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Game Developer magazine's Power 50: Audio GDMag Exclusive
 Game Developer  magazine's Power 50: Audio
November 5, 2012 | By GD mag, Gamasutra staff

November 5, 2012 | By GD mag, Gamasutra staff
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Making games may be largely a team effort these days, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't acknowledge the individuals who make outstanding contributions to the industry as well.

Gamasutra and its sister site Game Developer magazine have put together a "Power 50" list of people in the game industry who have stood out for doing work in the last year that is new, different, or better.

Here, we've highlighted four talented developers who've created exemplary work with the audio for their games, championing the composers who inspire us to do better. We are also recognizing talented individuals in the fields of Art, Business, Design, Evangelism, and Programming in separate posts.

The following names are not ranked -- they are listed alphabetically by last name.

Shaw-Han Liem and Jonathan Mak (pictured above, courtesy of Jeriaska)
Queasy Games

PlayStation 3 indie hit Sound Shapes marries music and platform-hopping together in a manner so elegant and intuitive you might not at first realize how many iterations it took to get right. Jonathan Mak and Shaw-Han Liem (the latter often credited as I Am Robot And Proud), from Toronto-based Queasy Games, are the two responsible for making Sound Shapes work.

Games built around music largely live or die by how well their designers can integrate music into the core design. In Sound Shapes, songs are the levels, and with the level editor, we too can make and play our music. With Sound Shapes, Mak and Liem remind us that music games can be more than a series of notes that we plug into a bulky, plastic, guitar-shaped controller.


Rich Vreeland
David Kanaga
][

If Sound Shapes gently massaged our brains into a state of musical play, composer David Kanaga's work on Dyad simply melted said brains outright. Thanks to Dyad, we can check "David Kanaga and (Dyad creator) Shawn McGrath" off our list of fantasy indie game dream collaborations.

Rich Vreeland
Polytron Corp.

After years of anticipation, Fez finally wowed indie game scenesters with its throwback look and feel. We would be remiss if we didn't include Rich "disasterpeace" Vreeland's Fez soundtrack work in this year's Power 50 audio nominations. Thanks to Vreeland, Fez feels atmospheric, pensive, maybe even a little bit melancholy.

[You can subscribe to Game Developer magazine in physical or physical/digital combo form now.]


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Comments


Michael Theiler
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I thought championing music as the heroic sound of a medium and not noticing any sound design as contributing to the experience mainly features in the domain of film criticism. These are all outstanding achievements in music, and their implementations are superb, but surely a sound design deserves a mention in the "audio" category?

Rob Lockhart
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Here, here!

Frank Cifaldi
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It wouldn't be a Power 50 without the negative commentary.

Michael Theiler
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Is that the extent of your discussion on the collaboration between music and sound design in games?


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