Sam Hughes

Sam Hughes

Affect and Emotion using Immersive Sound in Intelligent Games

Recent advances in high definition video displays and 3-D headsets, coupled with motion tracking and biosensor technologies, have enabled video games to reach unprecedented levels of visual immersion and interaction. There is little research however on how the aural feedback of the player, which can help assess their emotional state, can be used to inform the game intelligence and affect the emotive impact of the game. Furthermore, improvements in domestic surround sound and binaural technology are paving the way for fully enveloping and realistic soundtracks that extend the gameplay beyond the visual and can significantly enhance the emotive experience. This research project therefore addresses how current sensor and tracking technologies can be enhanced through analysis of player aural reactions such that the game intelligence can in turn provoke a conditional response via the reproduced soundtrack. In other words, how can the emotional impact of a spatial soundtrack during gameplay be enhanced by the user aural response alongside other physiological detections such as heartbeat and movement?

 

Sam is a sound designer and voice actor who founded the audio journalism site, The Sound Architect™. Sam was selected as one of the first to ever receive the Prince William Scholarship from both BAFTA & Warner Bros. to study MSc Post Production with Sound Design at The University of York where he graduated with a Distinction and a Departmental Award for achieving the Highest Overall Average Grade.

Sam has been highly active in the community for years including writing for BAFTA Guru, sitting on the BAFTA Youth Board, running Game Audio North and being an active member of BAFTA Crew Games.

Most recently Sam has worked regularly with game audio company Sweet Justice on a variety of titles that include mobile and AAA. Sam’s recent credits include Injustice 2 and Madden NFL 2017.

Home institution: York

Supervisors: Dr Gavin Kearney, Dr Mick Grierson

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