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Writing interactive music for video games : a composer's guide

Author: Michael Sweet
Publisher: Upper Saddle River, NJ : Addison-Wesley, [2015]
Series: Game design and development.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Introduction - Part I: Scoring for games: The language of music storytelling in games - Breaking down the language of interactive music - Spotting the game - Working with a game development team - Video game composition over the last 40 years - Historical perspective of experimental music; Part II: Fundamental video game scoring techniques: Composing and editing music loops - Horizontal resequencing - Vertical  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael Sweet
ISBN: 9780321961587 0321961587
OCLC Number: 869263329
Description: xxvi, 478 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm.
Contents: pt. 1. Scoring for games. The language of music storytelling in games. What makes a video game unique? --
Type of music within games --
Exploring music function within games --
Synchronizing and integration of music --
Music conceptualization --
Analysis and critique of a game score --
Review --
Exercises. Breaking down the language of interactive music. What is interactive music? --
Types of interactive music --
Control inputs --
The composer's toolbox --
Review --
Exercises. Spotting the game. The game production process --
The spotting process --
The goals of a video game music score --
Video game scoring techniques --
Music control inputs --
Repetition, randomization, and surprise --
Review --
Exercises. Working with a game development team. Who's in charge? --
Collaborating and approving the music --
Preparing for music production --
Review --
Exercises. Video game composition over the past 40 years. Why video game history is important --
The dawn of coin-operated machines --
The ascent of the arcade machine --
The game console revolution --
The evolution of PC gaming --
The rise of handheld and network games --
The advancement of audio middleware --
The evolution of the modern gaming platform --
Review --
Exercises. Historical perspective of experimental music. The beginning of interactive music --
Pre-twentieth century --
1900-1950 --
Post-1950s --
Review --
Exercises. pt. 2. Fundamental video game scoring techniques. Composing and editing music loops. The art of looping music --
Musical construction, connections, and cadences --
Audio editing --
Auditioning your finished loops --
Review --
Exercises. Horizontal resequencing. Sequencing music in real time --
Crossfading scores --
Transitional scores --
Branching scores --
Composing for horizontal resequencing --
Review --
Exercises. Vertical remixing. Remixing music for intensity --
Deciding how many layers to use --
Types of vertical remixing --
The art of fading layers in and out --
Nonsynchronization of layers --
Composing for vertical remixing --
Review --
Exercises. Writing transitions and stingers. Enhancing without interrupting --
Connecting two pieces of music --
The concept of musical interruption --
Composing transitions --
Transition construction and considerations --
Example transitions --
Using and placing stingers --
Review --
Exercises. Using sound design techniques in music. What is sound design? --
Basic synthesis --
Audio signal processing --
Techniques for creating sound design --
Review --
Exercises. Music as a gameplay element. Engaging players with music --
Music games --
Level design, construction, and adaptation --
Instruments in interfaces and the game world --
Diegetic music in video games --
Music approaches in other games --
Review --
Exercises. pt. 3. Advanced video game scoring techniques. MIDI and virtual instruments --
An alternative to prerendered audio --
Working with MIDI-based scores --
Using virtual instruments --
Review --
Exercises. Real-time tempo variation and synchronization. Immersing the player through tempo --
Varying tempo based on game events --
Tempo changes with prerendered audio --
Tempo changes with MIDI or Mod --
Tempo synchronization --
Phrase synchronization --
Review --
Exercises. Advanced dynamic music manipulation techniques. Weighing more expensive options --
Melodic manipulation and reinterpretation --
Ensemble, rhythmic, and style alteration --
Embellishment and fills --
Motivic elements in a running score --
Dynamic reharmonization and chord mapping --
Building an event-driven sequencer --
Review --
Exercises. Aleatoric performance techniques for video games. What is aleatoric composition? --
Aleatoric techniques --
Review --
Exercises. Algorithmic and generative music systems. Using algorithmic and generative music --
Generating music --
The rules of game composition --
Mapping control inputs to music --
Applying algorithmic composition --
Review --
Exercises. Using middleware to create advanced compositions. Simplifying composition with middleware --
Using multiple interactive techniques --
Creating scores using a middleware engine --
Intelligent music engines --
Variation and randomization --
Review --
Exercises. Creating a custom music solution. Solving problems with custom solutions. Limitations of interactive techniques --
