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A Matter of Music Design: Driving Gameplay with Music


Eric Hamel (Audio Director, Worthing & Moncrieff)

Location: Room 3002, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 21

Time: 12:00pm - 12:30pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference, Audio Conference + Tutorial - Get your pass now!

Topic: Audio

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Across the board, game audio communicates important information to the player. Music plays a crucial role in communicating a sense of place, pacing and an emotional tone. But what if the music in a game communicated more than that? What if it also provided information on which the player could act? This presentation offers a unique look at designing the system of a musical score to drive game-play. By coordinating with the team's game designer and structuring elements of the music to synergize with story and/or game data, the composer can utilize music to communicate helpful information to the player and enhance the gaming experience. Using the design of the game soundtracks for W&M's 'A Matter of Murder', and 'Austen Translation' this lecture will explore how music provides the attentive player an advantage during play.


Attendees will learn how to design a dynamic music system that provides players game-play information. They'll see examples illustrating how tying music to game-data makes the music more relevant, and gain an understanding of how they can implement this kind of score in their own games.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for both game designers as well as game audio professionals. While a basic understanding of implementing dynamic music is helpful, the material is accessible enough that less experienced designers will be able to grasp the concepts.