Chanel Summers joined VRstudios in 2017 as its first Vice President of Creative Development, in which capacity she is responsible for delivering the kind of breakthrough content experiences the industry has come to expect from the leading provider of VR-enabled attractions for location-based entertainment operators. A pioneer in the field of interactive audio, Chanel has been a respected game producer and designer, Microsoft’s first audio technical evangelist, and a member of the original Xbox team, having helped to design and support the audio system for that groundbreaking console and creating the first ever support team for content creators.
Prior to joining VRstudios, Chanel was an accomplished touring drummer and founder of the highly regarded audio production and design company Syndicate 17, specializing in sound design, music production, and audio implementation for location-based attractions and virtual, augmented, and mixed reality products. Chanel has consulted for a number of organizations and innovative technology companies, and lectured and educated around the world on subjects as diverse as the aesthetics of video game audio, world-building, and secondary-level STEM education for young women. Chanel is also a lecturer and director of the Experimental Audio Design Lab at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. In 2016,Chanel contributed “Making the Most of Audio in Characterization, Narrative Structure, and Level Design” to the CRC Press book Level Design: Processes and Experiences In 2018,Chanel contributed “Creating Immersive and Aesthetic Auditory Spaces for Location-Based VR Experiences” to another CRC Press book, New Realities in Audio: A practical Guide for VR, AR, MR, and 360 Video.
Audio is an extremely powerful storytelling, design, and communicative agent, but too often it gets relegated to an afterthought. When thought of as an extension of the overall game design process, audio can be skillfully manipulated within a game to further the design goals of the entire production. To do so, however, it is vital to comprehend the power of sound, what well-designed audio can do for the choreography of an experience, and most importantly, how to make the most of audio’s power to impact your audience. We will wrap these learnings into a specific discussion on immersive and aesthetic auditory design techniques as applied to create full-motion, multi-participant virtual reality game experiences for live commercial Location Based Entertainment (LBE) installations.