Matthew's first audio-centric role was on the 2005 to 2009 MMORPG; The Chronicles of Spellborn on which he made contributions to level and game design work also. In 2012 he moved to the UK to pursue a full time audio career and joined Media Molecule's Tearaway team. In 2013 he joined Sumo Digital to work on the Playstation 4 release of Little Big Planet 3.
Since 2014 he's been part of Jim Croft's audio department at Frontier Developments working in Joe Hogan's team on the award nominated Elite: Dangerous. As a project audio lead he has contributed towards and guided the audio work on award nominated Planet Coaster and Jurassic World Evolution.
He is an expert in audio for games which feature an open world, user created content and a fast and freely controlled camera; Three ingredients that, when combined, present some of the most complex challenges in interactive audio as these kinds of games can instantly portray a world in overview or close-up detail. Matthew's involvement is in designing systems to deal with scaling complexity, well defined pipelines, inter-departmental co-operation and an implementation that is entirely geared towards mixing.
In his own words: "... sound designers have to step beyond their core creative tasks and think in terms of systems and implementation, while also clearly advocating the role of audio within the development processes of the rest of the game team. It is a role that is all about communication and storytelling ..."
In the words of his supervisor, Jim Croft: "... Matthew's broad experience in game development has helped shape him as an extremely communicative and inclusive leader and he believes that this multidisciplinary experience has helped inform his successful transition from generalist developer to outstanding audio lead ..."
Aptitude for storytelling, open world audio, atmospheric ambient, high level systems design and creative audio direction.
Varied genre, hardware, middle-ware, budget, team-size (2 to 100+) and project role experience with contributions made to 20+ shipped titles ranging in production lengths from two months to five years.
Efficient in all stages of audio development, production, hiring and direction. Experience working with composers and voice artists, approving budget, assessing and planning of work, leading and evaluating weekly sprint meetings, product certification, testing and quality assurance.
Managed a team of designers and programmers and worked with both to improving audio, work-flow, tools, documentation and in the creation of new systems.
Moved back onto the floor to help make audio "visible". Worked closely with other disciplines to integrate audio better and propose for audio to drive other systems.
Good motivator, infectiously enthusiastic.
Curious, committed, social, organized, pragmatic.
Engaged game-developer with an interest in elevating the quality and perception of game audio.
Matthew's broad experience in game development has helped shape him as an extremely communicative and inclusive leader and he believes that this multidisciplinary experience has helped inform his successful transition from generalist developer to outstanding audio lead.
Matthew is a joy to work with. He's warm, friendly and would easily fit into any team dynamic. His enthusiasm for sound is apparent from how he describes audio, to his ideas for sound design, to his love of atmospheric music. We've been very pleased with the results of Matthews labours.
He is full of ideas, considerate, creative and focused, Matthew is a capable professional that would be comfortable working on his own or right at the heart of a team. His practical knowledge of sound design along with clever techniques and insights have made him a very welcome addition to the team at Sumo. Highly recommended.
... working with Matthew on the Spellborn soundtrack was a very enjoyable experience. He really understands how to work with composers and how to get the best out of the people he works with ...
Joris de Man
... what counts for me is that his understanding of sound and music is not based on just technical experience, but also a psychological one. Matthew is an inclusive collaborator who is not afraid of challenges and will speak candidly about his thoughts, he is also very approachable and friendly, someone who communicates well, and I think these attributes make him a valuable addition to any team.
As someone who is not only concerned with the audio, or specific sound effects, his main focus is the end user experience, which encompasses everything, from art, to gameplay, to visuals, music and sound and how they all work together; and it is exactly that attitude that to me sets him apart from many other sound people I know in this industry ...
AudioKinetic | Using Data to Generate Dynamic Crowd Audio (1/3)
AudioKinetic | The Crowd Soundbox System (2/3)
AudioKinetic | Additional Layers (3/3)
Develop | Designing the audio for Planet Coaster.
Frontier | The Sound of Planet Coaster.
PCGames | A sound designer took over an entire theme park.
