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SDA 007: Joel Green – The Gallery: Six Elements, and Cloudhead Games

sound design academy - the gallery: six elements and cloudhead games with Joel Green

Today I’m sitting down with Joel Green. Joel is a professional sound designer, helping to generate amazing audio for game titles such as Need for Speed: Undercover, Mass Effect 2 and 3, Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition, and is currently the Producer / Audio Director at Cloudhead Games working on the VR title The Gallery: Six Elements.

Show Notes


  • Graduated from Vancouver Film School
  • Worked on Need for Speed: Undercover
  • Worked under Charles Deenen 
  • From there got hired onto Bioware’s team to work on Mass Effect and Dragon Age titles
  • Took time off to learn C# and Unity
  • Found position at Cloudhead Studios on Vancouver Island
  • Rural Living + High Technology
  • We don’t need to live in cities to work on games.
  • Be willing to start with big ideas and expectations that get whittled down to the core idea of what something is.
  • If you shoot for the stars — even if you fail — you’ll at least be in outer space.
  • Bioware’s employees have an extensive collection of larping gear, weaponry, and armor.
  • Mass Effect 2 was a highlight experience in Joel’s career
  • Seeing a game come to fruition is incredibly rewarding
  • Virtual Reality is so new that every step into the technology is defining the medium
  • Everything being done in VR is breaking new ground
  • Audio in VR has a number of new considerations to take in such as Binaural listening
  • We have a huge discussion on Binaural recording 
  • The Dark Crystal was freakin’ terrifying
  • Implementing orchestral music is a challenge in VR 
  • Getting the player to look where you want them to is a challenge within VR — you have to figure out how to draw attention naturally
  • VR won’t only change the gaming world. It’s going to be a global shift in how we communicate
  • VR has the ability to create incredibly great things and incredibly dark things
  • Story Studio
  • The conversation takes a philosophical turn discussing the implications of Virtual Reality and its future impact on the world

Short Answer

Favorite Mic

Sennheiser MKH 80-50 

Favorite Game You Haven’t Worked On

Super Mario World or Super Mario 64

What Book Would You Recommend

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Best Piece of Advice

“You can’t wait for your ducks to all be in a row because they’re never all gonna’ be in a row… There’s times when you have to plan, and then there’s time when you just have to do it, and deal with what comes up.”

The Gallery: Six Elements

Story Studio

Henry’s Premiere from Story Studio on Vimeo.


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Michael Heuer

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