A new learning achievment – Wwise.

Most people grow a sense of fear toward subjects that they aren’t so familiar with. This type of fear isn’t the same kind as phobia toward heights or spiders. This type of fear is psychological; the fear of the unknown. For some reason, I had this weird kind of fear with learning Wwise, the middleware software for games.

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The program looked intimidating at first, with its very 2000’s grey and blue look. I had literally zero ideas what any of the windows meant. I thought maybe, I should turn back and just focus on composing or learning sound design first and letting someone else work with integration.

Then I stumbled upon this Audiokinetic blog of a Japanese student who learned Wwise and Unreal Engine in 40 days to make a game.

“If he can do it, maybe I can too.” This was the motivation that I needed to actually get started. You can get started on Audiokinetic’s website too. That’s the link to go to Wwise 101 course.

I devoted each day so that I can learn about 1 Lesson a day. Each lesson comprises of text tutorials completed with pictures, and they walk you through step by step.

At the end of a section, there is also a helpful video guide that is very useful for reviewing the section that you’ve just learned. Make sure to watch ALL of these videos as well, because you might learn something new from them too. And don’t forget to actually try these out on your own Wwise instead of just rushing through.

It helped to have two monitors so that I can have my browser open on one and Wwise on the other so that I can constantly look back and forth without having to tab out from a screen.

After taking about one and a half week to learn Wwise, I can say that Wwise has a steep learning curve. Since Lesson 1 and 2 are the foundations of learning about the UI and functionalities of Wwise, I think they are the most important lessons and should be revisited after finishing the full 101 course. You’ll actually start to finally understand why you need to use Wwise once you’ve successfully implemented and integrated your first game. Even after you’ve finished the 101 course, if you don’t get real-world practice, you won’t be able to properly use it, right?

So, I had a build that I recently started working on yesterday – it’s a prototype about a bird flying through the air. It was simple, and I needed a really basic project to implement simple sounds into. I wanted to challenge myself to make it so that there would be ambient wind sound effect constantly playing throughout the game, as well as make an SFX trigger when I pressed my Right Mouse click-ability.

Flight
I looked up this video on YouTube and used this code to call upon a game object.

Surprisingly, it worked! And it was very easy to use once I understood the basics.

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From importing audio files, adding designated events, assigning effects and generating a Sound Bank, Wwise helps make everything worth it in the end. Wwise indeed empowers audio creators because of how much control and responsibility it puts into our hands. We no longer have to ask our programmers to adjust the volume by – 2 dB or try inserting this new music track into there. If you have an idea about a cool adaptive music, you can just try making it, showing it working in the game to your producer and get it approved. It’s a very powerful tool for composers and sound designers and it’s a MUST learn tool to work on a game these days.

It’s okay to have fear because of your lack of knowledge on something. But I think there’s a point to having that fear – it’s to let yourself acknowledge it, conquer it and grow as a person, one fear at a time.

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