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Wataru Hokoyama Presents!

Hokoyama wrote the musical score for the video game Afrika, a first person photography safari
simulator. It won the GANG award for Best Original Video Game Score in 2009. He also worked on
Resident Evil 5 and collaborated as an arranger/orchestrator on Ace Combat X2.
He was the first video game composer in history to actually have a 100-piece live orchestra at his
disposal for a video game score.

Don't be afraid to reach out to people you don't know for resources you don't have!
Orchestra versus Synthesizers
Synthesizers are very period oriented. If something synthesized in the 1980s sounds dated
and nostalgic today, something synthesized today would sound nostalgic in a few years, too.
Real musicians give your music a natural and timeless feel.
Always trust your instincts when it comes to writing instead of sticking to left-brained logic.
Get rid of your worries, your judgments, your doubts, and your ego early.
1 + 1 =/= 2! 1 + 1 = !
Paul Lipson Presents!

Paul Lipson is the president and a board member of GANG (Game Audio Network Guild) and is also
the COO of his own video game production company, Pyramind Inc.. He has studied guitar,
orchestration, arranging, ear training, ethnomusicology, etc.
XBOX Live Gamertag: plguitar. He will kick your butt!
Pyramind is a full service production team for music, VO, and SFX for games, screens and interactive
media. They have done work for Halo Wavepoint, Bioshock 2, Lego Indiana Jones 2, and Iron Man 2
video games.
The Art and Business of Game Music

Core Concepts and Pre-Production

Music Where is it? Where and when do you hear music/sound in games?
Linear: Scoring to picture
FMV and Cutscenes (locked picture)
Menu music
Adaptive: Scoring to Possibility
Leitmotifs: music attached to a place or character
Events and transitions
Music as a tension indicator
Game State change = dynamic mix!
Linear versus Adaptive
Interactivity changes everything! The player scores the picture

Linear = Locked
Interactive = Game State change, despite set narrative
Music as a tension indicator: tension can happen depending on a player's choices.
A Soapbox Moment
It's not about your music
You serve the story
You work with and for a team
You are a flexible, personable, and professional person
You love games
You play games
You understand games
If you don't, then stay home and cry. :D
Establishing the Aesthetic
Reference Tracks
Other Games and/or movies
Previous game(s) in the series
The Orchestras
Essential for that huge, dramatic sound
Used in 75%+ of most current generation games
Includes full live orchestra, synthesized orchestra, or a mix of both
Cultural Music
Musical styles, instruments, and techniques from around the world
non-Western melodic and harmonic conventions
often used in conjunction with other styles of music
Modern Styles
classic, progressive, metal, pop, etc.
trance, techno, break, jungle, house, etc.
rap, funk, soul, etc.
Be-bob, fusion, big band, etc.
blues, bluegrass, folk, country, etc.
Blending Styles
Many game scores mix styles together
Individual stems can be pulled out and used separately
The sky is the limit! Use your imagination and serve the story.
Pre production busywork
Establishing the scope

design documents
level requirements
minutes of IGC, minutes of adaptive
establishing the techniques
understand the music systems
realize that everything will change and always does
Establishing the timeline
deliverable schedule
time = money
Establishing the cost
allocate resources
plan for outsorcing
build in specific line-items
get as much as you can up front
The Pipeline
...the scope
...the aesthetic
...the tech
...the cost
...the timeline
compose and create
Composers can't just shoot content over the wall with an asset canon anymore. The future
mans composers get involved with a much larger pipeline, involving pre-production,
integration, and mixing.
Implementation is over 50% of the challenge. No matter how awesome you think your
music is, poor implementation will kill it!
Part 2: Score Implementation!
Ever wonder what happens to your music after the delivery?
Bad implementation? Bad game!
Get involved and get hands on!
Make sure you're in there with the programmers helping implement the music into
the game.
Test and learn

Theme and variation
Very important for the length of gameplay in the game.
Use weird meters!
Making room for your music
EX: ducking, dynamic mixing, volume control, stems
IGC and Adaptive = side by side
Proprietary (XACT, Scream)
Real time parameter control
real time control of pre-loaded sub-mixes
subtractive mixing concepts
reacts to player choice