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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Sewing a Musical Patchwork: The Music of 'Sackboy: A Big Adventure'

Joe Thwaites  (Principal Composer, SIEE)

Jay Waters  (Audio Director, Sumo Digital)

James Marshall  (Music Supervisor, SIEE)

Date: Thursday, July 22

Time: 8:30am - 9:30am

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

Topic: Audio

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

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

A look at how the teams at Sumo Sheffield and Sony Interactive Entertainment approached using licensed and original music to create the sound of PlayStation 5's most joyous launch title. Jay Waters (Audio Director, Sumo), Joe Thwaites (Lead Composer, SIE) and James Marshall (Music Supervisor, SIE) provide insights into how the team behind Sackboy: A Big Adventure implemented licensed music interactively, evolved the direction of a franchise well-respected for its musical heritage and the creative decisions behind Sackboy's eclectic patchwork soundtrack. This talk will also provide a look at the game's viral pop music levels, how the music selection informed level design plus the technical challenges involved in making everything work. The team will also offer a glimpse at some of the fun they had working with remixes, mashups and covers.


Attendees will take away learnings on unique musical implementation using licensed music, including development of thematic elements and incorporating music into sound design. Attendees will gain insight into selecting the right licensed music for your title, particularly in co-ordinating set-piece musical moments and setting the tone of a game.

Intended Audience

Level designers, audio design, anyone with a passion for music. Those working with an established IP would also find the talk interesting, as it will explore how the Sackboy music team was able to build upon the legacy of LittleBigPlanet's soundtracks and evolve a franchise respected for its musical heritage