From Total War to Assassin’s Creed: Music for Mobile Games (GDC 2016)


Winifred Phillips speaking about interactive music systems at GDC 2015

I’m so pleased to announce that I’ve been selected as a speaker for the Game Developers Conference 2016, which will take place from March 14th to the 18th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  Very happy to be speaking again at GDC!  Last year I gave the #3 top-rated talk in the audio track, which is the collection of presentations focused on audio during the conference.  Last year’s slate of audio talks was thoroughly awesome, so I was really excited to be voted the #3 talk that year, and it’s a tremendous honor to have been invited back to give another game audio presentation. This time my talk at GDC will focus on composing effective music for mobile games!

GDC 2016 - Winifred Phillips

Mobile games are quickly becoming the most popular and successful gaming platform, with blockbuster mobile games becoming as famous as their console and PC counterparts.  My talk will be entitled “From Total War to Assassin’s Creed: Music for Mobile Games.”  Here’s the description of my talk from the GDC 2016 web site, along with images of some of the projects I’ll be discussing:

From Total War to Assassin’s Creed: Music for Mobile/Handheld Games presents tips for crafting effective music for portable gaming. In addition to her many console and PC titles, composer Winifred Phillips’ credits include six portable games (Total War Battles: Kingdom, Assassin’s Creed Liberation Vita, LittleBigPlanet Vita, Call of Champions, Clash of Kings, Speed Racer DS, Shrek the Third DS). Phillips will discuss the challenges in composing music for the booming mobile games industry. By examining the structure of portable game design, Phillips will explore the role that music plays during “on-the-go” gameplay. Phillips will discuss approaches that allow music to accentuate portable gameplay while maximizing aesthetic impact and player enjoyment. Through examples from both her own projects and other well-known titles, Phillips will address technical issues of audio fidelity and dynamic implementation, offering solutions that expand the utility of music in portable titles.

Through detailed examples from many successful titles, Phillips will provide an analysis of artistic and technical approaches that resulted in highly effective scores for mobile/handheld games. This discussion will provide attendees with practical knowledge that can be applied to their own projects.

Intended Audience
This session is for anyone interested in mobile/handheld games, interactive music systems and music implementation strategies. Simple approaches to scoring for portable games will be accessible to attendees at all levels, while more advanced attendees will appreciate the innovative solutions applied to problems related to memory, audio fidelity, and dynamic implementation.

Speaker Biography
Winifred Phillips is an award-winning game composer and author. Some of her credits as a game composer include Total War Battles: Kingdom, Assassin’s Creed Liberation, The Da Vinci Code, God of War, Speed Racer, Shrek the Third, Spore Hero and multiple games in the LittleBigPlanet franchise, among many others. She has received three Global Music Awards, an Interactive Achievement Award / D.I.C.E. Award from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, three Hollywood Music in Media Awards, six Game Audio Network Guild Awards, an IGN Best Score Award, a GameSpot Best Music Award, a GameZone Score of the Year Award, a GameFocus Award, and three Gracie Awards from the Alliance of Women in Media. She has released fifteen albums. Her soundtrack album for the Legend of the Guardians video game was the first video game soundtrack album released by WaterTower Music, the film music record label of Warner Bros. She has been profiled in books such as Keeping Score by Tom Hoover, Cash Tracks by Jeffrey P. Fischer, In Her Own Words: Conversations with Composers in the United States by Dr. Jennifer Kelly, and in Music Connection Magazine, which called her a “Superstar of Video Game Music.” Phillips is the author of the award-winning, bestselling book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music (The MIT Press), which was described by The Boston Globe as “the first book designed to help experienced musicians brave the transition to the world of game composing.” A Composer’s Guide to Game Music has won a Global Music Award for an exceptional book in the field of music, a National Indie Excellence Book Award, a Nonfiction Book Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association, and an Annual Game Music Award in the category of Best Publication.


Studio1_GreenWinifred Phillips is an award-winning video game music composer whose most recent project is the triple-A first person shooter Homefront: The Revolution. Her credits include five of the most famous and popular franchises in video gaming: Assassin’s Creed, LittleBigPlanet, Total War, God of War, and The Sims. She is the author of the award-winning bestseller A COMPOSER’S GUIDE TO GAME MUSIC, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. As a VR game music expert, she writes frequently on the future of music in virtual reality video games. Follow her on Twitter @winphillips.


6 responses to “From Total War to Assassin’s Creed: Music for Mobile Games (GDC 2016)

  1. Way to go Winifred! I really wanted to attend the 48 hr Train Jam that arrives at the GDC, it looks like I missed my opportunity to enter this year, next year perhaps! It would be awesome to make it to the conference and congratulations for being invited to speak again!

  2. Pingback: A Composer’s Guide to Game Music in 2015 | Composer Winifred Phillips

Leave a Reply