In Bad Hotel, Addictive iOS Game, Composing Music to Tapped Interactions [Behind the Scenes]

What if a game made you both player and remixer/composer? What if that music plugged into your gameplay brain just like the interactive elements? This week, we get another try at just that – and find out how the whole thing works behind the scenes, with free software you can use, too. If you’re like me, you’ve loved the soaring, gaslight-style music soundtrack, as it makes its sweep across a film, swelling at just the right moments. Or you’ve closed your eyes and enjoyed the frozen narrative of a great score or great record as it washes over you. But …


GlitchHiker: A Game That Dies, Slowly, if You Play Badly

Games have modeled various mechanisms for conveying win and failure, and in particular some abstract simulation of your life force being sucked gradually as you make mistakes. But GlitchHiker is different: play poorly, and it’s not your virtual avatar that dies. The game dies. And following gameplay at the Dutch Game Jam that created it, GlitchHiker has become extinct. (Happily, yes, there is a Windows download.) With gorgeous, elemental visuals and a lovely adaptive music soundtrack, it’s a game you might well feel motivated to try to save. I’ll let the creators explain:


Portal 2’s Musical World, Available Free, in Non-Adaptive Form “For Testing”

Portal 2? It’s only love, and that is all. Following the score in adaptive – and freely-downloadable non-adaptive – form. Photo (CC-BY-ND) _Superbeast_. Game lovers may lap up anything the title Portal touches as though it’s covered in powdered sugar, but resident Valve Software composer Mike Morasky deserves special mention. His music for Portal, and now Portal 2, is dead-on: chilly, atmospheric, dystopian, but also pulsing with energy and able to capture the gaming blockbuster’s strange combination of diabolical cerebral puzzles with wit. It’s all the more impressive, as Morasky has straight-up parodied musical styles in his whimsical Team Fortress …


Game Music Inspiration: Amon Tobin and Sony on Infamous

Wired has a great mini-documentary on the score for the videogame Infamous. It’s chock full of sound design ear candy, not only served by the chops of composer Amon Tobin but the team at Sony Music and Sony’s entertainment division, as well. Curiously, Jonathan Mayer, Music Manager at SCEA, says explicitly that he doesn’t want composers writing interactive music. He’d prefer to have them write a conventional score and then adapt it to the interactive engine. Now, of course, around these parts we like the idea of composers finding ways to write genuinely generative and interactive scores. But in this …


Interactive Audio Folks Converge at GDC: IASIG Meetup

Photo: Ben Hanbury, from a very cool BBC event. Sort of sums up game audio, this. For one area in which forward-thinking digital music types are doing innovative work in game and interactive audio, look no further than the Interactive Audio SIG. They’re doing really interesting stuff in looking at how tools can support future interactive music. And if you are going to GDC, this is another one you’ll want to catch. It’s worth noting that the “interactive” in their title really is just that: this is about all forms of interactive music, not just games per se. Given what …


Weekend Inspiration: Coke Bottle as Tribal Percussion, and the Future of Adaptive Music

Troels Folmann is one of our favorite composers at CDM. The fact that he’s a game composer both incidental and essential — it’s not that he’s scoring a Tomb Raider title that matters, it’s that game composition requires a new, fluid way of thinking about form, and Dr. Folmann (he did a dissertation topic on the subject) is up to the challenge. Digging through recent entries on Troels’ blog is definitely a source of weekend inspiration. I’m fond of found samples, but I tend to record sound making things around the house up close with a mobile recorder for a …