Teaching a computer the rules of music --
Selling the idea to the developer --
Shaping an interactive musical engine --
Review --
Exercises. pt. 4. Bringing the music into the game. Composing music with a digital audio workstation. Getting started with a DAW --
Sequencer setup and track layout --
Planning for an interactive score --
Transitioning between the DAW and the game --
Review --
Exercises. Live recording, session preparation, and mixing. Elevating the score with live musicians --
Preparing, orchestrating, and arranging --
Session preparation and planning --
Exporting a sequence to another DAW --
Session flow and practices --
Time management --
Final mixing and editing --
Musicians and recording --
Review --
Exercises. Mixing and exporting audio files to the game engine. Consideration for mixing music for games --
Bouncing and exporting master files --
File formats and compression --
Surround mixing within games --
Review --
Exercises. Implementation and planning. Defining the music framework --
The implementation process --
Game production methodology --
Balancing compression with quality --
Allocating time for programming --
Mixing and real-time DSP --
Review --
Exercises. Large-scale music development. Establishing a unique creative direction --
Unification and planning --
Organization, revisions, and backups --
Mapping the overarching emotional arc --
Integration and follow-through --
Large-sale interactive music challenges --
Review --
Exercises. pt. 5. The business of scoring music for video game. The life of a video game composer. A day in the life of a game composer --
The business of scoring games --
Working in-house versus out-of-house --
Skill sets --
Music production companies --
Internships as entry points --
Music libraries --
Review --
Exercises. Contracts, rights, and work for hire. The legal side of composing --
Non-disclosure agreements --
Music rights and work for hire --
The project contract --
The employment contract --
Demos --
When things go wrong --
Federal forms --
Review --
Exercises. Creating an estimate. Proposing your talents and fees --
Questions for the developer --
Using an estimate as a sales pitch --
The psychology of bidding --
The organization of an estimate --
Breaking music down into components --
Determining how much music to write --
Knowing how much to charge --
Review --
Exercises. Contract negotiation tactics. Working for less than you're worth. Collaborating with developers --
Renegotiating the estimate --
Royalty arrangements --
Offering discounts for multiple projects --
Licensing --
Additional rights and opportunities --
Review --
Exercises. How composers find work. Building relationships --
Networking --
Informational interview --
Video game conferences --
Working for free --
Game developer organization --
Your website and blog --
Social networking --
Cover sheets and resumes --
Partnerships --
Representation and salespeople --
Advertising and public relationships agencies --
Review --
Exercises. The challenges of working as a composer. Setting expectations and goals --
Traits for success --
Competition --
Handling rejection and failure --
Finances --
Review --
Exercises. pt. 6. Conclusion and appendixes. Conclusion --
where to go from here --
The future of game scoring.
Series Title: Game design and development.
Responsibility: Michael Sweet.

Abstract:

Introduction - Part I: Scoring for games: The language of music storytelling in games - Breaking down the language of interactive music - Spotting the game - Working with a game development team - Video game composition over the last 40 years - Historical perspective of experimental music; Part II: Fundamental video game scoring techniques: Composing and editing music loops - Horizontal resequencing - Vertical remixing - Writing transitions and stingers - Using sound design techniques in music - Music as a gameplay element; Part III: Advanced video game scoring techniques: MIDI and virtual instruments - Real-time tempo variation and synchronization - Advanced dynamic music manipulation techniques - Aleatoric performance techniques for video games - Algorithmic and generative music systems - Using middleware to create advanced compositions - Creating a custom music solution; Part IV: Bringing music into the game: Composing music with a digital audio workstation - Live recording, session preparation and mixing - Mixing and exporting audio files to the game engine - Implemntation and programming - Large-scale music development; Part V: The business fo scoring music for video games: The life of a video game composer - Contracts, rights and work for hire - Creating an estimate - Contract negotiation tactics - How composers find work - The challenges of working as a composer; Part VI: Conclusion and appendixes.

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"Behind every great game experience is an interactive score that defines the emotional through-line of a game. Writing Interactive Music for Video Games will show you how to create such a score, from Read more...

 
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