Take two weeks. Make a game. Learn a tool. Find a new approach to sound and music. Do all of those. AGJam is an online, free environment for discovering new ideas in audio and games, and it looks fantastic, even for electronic musicians in general.
“Can you hear me?”
“Game jams” are informal hackathons allowing designers and developers to explore new ideas. And historically, it’s sometimes been the ones with sound and music elements that have wound up most interesting. Gaming and electronic music have a natural affinity for one another, it seems – and computer music and electronic games have really grown up and invented ideas alongside one another since the start.
What’s cool about AGJam is, it tackles a range of possible issues around gaming and sound. You can leave with a game, but also with some new skills. And it’s one of those rare activities happening online in a virtual form that’s worth joining – one that could still give you some fodder for that far-off, beautiful day when we’re back to in-person events.
Audiogames (also known as audio-only games).
Deep integration of audio in the creative process, including audio-led game design.
Audio for accessibility.
Artistic and experimental audio oddities.
Learning new audio tools.
If those ideas are new to you, there’s even a big array of games listed in the prompt for added inspiration.
Plus, crucially, there are tons of workshops – meaning this event can also bring new people to design and development who might not have been involved before. (And that’s obviously key to diversity.)
There’s this excellent tutorial on using Unity even if you’re an audio person. So here’s your crash course if you always wanted to make a game.
There’s procedural audio synthesis in Unity, too, because you know you want some of that. Follow Chris Wratt; they’re also in a VR music lab I’m hosting separate to this event. They have your vaporwave dolphin, of course.
There’s a session tomorrow on MIDI and even MIDI 2.0.
There’s an upcoming session on handling accessibility in game audio.
There’s also live coding, a talk on the power of voice, the Godot game engine, and more.
And that’s even apart from the fun of hitting the game jam itself, plus other TBA events.
The full jam is up on itch.io. Officially the jam itself starts on July 31 and ends on the 14th of August, but submissions are already open.
Let’s get some music in here. cTrix is a speaker – maker of A is for Amiga.
Pictured at top: No Straight Roads, just because it was mentioned as an example. It’s a little like what would happen if the Disco Demolition Night involved cartoon characters and wasn’t racist and went after terrible festival EDM instead of disco so … actually, okay, I think most of us can get behind that concept.