I’m very pleased that The MIT Press, publishers of my book A COMPOSER’S GUIDE TO GAME MUSIC, have arranged for me to sign copies of my book at the official GDC Bookstore during this year’s Game Developers Conference!
This year, A COMPOSER’S GUIDE TO GAME MUSIC has won the Global Music Award for an exceptional book in the field of music, and an Annual Game Music Award for Best Publication in the field of game music. I’m very pleased that my book will be featured at the GDC bookstore this year, and I’m looking forward to the signing event on March 6th!
BreakPoint Books is the official Game Developers Conference bookstore. You’ll find them on the street level in South Hall of the Moscone Center.
If you buy my book at any time during the conference, you can bring it back during the book signing on Friday so that I can sign it for you! Plus, I’d love to meet you!
Remember, the GDC Bookstore is located in the outer lobby of Moscone South Hall, so you don’t need a GDC pass to shop there. If you’re in the San Francisco area and would like to have a copy of my book signed, please feel free to stop by!
I’m happy to announce that I’ve been invited to participate in this year’s GDC Flash Forward!
This will be the fourth annual GDC Flash Forward event, which this year will kick off the main conference sessions taking place from Wednesday March 4th – Friday March 6th. Like a big “coming attractions” show, the Flash Forward allows attendees to get a first look at sessions that have been selected as especially interesting or noteworthy by the GDC Advisory Board. Out of the over 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and roundtables that take place during GDC Week, the GDC Advisory Board selects around 70 sessions to participate in the Flash Forward, so I’m very pleased to have been asked to participate this year!
During the Flash Forward event at 9:30am on Wednesday March 4th, each speaker will have from 30-45 seconds to present an enticing preview of their presentation, along with a video clip showing some of the sights that will entertain their presentation attendees. I’ll be presenting a preview of my talk, “LittleBigPlanet 3 and Beyond: Taking Your Score to Vertical Extremes,” which will take place on Friday March 6th at 10am in room 3006 West Hall.
Here’s a little more about the Flash Forward, from the official press release:
This year the hour-long session will be headlined by industry veterans Brenda Romero (Romero Games, UCSC) and Laura Fryer (Oculus VR), and they’ll be presenting their own informal take on the state of the industry before participating in what always proves to be a fun, fast-paced event that highlights some of the best GDC 2015 talks.
Flash Forward presenters are hand-picked by the GDC Advisory Board, ensuring that the session will feature an eclectic mix of speakers that represents the full breadth of the conference. Those selected will have the chance to grab attendees’ attention by taking the stage for a brief period of time — 30-45 seconds, tops — to present a rapid-fire overview of what their session is and why it’s worth checking out.
This year’s Flash Forward should be very exciting, and I’m honored to be a part of it! If you’re attending the Game Developers Conference this year, be sure to go to the Flash Forward! It’s sure to be a lot of fun!
Here’s more about the IASIG, from their official site:
The Interactive Audio Special Interest Group (IASIG) exists to allow developers of audio software, hardware, and content to freely exchange ideas about “interactive audio”. The goal of the group is to improve the performance of interactive applications by influencing hardware and software design, as well as leveraging the combined skills of the audio community to make better tools. The IASIG has been influential in the development of audio standards, features, and APIs for Microsoft Windows and other platforms, and has helped numerous hardware companies define their directions for the future.
I’m so honored that out of the 46 sessions in the GDC Audio Track, the Interactive Audio Special Interest Group selected my presentation as one of their 7 recommended talks! Here’s the whole list of IASIG Recommendations:
Making Full Use of Orchestral Colors in Interactive Music
Jim Fowler (SCE- World Wide Studios)
Creating an Interactive Musical Experience for Fantasia: Music Evolved
Jeff Allen (Harmonix Music Systems), Devon Newsom (Harmonix Music Systems)
BioShock Infinite: Scoring in the Sky, a Postmortem
Garry Schyman (Garry Schyman Productions)
Peggle Blast: Big Concepts, Small Project
RJ Mattingly (PopCap), Jaclyn Shumate (PopCap), Guy Whitmore (PopCap)
Inspiring Player Creativity in Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved
Jonathan Mintz (Harmonix Music Systems)
LittleBigPlanet 3 and Beyond: Taking Your Score to Vertical Extremes
Winifred Phillips (Generations Productions LLC)
Where Does the Game End and the Instrument Begin?
Matt Boch (Harmonix Music Systems), Jon Moldover (Smule Inc.), Nick Bonardi (Ubisoft), David Young (Smule Inc.), Brian Schmidt (Brian Schmidt Studios)
Yesterday I shared some info about my upcoming Audio Bootcamp presentation on Tuesday March 3rd at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco — and today I’d like to share some information about the second presentation I’ll be giving during the main conference. On Friday, March 6th at 10am, I’ll be giving an Audio Track presentation at the Game Developers Conference – I’ll have the pleasure of talking about the interactive music system of the LittleBigPlanet franchise. Here is the official description of my conference session from the GDC 2015 Schedule:
“LittleBigPlanet 3 and Beyond: Taking Your Score to Vertical Extremes” presents down-to-earth strategies for the design and utilization of a vertical layering music system. Composer Winifred Phillips’ credits include six LittleBigPlanet games (LittleBigPlanet 3, LittleBigPlanet 2, LittleBigPlanet Vita, LittleBigPlanet Cross Controller, LittleBigPlanet Karting, LittleBigPlanet Toy Story). Phillips will discuss her music from the LittleBigPlanet franchise — a series that features one of the most complex vertical layering systems in the field of game audio. Intense challenges often lead to inventive solutions. By virtue of the extreme example embodied by the LittleBigPlanet system, Phillips will share the simple approaches that solved some of the common problems associated with vertical construction. This discussion will be augmented by musical examples from a dozen interactive compositions that Phillips created for LittleBigPlanet games. Attendees will learn techniques to avoid problems in any vertical layering system, regardless of whether that system is simple or extreme.
