There are few challenges that put “full brain” engineering to the test more than video games. From designing high-power videogame systems to developing the software and services to enable creative teams to design and deploy their games, developing gaming systems like the Xbox and Xbox 360 requires both creative thinking as well as an almost fanatical attention to engineering details. Add in the requirement of making it all work in the context of a sustainable, profitable business and the result is a need to balance creative needs, engineering capabilities as well as financial constraints.
In his talk, Brian will talk about his experiences as part of the Xbox and Xbox 360 design team, where he helped it grow from an idea in a powerpoint presentation into a team of over 2000. Focusing on his role as audio architect, he’ll discuss some of the decision factors that went into the design of Xbox and Xbox 360 game consoles, some of the specific engineering and creative challenges faced, what it was like to work as part of the Xbox team and in the videogame industry in general.
Brian began his career in game audio in 1987 as a composer, sound effects designer and music programmer for Williams Electronic Games in Chicago writing music and creating sound effects for pinball machines and coin-operated video games. While there, he was the primary composer of the video game NARC; his main theme from NARC was later recorded and released by The Pixies. In 1989, Brian left Williams and became one of the industry’s first independent game audio designers, where he worked on such games as John Madden Football, the Desert Strike Series, the award winning Crueball. In 1998, Brian was recruited by Microsoft to head up their interactive audio division, where he spent 10 years as the primary audio system architect for the Xbox and Xbox 360. An inventor on approximately 20 patents in sound, music and gaming technology, he is currently an independent music and technology consultant and Executive Director of GameSoundCon, a conference on videogame music and sound design which he founded in 2009. He sits on the Advisory Board of the Game Developers Conference, the Board of Directors of the Game Audio Network Guild, is a steering committee emeritus of the ia-sig subgroup of the MMA and has been featured keynote speaker at events such GDC & Project BBQ.
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital have been offered the opportunity to simulcast this year’s TEDMED conference on campus, free of charge to all faculty, staff, students, and employees.
TEDMED is a community of people who are passionate about imagining the future of health and medicine. Once a year, TEDMED holds a "grand gathering" where leaders from all sectors of society come together for three and a half days. They explore the promise of technology and the potential of human achievement. This unique event combines dazzling celebration, high-powered learning and unforgettable theater. The conference, happening April 10 – 13, is a wonderful opportunity for everyone on our campus to experience “ideas worth spreading” via high-energy sessions presented by leaders in health and science, such as Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, Gail McGovern, President and CEO of American Red Cross, and Otis Brawley, Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society. More than 90 academic medical centers in the US will also be simulcasting the conference.
Sessions will be held in various locations at the medical school and the hospital to accommodate a variety of audiences. For specific times and locations, please refer to the schedule here.