GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Export Schedule:

Aural Immersion: Audio Technology in The Last of Us

Jonathan Lanier  |  Programmer, Naughty Dog, Inc.

Location: Room 3002, West Hall

Format: Session
Track: Audio
Vault Recording: Video

In The Last of Us, immersive audio played a critical role in supporting the gameplay and story. The audio team was faced with difficult challenges: the immersion had to be believable, but subtle. It had to convey tactical information, but important dialogue and effects still had to be audible. Cinematic setups sometimes conflicted with standard audio models. Solutions required compromise and collaboration between sound design and technology. This talk examines how specific problems were solved, such as getting the environment to lead the player to or from tactically important areas, ensuring the audibility of important dialogue, adjusting the mix dynamically based on game state, and dealing with obstruction/occlusion issues. The emphasis is on successful implementation of immersive audio in a modern game using a synergy of sound design and technology, citing specific examples from The Last of Us.


Attendees will get detailed information on specific immersive audio problems encountered in The Last of Us, along with solutions. Additionally, they will gain insight into the role immersive audio plays in a modern game title, and the importance of collaboration between sound design and technology.

Intended Audience

The intended audience includes anyone interested in immersive game audio, especially those interested in how it worked in The Last of Us. Additionally, sound designers will see examples of technology helping design become dynamically immersive and sound programmers will learn about our environmental audio technology.