Through detailed examples from the LittleBigPlanet franchise, Phillips will provide a step-by-step analysis of the process that resulted in a tightly-constructed, six-layer interactive music system. This discussion will provide attendees with practical knowledge that can be applied to their own projects.
This session is for anyone interested in game scoring, interactive music systems and game music implementation strategies. Simple approaches to vertical layering will be accessible to attendees at all levels, while more advanced attendees will appreciate the innovative solutions applied to the complex vertical music system of the LittleBigPlanet franchise.
So, if you’ll be attending GDC in San Francisco on March the 6th, I hope you’ll come to my session!
Interactive music technologies have swept across the video game industry, changing the way that game music is composed, recorded, and implemented. Horizontal Resequencing and Vertical Layering have changed the way that music is integrated in the audio file format, while MIDI, MOD and generative models have changed the landscape of music data in games. With all these changes, how does the game composer, audio director, sound designer and audio engineer address these unique challenges? This talk will present an overview of today’s interactive music techniques, including numerous strategies for the deployment of successful interactive music structures in modern games. Included in the talk: Vertical Layering in additive and interchange systems, how resequencing methods benefit from the use of digital markers, and how traditionally linear music can be integrated into an interactive music system.
Right after my Bootcamp presentation, all the Audio Bootcamp presenters and attendees will head off to the ever-popular Lunchtime Surgeries. No, the attendees won’t actually be able to crack open the minds of the presenters and see what’s going on in there, but as a metaphor, it does represent the core philosophy of this lively event. The Lunchtime Surgeries offer attendees a chance to sit with the presenters at large roundtables and ask lots of questions. It’s one of the most popular portions of the bootcamp, and I’ll be looking forward to it!
If you’ll be attending the GDC Audio Track, then I highly recommend the Audio Bootcamp on Tuesday, March 3rd. Hope to see you there!
I’m very pleased to report that I was invited to be interviewed on the celebrated Top Score Podcast, and the interview was just released today! You can listen to the entire interview here:
I was interviewed by Emily Reese, a formidable presence in the game music industry. As a host at Classical Minnesota Public Radio, Reese has produced and hosted this special podcast dedicated to the field of game music since April of 2011. The podcast specializes in interviews with game music composers, and has produced over 129 episodes so far. In this capacity, Reese is a champion of game music and the people who make it. She has predicted that game music will one day join the playlists of classical radio stations, right alongside the music of Vaughan Williams, Bernstein or Mozart. “There are some scores where absolutely that will happen,” Reese says. “Some of these composers should be remembered in 100, 200 or 300 years. They’re that good.”
I had a wonderful time last week, speaking before a lively and enthusiastic audience at the Society of Composers & Lyricists seminar, “Inside the World of Game Music.” Organized by Greg Pliska (board member of the SCL NY), the event was moderated by steering committee member Elizabeth Rose and attended by a diverse audience of composers and music professionals. Also, steering committee member Tom Salta joined the discussion remotely from his studio via Skype.
Towards the beginning of the evening, I was asked how I got my first big break in the game industry. While I’d related my “big break” experience in my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, it was fun sharing those memories with such a great audience, and I’ve included a video clip from that portion of the seminar.
After the event, we all headed over to O’Flanagan’s Irish Pub for great networking and good times at the official NYC SCL/Game Audio Network Guild G.A.N.G. Hang. I especially enjoyed sharing some stories and getting to know some great people there! Thanks to everyone who attended the SCL NYC seminar!
I’m pleased to announce that my book has won an Annual Game Music Award from Game Music Online!
Founded in 2003, the Game Music Online site specialises in daily news, high-quality reviews, insightful interviews, and comprehensive artist profiles in the field of video game music. Since 2010, the staff of accomplished music journalists of Game Music Online has presented awards in many categories that acknowledge the diversity and range of the video game music genre.
A Composer’s Guide to Game Music isn’t the first of its kind, but it’s certainly among the very best. LittleBigPlanet composer Winifred Phillips offered an accessible yet deep insight into the process of making game music, balancing a focus on creative aspects with considerations of technical and business aspects.
The Annual Game Music Awards are organized by Chris Greening, who leads a distinguished staff of music journalists in providing vibrant articles and reviews for their Game Music Online readers. In this capacity, Greening has reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of Game Music Online, Greening has built a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for video game music enthusiasts. Adding to his accomplishments, Greening will soon be co-authoring the companion book to the highly-anticipated upcoming documentary, “Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound.”
Thanks so much to Game Music Online for recognizing my book in the Best Publication Category of the Annual Game Music Awards!
The use of third-party audio middleware in game development is a slow-growth trend that will doubtless become more influential in the future, so I thought I’d devote my next two blog entries to some recent video tutorials produced by a few intrepid game audio pros who have stepped forward to help the community.
This first blog is devoted to Wwise, and the tutorials come to us courtesy of Michael Kamper, Senior Audio Developer at Telltale Games. With over 16 years of experience in audio production, Michael has served as Audio Director for The Bureau: Xcom Declassified, Bioshock 2 DLC, and Bioshock 2, among others. Michael has also enjoyed a successful career as a feature film sound designer for such movies as Mission Impossible III, The Day After Tomorrow, Legally Blonde, and many more. His experience in television includes sound design for Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Profiler.
In the following two-part video tutorial, Michael generously details his Wwise workflow during music implementation for The Bureau: Xcom Declassified:
Wwise Interactive Music Demo – The Bureau – Part 1 – Switches
Wwise Interactive Music Demo – The Bureau – Part 2 – Segments/RTPCs