And If you can’t join em…

They say if you can’t beat em, join em.
And if you can’t join em, just steal the uniform from the guards and pretend like you’ve joined em anyway.

You know, Like Solid Snake!
You know, with a disguise!

In the game industry, it can sometimes feel like a catch-22. You need to have shipped a title or two to apply here, but as a college grad, I haven’t actually shipped any real titles that weren’t school work…Not yet anyway. I’m still inexperienced, so it would seem, and that is just one more thing in the plethora of things I’m going to have to overcome. Another of those things is “get hired in the game industry.” And while it’s a bit difficult to even know where to start with something as nebulous as “Become a kickass game sound designer,” I’ve learned to take a bit of comfort in the unknown. Sort of. It’s still pretty scary. Back in school at Columbia College, we had a phrase when tasked with something and not being sure where to start: “Just go kill Castro.” It was kind of tongue in cheek way of saying “Just do it.” You have your mission. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just get it done.

by ANY means necessary

So with that said, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be spending some time with a second blog starting tomorrow, a development diary. It’s time to start getting things done. I’d like to direct your attention to the official blog of Team Lampyridae, a development team I have joined that was recently put together to produce the upcoming iPad/iOS game, Illuminate. It’s going to be sweet! A gesture-based iOS game in which you play as a firefly who…well…you’ll see in the coming weeks. I wont spoil the dev diaries just yet!

I feel good right now. I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t feeling a bit lost now that I’ve graduated from school. School was an anchor for me. Get up. Go to class. Go to work. Do homework. Go to sleep. Repeat. Being an unemployed graduate is difficult, and eating through my savings to support myself for now feels unproductive to say the least. But I have a passion to work on sound design for games, and if that means it takes a minute to crack into the industry, who am I to sit around doing nothing? Let’s get to work!

Killing Castro might just be the most foolproof plan I’ve got, short of breaking into Bungie Studios and pretending like I’ve been there the whole time, cutting dialogue as they search for a localization editor for Destiny.

–Chris Prunotto

This Ain’t My First Rodeo

I was once told by a great teacher that if I ever wanted a career in the game industry I would have to never, ever stop learning. He told me that the most valuable thing I could ever have is the understanding that my learning should not stop at the end of my graduation ceremony. He recommended that, in order to begin standing out, I should start standing up and showing what I know.

He casually mentioned that a blog would be a great place to start. And, well, a few short days later…here it is.

A new blog. I never quite know what to put here. An introduction? A statement of purpose? A funny gif? I’ve done this before – setting a new blog up, I mean, and it’s always been pretty much the standard fare introduction, as if I were introducing myself to a stranger or something: Hi. I’m Chris. I’m a would-be game sound designer, who just graduated from Columbia College Chicago, and I currently play bass for both a hardcore punk band and melodic death metal band. They’re pretty rad musical acts and it’s all pretty mega exciting, right?!


The purpose of this blog is pretty simple: Audio. All of it. Let’s talk about it. What am I up to? What are you up to? What have I learned? What can I still learn? How can I teach it to you? This will be sort of a collection of musings, ramblings, demos, retrospectives, tutorials, cool little hacks, lessons, and of course projects and clips that I’ve worked on. It’ll all be really cool, I PROMISE! The second purpose is that it will offer a way of remaining motivated. That’s a pretty important thing too.

Beyond that short intro, I really think that the best starting point is actually the ending point, though. Where do I want to end up? Well,  It’s not enough to want to BE a sound designer. I already am one. And I want to work on sound design for video games. It was while watching the “making-of” bonus disc which came bundled with Halo 2 when I realized that this was what I wanted to do for a living. While watching the clip of a few sound designers invent the engine of the Warthog, and playing in some test levels, I realized that what I was seeing was, without a doubt, the most exciting thing since the history of ever. I was 14 years old at the time, and I had just made a major life decision. At 22, I’m almost ready to tackle my mid-life crisis!

But yeah…There you have it, my new readers! My life goal is to basically…create the next Warthog sound.

So why not start now?
Here’s a short exercise I just did in Adobe Audition….so without further ado, I give you, my quick sketch of what the M12 LRV WARTHOG could have sounded like!

If you’re curious, what you just heard was created by combining the following:

  • My beat up ’93 Buick Regal GS revving in neutral at 2am in my parents garage for the whine layer of the engine
  • A gasoline-powered lawnmower cutting at grass for the “mech” sound layer
  • Some revving sounds from a ‘911 Porsche in 24 hours of Sebring, to give the final dirt skid and the engine rev some power
  • This Vespa PX 200 GS ( as the main sound and character
  • A ’90s Grand Am from the general-6000 library, kicking up some dirt and gravel for flavor, as well as to add some motion.

I roughly eq’d it, gave it a quick mix…and that’s it! There it is in all of its’ glory. Sort of. Like I said, this is a learning thing.

I’d like to say that this is it – I’ve accomplished my dream goal. But not yet…Stick around. I’ve got a lot of cool things in mind. There is much work to be done.

–Chris Prunotto

PS: I’m sorry if nobody actually says rad anymore.