Welcome to my Sound Design for Video Games blog!

Hello!

I am asked a lot about my work so I figured I would create a personal blog created for those interested in Sound Design for Video Games or anyone new looking to learn about Sound Design in Video Games! 

In short, doing sound design for video games is a different beast than doing sound for film or tv. While the main principles of the sound design itself can carry over from film and tv, where it differs is in how you must think about how it will trigger back in the game real time. This split of being not only artistic as well as technically savvy is where I really enjoy my job. 

 I am a Senior Sound Designer for Video Games working at Blizzard Entertainment and on the side I also Produce and Remix Electronic Dance Music under the alias Red-Eye as well as run an independent Electronic Music record label named Red Session Records.

I am currently working on much anticipated games World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Diablo 3. While I can not speak directly about the content within these projects until they are released I will discuss certain things about Sound Design for video games in general or random anecdotes about my career as well as tips and tricks!

Here’s some background about myself: I started in the industry back in 1999 as a QA tester for Interplay Productions. Interplay was a seminal and influential company in the 80s and 90s. It spawned many careers of talented individuals within the industry that i still keep in touch with. I am very proud to be a part of the Interplay legacy as I look back at the start of my career.

I then went to Treyarch starting as Sound Designer and was there for about 7 years. During my time at Treyarch I worked my way up to being the Lead Sound Designer on the Spider-man 3 movie game. During my stay I worked on all of the Spider-man video games that bear the Treyarch name. I am very proud of my work on these AAA titles. 

After some time I felt I needed a change and decided to take a Senior Sound Designer position Pandemic Studios. I was present at the time of the studio closure by EA and was left unfortunately, unemployed.

Funnily I was in Tokyo, Japan on a preplanned much needed vacation when I heard back from Blizzard Entertainment about setting up an interview. Needless to say I am now working on some of the biggest games in the world and loving it. It’s quite funny how bad things can lead to much better things later…

11 years deep into my career I feel there is still so much more to do! Stick around and don’t hesitate to ask questions!  I like to help when I have the time.  

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~ by Kris Giampa on August 7, 2010.

14 Responses to “Welcome to my Sound Design for Video Games blog!”

  1. hey, good luck! i’ve always loved film scores and video game soundtracks that i think people should pay more close attention to them!

  2. Kris Giampa’s Sound Design For Video Games Blog Up Now…

    Kris Giampa, sound designer at Blizzard by day and electronic music composer/label owner by night, has started a new blog which focuses on music for video games.  Like many people, I am a rabid fan of Blizzard’s past catalogue (when Diablo III co…

  3. Great to see you writing about sound design! Looking forward to further posts.

  4. Really great you starting this blog!
    Would like to hear which equipment do you use when you work on sound design!
    Either home/work/studio/blizzard would be interesting!

    Cheers

  5. Yep! Really appreciate you starting this blog! You ROCK!

  6. I recently discovered your blog and am interested in persuing the course of sound designer for video games as career.

    I have a question though, before you became a QA for interplay did you have any educational qualifications that lead to you then being employed by treyarch as a sound designer?

    • Heya Sam, sorry for my oh so late response, I have been very, very busy lately. Yes, I did have previous experience in the film/video industry in various rolls working on Industrial video’s for companies and also contributed heavily to a bunch of student film related projects. At the time I also was producing Electronic Music heavily as well, which showed I was interested in the audio/visual/musical side of things.

  7. […] Kris Giampa, sound designer at Blizzard by day and electronic music composer/label owner by night, has started a new blog which focuses on music for video games.  Like many people, I am a rabid fan of Blizzard’s past catalogue (when Diablo III comes out, I am officially checking out of life for a week).  I’m really looking forward to reading what Kris has to say about game sound.  Here’s a quote from his first post that will no doubt ring true for any one working in game audio right now: “In short, doing sound design for video games is a different beast than doing sound for film or tv. While the main principles of the sound design itself can carry over from film and tv, where it differs is in how you must think about how it will trigger back in the game real time. This split of being not only artistic as well as technically savvy is where I really enjoy my job.” […]

  8. Im guessing by now you must have a huge sound library of your own creation. My question is: Do you use any other sound library? royalty free libraries, as a starting point then tweak the sound until they sound right for what you working on. Or do you use exclusively your own? People often say “sound designers don’t use commercial libraries”…

    • Hi TerrorRun, I want to answer this more in depth when I have some time to create a new article but here’s my short answer. Yes, it’s a combination of having the time to go out and record your own sounds while also using sound library material. My advice if you are stuck with only Sound Library material is to make it into something completely new if you can and design it into something else. Never try to just cut and paste. Even for basic things like footsteps, I always try to layer a basic footsteps with some grit sounds or something else to make it be more unique. Rule of thumb, never just cut and paste if you can help it! Half of the fun of being a sound designer is to make something new and unique from something stale and old that anyone might have access to or better yet, try to get a small digitial recorder from anywhere of $100 – $300 and go out and record your own sounds and start your own personal library. I hope to create a more in depth article soon about this! Good luck!

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