Sound Architect | Planet Coaster
"... Let's begin with saying that this is probably one of the best games I've heard in a while. As you build your park, you navigate extensively through menus, selecting and manipulating objects to taste. These menus have their own flavor and intricacy that makes them satisfying to navigate. The level of detail and how clean everything sounds is incredible. The mix on Planet Coaster is phenomenal. Everything sits just right, not too loud and not too soft. If you were to crank the volume up, there isn't a single sound that is jarring or in your face; everything is where it should be ..."
Eurogamer | Planet Coaster
"... That's no more apparent than when you switch to first-person view and begin to explore your park at ground level. It's here that Frontier Development's exceptional audio-visual design and slavish attention to detail truly shines. Wandering among your elaborate creations as the sun slowly sets, hopping aboard any one of the wonderfully distinct rides, and watching as punters giddily emote at the world around them is utterly magical; everything comes together with such joyful precision that it's hard not to be spellbound ..."
LGR Review | Planet Coaster
... a game crafted with care. The interface feels familiar yet modern. The graphics look promising. And there is this soothing soundtrack by Jim Guthrie and JJ Ypsen playing in the background which instils a sense of focus and calm ... Planet Coaster is also just a gorgeous game, which of course it isn't necessary for to the business side of things but it is a great plus for a 3d park like this.
The Sound design is also right on point, giving you all the screams, coaster whooshes, crowd chatter and rickety mechanical audio cues ones needs to suspend disbelief. You can also customize this further with ambient sound generates and music customisation. And yes this also lets you drop in your own music tracks to fine-tune your parks audio visual theme.
GameSpot | Planet Coaster
... one of my favourite things about the game, so far, that I have discovered is the sound design ... Joey on GameSpot's Planet Coaster Live Stream ...
High Def Digest | Planet Coaster
"... authentic, rich soundscape. The coasters are especially good, with all of the clicking, whooshing, and screaming you'd expect ..."
EDGE | Elite: Dangerous
... Even at this early stage, Elite: Dangerous is already living up to its subtitle. Your ship creaks and groans under stress, its engine and weapons sounding at once identifiably mechanical yet unfamiliar ...
Rock Paper Shotgun | Elite: Dangerous
... The core sensation of being in space is something I've written on before, and Elite does it so very well that it deserves any award going. 'Best Sound' especially - its combination of sciencey noises and Eno/Apollo-like celestial moans is comfortably the most affecting thing my headphones have done this year, if not longer ...
The Guardian | Elite: Dangerous
... Beautiful visuals, absorbing audio and super-smooth controls ...
PC Gamer | Elite: Dangerous
... utterly extraordinary sound design ...
Mmorpg.com | Elite: Dangerous
... VISUALS AND SOUND - 10 ...
Ign | Elite: Dangerous
... superb graphics and sound ...
Eurogamer.de | Elite: Dangerous
... eines der besten Sounddesigns des Jahres ... ...
PC Gamesn | Elite: Dangerous
... Elite: Dangerous is glorious simply to listen to, chucking out sci-fi's tired standard of pew-pew tropes for an original and remarkable style all its own ...
quartertothree | Phoenix HD
... (Phoenix HD) While most games like this tend to play action music - or J-pop interpretations of action music - Phoenix HD plays a soothing almost Vangelis style theme. "Just relax," it seems to electronically intone. 'Breathe, take your time, have fun...' Thanks, soundtrack! I think I will! ...
IGN | Star Defense
... Star Defense benefits from superlative visuals and sound ...
EuroGamer.net | The Chronicles of Spellborn
... (The Chronicles of Spellborn) Combined with the truly lovely environmental art, the unique setting makes for a game that's a joy to explore. Soft edges and diffuse lighting abound, with beautifully composed incidental music and background sound giving the whole game an evocative twilight feel ...
Birmingham Post and Mail | Album GrijsGebied
... (GrijsGebied) Florianz makes truly immersive sound art which owes everything to the European tradition of early Tangerine Dream and the pure aesthetics of Brian Eno at his most abstract. ...