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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, topic, and format. You will be able to build your personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021.

Completely ReThinking the Music Process: 'Pathless' Postmortem

Austin Wintory  (Composer, Austin Wintory)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Audio Pass

Topic: Audio

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: N/A: I prefer to present live on-site but I am open to delivering a virtual presentation

Composer Austin Wintory walks through the 3.5-year long, deeply iterative process of scoring Giant Squid's open world game THE PATHLESS. This post-mortem will walk through the development of the musical material and how a series of improvised jam sessions totally re-routed the score's direction. This talk will also offer an overview of the detailed production process spanning scoring sessions of 104 musicians, from Abbey Road to a litany of home studios, plus a walkthru of the complex interactive system designed for the game's open world.


This talk's main goal is to showcase how embracing unconventional composition techniques can yield fruitful, inspiring outcomes. Particularly when stepping outside one's comfort zone. Additionally, this talk should provide a large pile of practical suggestions and tips for managing a complex interactive score.

Intended Audience

Intended for all audience levels, with a primary emphasis on composers