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  • Writer's pictureMartyn

DATA labs Update

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

It's about time I got round to furthering my progress on 'DATA labs' - my game audio research and development level built in Unreal Engine and FMOD, since it's been a good few months since I looked at it properly, and even longer since I made any notable changes. I started the level back in 2017, to accompany my studies at university but I found myself so invested in it that I continued to work on it for some time, producing a playable build (v1.0) for download in 2018. Luckily, a bunch of friendly folks tested it out for me, and offered some very useful feedback that has guided most of the changes over the last two years, however I'd love to get a new version complete by the end of 2020.

The story of 'DATA labs' ties into my conceptual music project 'DATAStream', and it's with this link in mind that much of the art, graphics and branding around the two are created, indeed a lot of my personal and developmental projects are centered around this idea.

In 'DATA labs' you find yourself in a seemingly empty office and laboratory complex, somewhere in deepest Derbyshire, circa 1994. Something's not quite right... actually, a bunch of things aren't quite right. You've got to find your way to the next level of the facility and thus onwards to further adventure...

This brief narrative has let me explore a number of audio implementation techniques and processes, including the use of cassette tape logs / diaries to listen to, interactive props and visuals, surface dependent character sounds and various ambiences and animation based sounds. The level has been built from scratch, scripted in Unreal's Blueprint system, with FMOD handling all the audio.

Since 2018, it's fair to say my skills in Unreal Engine and FMOD, as well as generally in the areas of sound design and games audio have developed, so I'm keen to put some of those new ideas and techniques into practice, whilst also fixing some bugs and issues that bothered me about the original 1.0 build. My aim is to collect these changes in a development blog on the DATA labs project page so I can track my progress and generally feel better about spending hours of my day scratching my head trying to make CCTV cameras rotate in an acceptable and realistic fasion inside a virtual world...

I'd love to hear from anyone who wants to try out the level when the next version is ready, likewise if you're keen to find out more about what I've been working on, I'm always up for a chat! Thanks for reading,


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