MI6 grabbed some time with "Director of Advanced Technology" Mark Tuffy, to chat about how THX will fit into the forthcoming Bond game Everything or Nothing"...

Interview - THX (1)
10th January 2004

MI6 grabbed some time with "Director of Advanced Technology" Mark Tuffy, to chat how THX will fit into the forthcoming Bond game Everything or Nothing"...

THXing With EA...

How were you approached by EA to be involved in the sound mix?
The James Bond game was the initial launch of THX certified games we were doing with EA. One of the areas that we've been working on was the sound-rooms that they have, we went and we have technicians who do measurements and check the layouts of the sound-rooms and how it sounds so we worked directly with the rooms that were being used for the new Bond game to bring them up to a standard, a THX certified standard.

Above: Exclusive behind the scenes at EA

At what stage of the production were THX involved with "Everything or Nothing"?
We got involved with the Bond game as early as we could in the process so that we could do our work with the audio people and the bond team without impacting the work they were doing on the game.

We really wanted to get in there help them where we could, recommend equipment and changes to the facility they could do and then leave them to give them the maximum amount of time in this new enhanced environment without us getting in the way.

How have the standards for audio and video THX been applied to the computer game genre?
We're taking is a very similar context that we have for cinemas and small mix rooms that are used for DVD's. We have programs that we've had for many years for the two areas and we really felt that the games industry could benefit from the ability to have set standards in the same way that broadcasters, the movie industry and DVD does, this would allow games to be closer to real life than they have been previously.

We were really just trying to allow people to have the same standard of environment so when they look at games like James Bond and there going from one work station to another like a video room things always look the same. When you're doing a gunshot or car noise, when you're editing that or creating it or listening to the final piece, no matter what facility you go to it always sounds the same so there's never any surprises. It really is just taking our heritage, which is work that we've done in cinema especially, titles like Bond and we are now in this new area 20 years down the road.

Have you worked on all that platforms to be released apart from the GBA?
Yes, the content shares a lot of the art and audio assets between the games so that it will be PS2, Gamecube, X-box and I'm presuming when it comes out PC. We don't work on particular on specific platforms we work on the title as a whole, though obviously we have discussed the fact that there are certain areas where it would not be appropriate to put THX certification such as on the Game Boy Advanced. But for the consoles and the PC, that's where the certification will he seen.

A Quick Spin...

How eager were you to be involved with a project on such a famous series?
Well for me its extremely interesting because being a good Scot from Edinburgh it was particularly good in having driven an Aston Martin Vanquish - it's a nice dovetail for myself personally and the work that we've been doing the movies and computer games. We were delighted to get the ability to work with the Bond people on this game. Like I said James Bond is such a huge franchise and its fantastic for THX to be associated with that franchise in this environment. It also ties in with we along time ago we did THX certification of the Bond DVD's, so it's a really nice tie-in between the franchise and THX.

Above: Aston Martin Vanquish

Has the focus been on the music / video, or both?
For the THX certification, the focus is on audio and video, so each of them are treated as importantly as the other, neither of them is any less important. So any work for audio whether it be sound effects soundtracks are equally important whether it be the video side or the cut scene or a texture. So they are all deserving of the same level of quality environment to work on.

Keep a eye out for the second part of this interview where we continue chatting about THX in the forthcoming Bond gaming title "Everything or Nothing"...

Many thanks to Mark Tuffy. Images courtesy THX and Amazon Associates.

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Interview - THX Mark Tuffy (Part 2)
MI6 "Everything or Nothing" Coverage