GDC + VRDC@GDC 2018 Session Scheduler

View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, track, and format. With this Session Scheduler, you can build your schedule in advance and access it during the show via export or with the Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

'ARK Survival Evolved': Early Access Composing and Its Unique Issues


Gareth Coker (Composer, Gareth Coker Music)

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

Topic: Audio

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

This lecture will cover the considerations that need to be made when scoring an Early Access title. Namely, how to deal with "audience temp love" and "gamer nostalgia", but also having to be particularly fluid and adaptable due to the nature of "open" development that occurs on these titles. Using the game 'ARK Survival Evolved' as a case study, which had a large early access audience of over 5 million people after the first year, these issues will be covered and evaluated, using soundtrack examples from the game as well as personal anecdotes. The lecture will also cover how to deal with the community, who ultimately are paying customers but also beta-testers and how to take into account their feedback versus your own considerations and that of your dev team.


Attendees will learn how to deal with the unique issues that crop up when scoring Early Access titles. Using a real-world case study in the form of 'ARK Survival Evolved', the lessons learned and their solutions will be presented so that attendees can apply them to their own projects.

Intended Audience

Due to the relative novelty of early-access scoring, composers of all levels are encouraged to attend this talk. Composers new to the industry will particularly benefit as the likelihood is higher they'll work on an early access title. Prerequisite knowledge encouraged but not required.