A Composer's Guide to Game Music by Winifred Phillips
A comprehensive, practical guide to composing video game music, from acquiring the necessary skills to finding work in the field.
Music in video games is often a sophisticated, complex composition that serves to engage the player, set the pace of play, and aid interactivity. Composers of video game music must master an array of specialized skills not taught in the conservatory, including the creation of linear loops, music chunks for horizontal resequencing, and compositional fragments for use within a generative framework. In A Composer's Guide to Game Music, Winifred Phillips herself an award-winning composer of video game music provides a comprehensive, practical guide that leads an aspiring video game composer from acquiring the necessary creative skills to understanding the function of music in games to finding work in the field.
Musicians and composers may be drawn to game music composition because the game industry is a multibillion-dollar, employment-generating economic powerhouse, but, Phillips writes, the most important qualification for a musician who wants to become a game music composer is a love of video games. Phillips offers detailed coverage of essential topics, including musicianship and composition experience; immersion; musical themes; music and game genres; workflow; working with a development team; linear music; interactive music, both rendered and generative; audio technology, from mixers and preamps to software; and running a business.
A Composer's Guide to Game Music offers indispensable guidance for musicians and composers who want to deploy their creativity in a dynamic and growing industry, protect their musical identities while working in a highly technical field, and create great music within the constraints of a new medium.
Winifred Phillips is an award-winning composer who has composed the music for such video games as Assassin's Creed III Liberation, The Da Vinci Code, God of War, Shrek the Third, Spore Hero, and many others.
Table of Contents
1 Why Would You Want to Write Music for Games? 1
2 A Composer's Creative Skillset 17
3 Immersion: How Music Deepens the Play Experience 35
4 The Importance of Themes 55
5 Music Genres and Game Genres 75
6 Roles and Functions of Music in Games 97
7 Preparation and Workflow 117
8 The Development Team 135
9 Music Needs of the Game 145
10 Linear Music in Games 157
11 Interactive Music in Games: Rendered Music 185
12 Interactive Music in Games: Music Data 203
13 A Game Composer's Technical Skillset 215
14 Acting Like a Business and Finding Work 237
Further Reading 263
What People are Saying About This
This book accurately illustrates the video game composer's task, which is to create music that perfectly complements an existing artistic vision. While the video game industry has its unique set of processes, for the aspiring composer, musicianship is the key to success. In the same manner, Winifred Phillips has excelled in this genre thanks to her musical talent.
Winifred Phillips's passion and understanding of this medium comes to life on the page and is a direct result of her vast experience and accomplishment in composing for video games. This is not just compulsory bedside reading for budding games composers, but a fine achievement in itself. Bravo!
When I began writing for games over 20 years ago, I wish there had been a book like this to guide me through the process, art, and business of scoring for games. Winifred Phillips's book is an excellent combination of practical techniques along with the human touch of a game composer's real-life experiences.
An important, deep, and rare exploration of video game music by one of the medium's smartest and most talented voices. You may not know the name Winifred Phillips but if you play games, you absolutely know and love her creations!
A Composer's Guide to Game Music 5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I've been reading lot of books and articles about videogames, but I consider "A Composer's Guide to Game Music" as my main book of reference, which has helped me to organize on my mind all the concepts about videogame music composition.
Winifred's book introduces you as a game composer, helps you to understand how the player makes its first approach to a game through the "Path of Inmersion", and shows you the importance of the music through the analysis of themes, genres, and different kind of roles and functions.
You will also learn how to understand your role on the game industry, and how to organize yourself knowing that you are not only a musician, but you have your own business.
Released as an MIT Press book, it has a lot of interesting references about other studies people made about certain topics, so the book shares certain investigation knowledge mixed with the concepts explained on the book.
Don't doubt about having this book. It will show you the path if you're starting on the music composition for videogames world, but it also has all the concepts you need to learn and work with to become a great videogame music composer.
More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely worth a read if you are looking to learn more about game music. It talks you through concerns, explains techniques and
helps you gain a better understanding of what is most important in video game music and the surrounding industry. As a creative sound
production student, I have found myself coming back to this book on multiple occasions.
I would also highly recommend this book to anyone who works within the video game field and has problems communicating their ideas to composers
as it will give you a fuller understanding of what it is that they do (and vice versa for composers.) Great book!
More than 1 year ago
This book was highly informative and an absolute pleasure to read. Not only did she explain the essential
technical aspects involved in composing music for video games, she also covered the psychology of music
itself and its interactive relationship towards game development. As an aspiring game and film composer,
this book answered many questions I've had for a while, imbuing me with a new sense of confidence moving
More than 1 year ago
Winifred Phillips' "A Composer's Guide to Game Music" fills a void in the written world where it is so desperately needed. In the vein of many writings on film scoring, (yet surpassing most) Phillip's book takes you through a journey in and around the medium.
Phillips' gives you a history of both games and game music, enabling you better understand video games as a cultural entity - along with their importance. She speaks of the psychological underpinnings which so drastically affect the player's experience, and how to navigate that and have agency on the gamer. She discusses how to approach development teams, contacts, companies, and the task itself of breaking down a game into the music that needs to be written for it.
All in all, I have yet to find a more inclusive and educational text - pulling so perfectly from Phillips' own wealth of experiences. It would serve well as a classroom textbook, a foray into the world of game music for the casually interested, and as a marvelous how-to - and perhaps most importantly 'why?' - for anyone with an interested in a career in game music.
*Unofficial Guide Version*Advanced Tips & Strategy Guide. This is the most comprehensive and only detailed
guide you will find online. Available for instant download on your mobile phone, eBook device, or in paperback form.Here is what you will be getting ...
Beyond Sound is a must-read for anyone who loves music technology and wants to build
a career in this competitive, fast-paced world. Author Scott L. Phillips draws on his seventeen-year career as a technology trainer and educator, and his extensive ...
Ratchet and Clank tells the story of two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop
a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy.This guide book takes readers inside the quirky, wacky world of Ratchet ...
The Game of Logic by Lewis Carroll. This book has all the illustrations of the
original.The Game of Logic, described by Lewis Carroll-author of Alice in Wonderland-in 1887 consists of discussing the meaning of propositions like Some fresh cakes are ...
How do we reconcile a videogame industry's insistence that games positively affect human beliefs and
behaviors with the equally prevalent assumption that games are "just games"? How do we reconcile accusations that games make us violent and antisocial and unproductive ...
This collection of literature attempts to compile many of the classic works that have stood
the test of time and offer them at a reduced, affordable price, in an attractive volume so that everyone can enjoy them.
Featured on OtakuGameReviews.comLimited-Time Price of 14.99 9.99Horizon Zero DawnAn in-depth strategy guide & game walkthrough
for Horizon Zero DawnThis game guide includes:• Story• Gameplay• Walkthrough• Side Missions• Weapons• Outfits• Machines• Power Cells & Training ...
Featured on OtakuGameReviews.comLimited-Time Price of 14.99 9.99Mario Kart 8An in-depth strategy guide & game walkthrough
for Mario Kart 8This game guide includes:• Introduction• Characters• Techniques• Race Tracks• Vehicles• Items• Tips & Tricks• Unlockables• and ...