of styles and the diversity of the audience for those games. Also, how Somatone's tight integration of technology for their clients allows them a more cooperative and creative role in working with the game development team.

He addresses some of the technical considerations in the development of their audio technology for downloadables, and how it shapes the feature set of their production tools.

Kane also talks about some of the unique process that Somatone applies to score games, including their use of Laban Movement Analysis, a systematic means of describing and deconstructing motion. Finally, he talks about the musical inspiration behind the score for Peggle, which turns out to have the same controlled randomness as the game itself.

You can now download the Gamasutra Podcast: Interview with Kane Minkus (.MP3, 36 minutes, 16 MB).

In addition, you can subscribe to the GDC Radio podcasts by clicking this link for iTunes. You can manually subscribe to our feed in your favorite RSS reader that supports enclosures by using this URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/GDCRadio.


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