Aaron Walz, Owner, Lead Composer, Sound Designer and Producer of Walz Music and Sound, tells us he is “so proud and honored to be at the helm of the audio track and bring it to my home territory and a new audience for Casual Connect in one of the hearts of mobile and social technology and game creation.”
Inspired by John Romero
Aaron has been a game fan since the age of six; naturally he knew the work of John Romero. So he feels the greatest time in his career was working alongside him to compose the music for the top ranking Facebook adventure, Ravenwood Fair, a game which received 30 million plays each month at the height of its popularity. He insists that many things led up to this, reminding him that he had indeed arrived at his dream.
For Love of Music
Aaron had been freelancing since 1997 in game audio, but the greatest challenge Aaron has worked through was starting Walz Music and Sound in 2007, his childhood dream and a move which required leaving his career in HR. It took him between two and three years to make his new career sustainable full time. In the process, he had to learn to delegate better, spend better and not underestimate the value of his worth and his time. He also had to say yes a lot, learn new skills and hone the ones he already had.
Aaron describes himself as zesty and full of life. He likes to use Pop-Dance music to keep him moving in the gym and alert while driving. His many free time adventures include bowling, tennis, singing in a chorus, yoga, food, wine and rooftop gardening.
Creating More Dynamic Music
The emerging trend offering new opportunities for Aaron’s company is the development of audio middleware that makes sound programming in casual games more dynamic. He plans to make use of this trend by working with developers more closely to change how audio is implemented, and, as he says, “It won’t be just thrown over the fence.”
Games Need Better Audio
Aaron claims the trend that will most affect the industry as a whole is “The slow possible eventual death, or massive rethinking and restructuring of the console systems and portals as well as the exodus to mobile.” But he believes more unification and standardization of software and hardware, especially with audio, will also be very important. “What I know is that audio will always be extremely important for a game, and hopefully will continue getting more and more recognition, appreciation in the industry, as well as budgeted dollars.”
Creating Another G.A.N.G, Designed for Casual Games
Aaron is very excited about creating and strengthening an audio community for Casual Games, similar to what G.A.N.G. did for consoles back in the day, in order to raise the quality, standardize systems, rates and expectations, and raise developer appreciation and compensation. This organization is Game Audio Alliance. It is their audio design company that is branching out to include membership, networking, education and resources.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.