View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Scheduler, you can build your schedule in advance and access it during the show via export or with the GDC Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat.
Winifred Phillips (Composer, Generations Productions LLC)
Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Core Pass, Audio Pass - Get your pass now!
Vault Recording: TBD
Audience Level: All
By employing themes that serve symbolic purposes, a composer can infuse a game with a strong sense of character and originality. This talk will examine the potential of thematic music to evoke gameplay memories, helping a game to stand out as special and unique. Research has shown that music heard during activities is remembered vividly and associated with the tasks it accompanied. Coupling this with the innately memorable nature of themes allows a game composer the opportunity to create an indelible musical signature for any game. This talk will examine composition techniques that extend the life and utility of themes. Variation, development, figures, fragmentation, and motifs will be explored. The talk will include examples of themes in boss combat, general action, exploration, puzzle, menus, cutscenes, and stingers. Finally, the challenges of dynamic music construction will be considered, including workarounds to enable effective themes within interactive systems.
Using examples from several games, Phillips will discuss specific composition techniques designed to enhance the utility of thematic content. Attendees will learn how themes may be incorporated into specific game music asset types. Also included in the discussion: composition adjustments required by interactive music constructs.
This session will present inspirational ideas for composers seeking to create distinctive musical signatures for their game projects. Discussion of thematic use within different types of game music assets may be helpful for audio developers engaged in preparing music design documents. The talk will be approachable for all levels.