Adam Croft is an Audio Implementer at 343 Industries and Microsoft, where he works on games like Halo. He is also the author of Quit Aspiring. In today’s episode, we dig deep into how intentional listening creates value, sound design, and learning by doing.
Sound Design and Intentional Listening
“There’s a pathway that will benefit you exponentially, quickly… but it’s not the follow your passions path. It’s the find something that gives lots of people value and then provide that value.”
Adam has a day job that allows him the flexibility and meets his basic needs so that in his free time, he can write or create software. This entrepreneurial mindset allows him to build strong relationships with his clients and go above and beyond the tasks at hand.
In his new book “Quit Aspiring,” he offers insight into the gaming world that covers both the hard skills and soft skills necessary to break into the industry. He also shares valuable perspectives from other leaders in the industry, because he believes that there’s not always one answer.
Listening well is one of those soft skills that Adam prioritizes and believes in passionately. He says that going above and beyond doesn’t always mean creating something extra for your clients. Instead, listening intently could be how you create more value.
As an audio implementer and technical sound designer, Adam troubleshoots problems in Halo’s programming and communicates with sound designers and engineers to translate their needs into a solution that meets everyone’s needs. He also runs his own business where he releases workflow improvement software that brings functionality to programs like Pro Tools and Reaper.
The Crossover between Podcasting and Gaming
There are far more differences between interactive sound design (gaming audio) and linear sound design (podcast audio) than there are similarities. However, the crossover happens in the workflow tools, automation, the communication, and the learning environment that is created.
“You want to be welcoming and inviting, you want this to be interesting and bring people into something they’ve never seen before, and you want them to be engaged… you want them to feel and understand and learn a specific thing. In games, we’re communicating that stuff always.”
Adam also prioritizes stripping away everything that isn’t of key importance, communicating with your user base about the user experience, and just getting started, period.
“If you’re looking into getting into podcasting, or if you’re an existing podcaster, or just playing with audio at all, you should get the thing that is most accessible to you initially to play with and then learn and grow from there.”
The Creative Journey
He shares how when he launched his book, he ran into site challenges and forgotten links. He discusses how many teaching moments you encounter when you are creating a product.
“To me, that’s part of building something. It’s not pretty.”
Adam credits his theater background for shaping his perspective and giving him the tools to overcome these hurdles. Remember, nobody knows that something isn’t a part of the show until you tell them.
Adam has recently been following the work of Sean D’Souza, an internet marketer and copywriter out of New Zealand who focuses on working hard, being patient, and trusting that success comes with time. He also has found value in Grant Cardone’s mindset of the 10X Rule, where you maximize your work output.
He’s trying to balance both of these perspectives: working really hard and maximizing his actions while staying calm and building something rad.
His advice: make people want to work with you because you’re doing something amazing.
Note: The words and opinions expressed on this podcast belong solely to Adam Croft and do not represent or speak for Microsoft or 343 Industries.