Saturday, November 9, 2019

3 Tips For Video Game Score Composers | Music Think Tank

Composing for video games is much like composing music for other productions. However, it is also a unique and relatively recent form of musical expression that requires its own approach in many ways. This can be a difficult niche to break into, but success can be extraordinarily satisfying. These three tips should help set you on the right path.

Listen to the Developers

A video game score composer’s job is to work with the developers to create the right music for their game. This is often done on a commission basis, so composers need to be especially good at listening to the developers and understanding perfectly what they are trying to accomplish with their game. You want to do this not only to satisfy your clients but also to create a superior product. If the video game is going to have worded songs, score composers often need to work with the singers and writers of those songs to incorporate elements into the rest of the score, if not write the worded songs themselves.

Evoke the Game in the Music

Video game composers need to blend their work seamlessly into the game to support rather than overpower it. For example, they need to work with the sound design and effects, not against them, and they also need to keep the music from being distracting. They also need to understand the story of the game, the emotions of the characters, and the moods of each individual scene to be able to evoke those feelings in the music. It can be very useful to draw inspiration from famous game melodies and multiple genres of music, bringing it all together to create something new. Make sure to create melodies that can switch into each other easily, as the change from traveling to fighting enemies has to not be too jarring.

Assist in Marketing

Depending on the type of game they are making, composers may also want to be involved in the marketing for the game. This is especially important for indie games, where everyone involved in making the game works to promote it so it will sell well. Composers can promote the game through their social media channels, give interviews about it, and leverage the music they wrote for the game to promote it. They may also be involved in crowdfunding the game and therefore need to be familiar with crowdfunding best practices. The better a marketing campaign is, the more likely a game is to sell and improve a composer’s reputation and exposure.

Good music elevates video games. Some of the most beautiful, invigorating and moving music of the last thirty years has been composed for these games. While knowing the basics of music composition are important, so is knowing how to apply it to this unique medium.


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