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Topic: Question about Game Music

  1. #1

    Question about Game Music

    I\'m not sure which forum to place these questions, but this forum seems to get the most traffic...so here goes.

    Until recently, I have to profess profound ignorance in the area of gaming music. I just never realized how far it has come because I\'m not much of a video game player....never have been.

    So I went out and rented a Sony Playstation and various games for the weekend. The theme music souds awesome in every case as the game loads. However, I simply do not have the gaming skills to get beyond the most rudimentary levels of the games. I\'m sure there is more music deeper into the games, but I can never get far enough to hear it.

    Are there ways to just hear the music on the titles without playing the games?

    And are you folks gamers? I mean, how does one find the time? With film., you can listen to a score in a sitting without being distracted on how to play a game. You can get caught up in it along with the movie.

    It seems to me that a person would have to spend hours with a video game to get it down. I just don\'t have the time for that...and sadly, not a whole lot of interest. But I am interested in the music and sound design of games.

    Are game composers also video game virtuosos?

    I\'m just trying to make a comparison to film composing. Most of the best film composers have an understanding of the film making process, or at the very least, good story-telling.

    Is the same true in the gaming music world?

  2. #2

    Re: Question about Game Music

    Well, you could just go the game composers site and download music. Here is a few suggestions:

    That last site has a book that will answer most of your questions. Also look for the Bill Brown interview on this site, and that too will answer most of your questions.

  3. #3

    Re: Question about Game Music

    Also check


    very good place, people like Jack Wall and Fatman and TT, hang around there frequently.. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    ...oh, and I\'m a gamer and proud of it..LOL!


  4. #4

    Re: Question about Game Music


    I started in the vid game industry when I was 15 and have been an avid player since the old Atari 2600 days [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I have actually been getting out of playing many games lately, mostly because many of them are first person shooters and I\'m not a huge fan of those. Also many games just haven\'t been great lately (GTA3 and other \"toppers\" aside).

    for tips ongetting through games checkout www.gamefaqs.com

    Anyhow, when makigna game, usually you are composing using early builds of the game. Usually these early builds have debugging modes that allow you to select levels and \"cheat\" throughout the game. So you are not required to play the game normally when working on it. However. It is a good idea to still play the game \"normally\" so that you get a sense of how the game will actually be played. If not, you may compose something that will sound great at first, but if the level itself takes way too long to complete and you hear the same cue 40 times....it couldget very annoying [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Also there are many different ways to make music for games. Different technologies on all the systems allow for different options. All with their ownsets of limitations.

    oh and shameless plug for another video game composer [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]



    Also there are quite a few good vid game composers on this forum.

  5. #5

    Re: Question about Game Music

    Hey King, where\'s Godai on your credits list [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

    ...oh and did you score Jax & Dexter?


  6. #6

    Re: Question about Game Music

    Being a game composer/sound designer without playing games is somewhat akin to being a film composer/foley artist that doesn\'t go to the movies. I personally think that you have to understand what you\'re writing for, be it film, TV, theater, ballet, or games. Like King, I\'ve been interested in gaming since the 2600 days. And while I\'m by no means a game music industry veteran, I can say that I earn a lot of points with clients/employers by being able to \"talk shop\" with them.

  7. #7

    Re: Question about Game Music

    yah lex that site definitely needs an update. Its needed one for a few years [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Godai will be added for sure, as well as Sly Cooper. Not to mention some quotes from press. I need to add all that stuff [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    About Jak and Dax. I didn\'t do the music for it. I did pitch to do it, and SONY loved my demos, but I think everyone felt more comfortable going with the guys who did the Crash Bandicoot music.

    Fine with me, I wouldn\'t have had the time to really learn the interactive music engine both it and the game I\'m working on uses. I\'ve been able to learn alot about what works with interactive music. Its tough work! Still, I\'m really happy with what I\'ve been able to come up with, as well as what I can do to help set up future projects really take advantage of interactive music.

    The sad thing is that its sort of a thankless job. Most people expect CD quality music from games nowadays. So when you use internal sound banks so you can get true interactivity, the creativity and all the work that goes into it gets lost in simple comments like \"it doesn\'t sound real\" or \"Its so MIDI sounding\" (one of my favorites now that gigastudio is out).

    I agree with ED about knowing how to talk shop. I\'ve been in a few meetings where I know I was being \"tested\". Its quite funny since in some cases the people \"testing\" me had this attitude about them that they knew more than me, but in fact they felt like \"newbies\" to me.

  8. #8

    Re: Question about Game Music

    Hey, King, \"Sly Cooper\"? Good gig! Congrats! My wife is a hopeless platformer addict, and she awaits \"Sly Cooper\" with great anticipation. Knowing that you scored it, now I do too [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Re: Question about Game Music


    It seems to West is hopelessly behind in the appreciation of game music compared to the East.
    In Japan it is not unusual for a game\'s soundtrack to be released seperately from the game, sometimes even weeks before the game itself ships (which is not unlike the way it is done with movie soundtracks over here).
    Another problem is that so many game publishers still don\'t take the audio side of things seriously; there are too many \'let\'s stick on a techno track from a well known popartist who\'s never played a game in his life\' games out there, or it is left right up until the end of the project.

    Thankfully there seems to be some change ahead, as organisations like GANG are doing a lot to get gamemusic in the public picture, and the involvement of well-known composers from other disciplines (like Harry Gregson Williams for Metal Gear Solid for instance).

    Some console games feature a testscreen in the options menu where all the music can be heard,
    and some pc games use mp3\'s for their music, so you can sometimes find the directory where this is stored.
    Older games (ps1) might use redbook audio for their games, meaning that you can just stick em into a cdplayer and hear the music like that.

    As far as sites go: www.music4games.net springs to mind; they also have info on gamesoundtracks released as cd\'s.

    Personally, I\'m fighting to get the gamesoundtrack I\'m currently working on released seperately from the game as well.
    Part of the problem I think is that developers/publishers don\'t know what is possible with game audio besides sticking it in the game. Using it as a marketing tool (for gametrailers, commercials, store promotion etc.) or even at the start of a project to gain publisher interest (which is exactly what we did with the game I\'m currently working on) are avenues not often explored.

    Ok, I\'ll stop ranting now [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]



  10. #10

    Re: Question about Game Music

    People are \"forgetting\" the best game-composer out there: Jeremy Soule! He\'s an amazing composer whom I really look up to. He has a very distinct sound. Nothing like the average hollywood score, really. And his harmonic complexity is sometimes staggering and very inspiring. An incredible composer.



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