An Unconventional Vistor

I am Walker White, a faculty member in the department of Computer Science.  I am also the person in charge of the game design minor at Cornell. I am going to join you all in the course for the semester.  I have almost 1000 students in my CS course this semester, so we will see how long that lasts.  But my goal is to remain with you until the end (and I have 80 TAs holding down the ship).

My interest in this course is to get a better idea of how musicians and audio engineers work.  I write a lot of software.  I have written a custom game engine for the courses that I teach at Cornell, and that includes a custom sound engine.  But software is only good if people use it, and so I need to understand more about the users of the software (both the creators and the programmers) to improve it.

The sound engine I am working on is a particularly interesting project.  All of the open source sound engines for games are 20-year old technology.  They can mix pre-recorded samples and that is about it.  If you want to do something more interesting and give more control to the audio designer, then you have to use one the commercial tools like Wwise or FMOD.  They will charge you for the number of copies you sell.  Last year CS 4152 had a student game go viral and get 700,000 downloads on Android, so that would have been very bad (they did not charge enough to cover a license if they needed one).

There is clearly a market for an open source solution between these two options and that is what I am working on.  The CS side is pretty intense — I have Masters students working with me.  But there may be some opportunities for collaboration here.


One Thought on “An Unconventional Vistor

  1. Hi Professor White,

    Glad to hear that the project will be open source! Its always great when things like this are able to benefit the whole community. I’d be happy to try and help contribute to the project if you need more people either on the software side ( I have a decent CS background ) or other.



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