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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view GDC 2023 session details and speakers, and share your favorites via social media. You will be able to build your schedule and access it during the show via export or 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.

Thirty Years Later: Scoring 'Return to Monkey Island'

Clint Bajakian  (Music Composer, Producer & Educator, Clint Bajakian Music)

Michael Land  (Composer, Little Big Note Music)

Peter McConnell  (Composer, Little Big Note Music)

Location: Room 3002, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 23

Time: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

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

Topic: Audio

Format: Panel

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Veteran LucasArts composer team from the 90s—Michael Land, Peter McConnell, and Clint Bajakian—take you through the process of scoring Ron Gilbert's much-anticipated 2022 video game, Return to Monkey Island. Gilbert engaged this same scoring team as in his previous 1991 installment of the series, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, so both the story and collaboration are a true return.

The composition team discusses working with creative leads who excel in absurdist humor, as well as the process of leveraging their diverse musical styles to create a complementary score. Innovations to incorporate iconic themes from the past as well as new themes and approaches are exposed. While the proprietary iMUSE system was used in the early LucasArts games, the team discusses designing adaptive music structures for Return using FMOD. Audio and visual examples will be included.


Attendees will gain insight into some of the universal challenges all professionals face when scoring a large game with an intricate plot. For some, many of these solutions will seem familiar, but for all, the unique approach to a signature game should serve as a reference point in the industry.

Intended Audience

This is for anyone interested in how a classic story-based video game can be scored with music creatively, technically, and collaboratively from start to finish. Composers, music producers, music integration specialists, and audio directors are the principal target audience whether experienced, early in their career, or aspiring.