Get yourself on the road to learning the ins and outs of game audio with Greg Lester, founder of Game Audio Learning & the Game Audio Analysis YouTube Channel.
If you are looking to learn game audio, the Game Audio Learning website features a plethora of resources to get you on your way. With a complete roadmap, plus community resources, inspiration and more, this site covers all bases, and it’s all put together by a sound designer who cares about educating people just as much as sound designing.
About Greg Lester
Greg Lester is Greg Lester is an Austrian-born sound designer based in the UK, who works over at Soundcuts – the company that is responsible for the sound of titles such as As Dusk Falls, South Of The Circle and the much-appraised The Quarry.
Greg worked on The Quarry, focusing on the Foley pipeline as well as providing sound design assets, and is now working on one of Soundcuts’ latest unannounced projects.
We caught up with Greg to talk about his journey from starting as a sound designer, to his current role. We also discuss his educational platforms, including his YouTube channel and the newly launched Game Audio Learning website, which Greg is developing as a fantastic resource for learning everything from recording to design, to implementation.
Based in the busy game hub of Guildford, Surrey, where there is a large volume and long history of game studios including, Bullfrog Studios, Media Molecule (Dreams, Little Big Planet), EA and other Indie games.
Getting into game audio
I’ve always been into games and initially when I moved to Guildford to study music production at ACM, I had no idea it was a huge game development hub.
During my studies, I pivoted my career path from trying to become a music producer to game audio and started looking at what qualifications junior-level sound designers need. I then set out on a long journey to slowly acquire these different skills. In the process of looking for game audio networking events, I stumbled across one which Lewis Thompson and Alyx Jones organised and of course, I couldn’t miss it.
That’s really where the story starts to begin, as Lewis took me to a bunch of other networking events and introduced me to all his friends. Nearly five years later, we are now working together at Soundcuts and I’m lucky to call lots of those people I met in the pub my close friends.
I slowly built my portfolio through freelance gigs which I got through my small network and eventually landed the first full-time gig, which I started immediately after I graduated.
First experiences in the game industry
This was a special opportunity as it was at a small startup called Placeholder Games, which was started by a couple of veteran people from Bullfrog Productions, who made Theme Park, Syndicate and Dungeon Keeper.
I really got chucked in the deep end as I didn’t just wear my sound designer hat but was also heavily involved in the design process itself. Sean Cooper, with whom I worked closely not only gave me this opportunity but was also instrumental in my development and I learned incredible amounts from him and the rest of the team.
It was an incredibly fun and exciting time. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the project was put on hold permanently and I was out of a job.
Working at Sound Cuts
I put my feelers out and applied to lots of different jobs but in the end, Lewis messaged me that they were looking for a role to fill at Soundcuts, so I applied and thankfully got it. This brings us to the present day when, after two years and two shipped titles (As Dusk Falls & The Quarry) I couldn’t have been happier with my job.
I get to work on different diverse projects with an amazing team from whom I learn new things on a daily basis.
The Game Audio Analysis YouTube Channel
I started my YouTube channel whilst at university to put all of my research and notes into a more useful format and, of course, I was super inspired by Marshall McGee’s channel and his game audio series Waveform.
After getting my job at Placeholder, I took a break from YouTube to focus on work but started getting back into it at the start of the pandemic in 2020. It’s grown a lot since then and has become a really fun hobby.
Starting the Game Audio Learning Website
Through the YouTube channel, I started getting more and more emails asking me for advice on where and how to start learning game audio.
I always tried to answer them as best I could but got more and more frustrated as I felt like all the resources were out there but there was nothing bringing them all together.
With the help of my creative partner Jonny Sands, we finally launched Game Audio Learning on the 1st of July after over a year of working on it pretty much daily.
As you can see in the video, the goal of it is to make game audio more accessible for everyone by bringing together the best resources and communities in-game audio and making them easily searchable. Additionally, there is a learning roadmap which lays out all the fundamental knowledge that someone wanting to get a job in game audio needs to know.
None of this could have been done without the amazing game audio community sharing their knowledge so generously. I honestly think that this community is one of the most welcoming, warm and kind communities out there and I hope that even with the rapid growth it’s currently undertaking, it stays that way.
Lastly, I want to give a huge shoutout to Adele Cutting the founder of Soundcuts who is and has always been incredibly supportive of all my educational ventures.
After the website launched, she offered to sponsor and give me some dedicated time each week to continue to develop it.
This time is being put to good use and I’m very excited for what lies ahead for Game Audio Learning!
My hope is that people will share the site with others who are just starting their journey and might benefit from it.
Thanks to Greg Lester for talking to us and for sharing game audio learning – a powerful resource for sound design to learn game audio.