Schools Training

Scoring Video Games

28 OCT 2013
Career Path : Arts and Entertainment

Video games have come a long way since their conception in the seventies. Everything from graphics to gameplay has been modernized, and is more sophisticated than ever. A video games’ audio is no different. Gone are the days of midi soundtracks with the same music played in a constant loop. A modern video game has a proper score that may rival the quality of a Hollywood movie. If you would like to show what you learned in audio engineering school and score a video game, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Know Your Content.

There are a lot of different types of video games out there, and they all have scores and soundtracks unique to their game. If a score to a game is not fitting to the presentation, it may take a gamer out of the experience. That is why a composer needs to understand the kind of game they are creating music for. If it is a classic platforming game in the vein of Mario or Sonic, then fun, lighthearted music would be appropriate. However, it  is an action game, then a more serious score will set a better mood. Knowing the content will give you a good idea of what music to compose.

2. Ambiance Is Key.
A lot of games nowadays spare no expense to create an engrossing experience. This involves top notch graphics, and talented voice actors to create a compelling narrative. A game’s score is there to tie it all together. Carefully placed audio can help create tension, or add to the drama unfolding in the game. Without that audio, these moments may not have the same impact on gamers.

3. Less Is More.
Some games like Rock Band or Just Dance are all about the music. These games take advantage of licensed soundtracks, and the music is in the forefront of the experience. For non-music games, it is the exact opposite. The music is in the background, and may go unnoticed by some until it is not there. Some games do not need a huge score. They may require something more minimalistic. When creating a video game score, being subtle is often better than creating a large sound scape, and this may depend not just on a talented composer, but the blending and mixing abilities of talented graduates from audio engineering schools.

Video games have evolved to become a modern and sophisticated entertainment medium. A game’s score is a small, but vital part of that experience. It is something that may go unappreciated by some, but would be sorely missed if it wasn’t there. With the video game industry growing, audio school graduates will create scores for the video games of the future. With these helpful tips, they can add to a game’s experience, and help take the entertainment medium to the next level.

Visit Trebas Institute for more information on other games industry skills, like how you can improve cinematic effects with film production programs.

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