At Keywords Studios we are passionate about video games and technology. We strive to help publishers and developers around the world provide the best possible experiences for their players.
A key element of the video games development life cycle is Audio Localization and this week we chatted with two of our Audio Crew staff members based in Milan.
We wanted to gain an understand of what it takes to deliver quality sounds solutions to Keywords clients.
Massimo Giorgino is Audio and Text QA Lead and has been with Keywords since 2006, while Marco Olivotto is Multi-language Audio Project Lead and joined the company in 2016.
Here’s what they had to say.
Describe a typical day in your role.
Massimo: I’m the Audio and Text QA Lead. It’s all about recruitment, training, assistance, administrative and operational management of multi-lingual resources, growth paths, problem solving and back-up for my collaborators.
What I like most about my work is the multi-cultural aspect. In fact, I am always in contact with freelancers who come from all over the world and this makes me feel truly “international”.
I like to be the point of reference for all the activities of checking text and multi-lingual audio over localized audio.
In recent years I have had the opportunity to learn many aspects that characterise the peculiarities of languages, their dialects and everything that must be considered when working with people belonging to other cultures.
Marco: I’m Multi-language Audio Project Lead. My main task is to handle multi-language recordings of several studios, starting from the tech specs for each project to the final mix and master.
I get the chance to explore and feel the culture of each territory; how they work, how they think and, of course, how they dub.
I like interacting with people from all over the world – you learn something new every day.
How did you get into Audio for video games? What inspired your career path?
Massimo: I’ve always been a self-taught musician. At the end of the 1990s my passion for electronic music, soundtracks and video games (that I already liked) exploded.
But it was the passion for audio that drove me to do this job. What inspired me the most was the “cinematic” aspect of this work.
The dubbing, the recording and post-production techniques were the things that fascinated me most of all.
Combining all this with my attention to detail, I realised that audio quality assurance was my way.
Marco: A flood, no jokes! In the dubbing studio where I was previously working there was a flood and I took the opportunity to see what the job market was offering at the time.
I wrote an email to Keywords without having seen any job ads, very informal, a bit like this interview and a bit like me. The next day, I was in Keywords in Milan and the rest is history.
That being said, I think I was born to be a sound engineer and musician, so the path felt natural.
You study, you make music, you do a lot of gigs, sound design for videos and obviously you understand where the market is going, where the future lies.
What do you like best about working for Keywords Studios?
Massimo: The benefits, the informal and young environment and, as I said, the multi-ethnic and multicultural aspect.
In recent years, I have made friends with several of my colleagues, with whom I have established a relationship even outside the workplace. This was very important especially during the first years when, as soon as I moved from southern Italy to work, I didn’t know anyone.
Marco: Every day is different, every project lives in his own world.
Working at an international level allows me to grow every day and develop different skills.
Last but not least, I really like the people working there and over the years I became close friends with many of my colleagues.
What is your favourite video game and why?
Massimo: I’m sorry to sound a little “old-fashioned” but I love everything that was done in the 80s and 90s because it takes me back to the age of youth.
Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario, but also older ones like Double Dragon, the historic Track and Field Konami, Operation Wolf, etc.
I love challenging friends and family on the arcade cabinet I have at home which has an emulator with more than 5,000 games.
Marco: The Dark Souls saga is my favourite, even though every time I finished one I had to do meditation for a couple of months.
Other games I love are Skyrim, The Witcher saga and the Legacy of Kain saga.
Tell us an interesting fact that people may not know about you.
Massimo: My passion is composing electronic music and being a DJ.
For years I have also organised events in my area; disco nights and I share the console with international guests from the techno, drum ‘n’ bass and electronics scene in general.
Marco: Wow, that’s probably the hardest question. Many of my colleagues know that I love to cook, ride a bike and I am a huge beer connoisseur.
Years ago I used to play in punk bands and had a very high mohawk XD now I play electronic music and unfortunately the mohawk is gone.
I come from an island that is called little Venice, its name is Grado. Whenever I can, I go back to visit my family even though I actually spend most of my time around the lagoon on my boat.
I moved to Trentino temporarily with my partner and I spend my weekends trekking, cooking and drinking great wine and grappa.
For more funny stories see you at the pub!
And finally what advice would you give to job seekers considering a career into Audio for video games?
Massimo: Looking for motivated, dynamic people, open to new challenges, always ready to solve any kind of unexpected problem.
People who understand audio but who combine technical knowledge with a large dose of art. It’s creative work in its own way and you know, in creative work there is a lot of use of ‘brain’. So you need bright minds.
Marco: Here in Italy the market is expanding, you have to keep yourself constantly updated. Take certified courses and keep in touch with people, especially during these difficult times.
Honesty always pays off. And never underestimate yourself in any job you’re going to do.
If you are interested in an Audio role at Keywords Studios, you can find current open positions on our Careers page.