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Default General News - Is Game Music All It Can Be?

November 9th, 2012, 00:30
Gamasutra features and article on game music. How to do it right, how to do it wrong and how it can be enhanced, with plenty of examples to demonstrate the effects.
There is plenty of evidence of the many ways in which video games can be enhanced by a better take on their scoring, elevating them to much greater heights than they have previously attained. The score truly can be another character in the story, adding interjections and subtext of its own. How can we go about effecting such change?
I think the first thing is mere education. Being able to recognize and discern good uses of game music and how they work, and picking them apart from bad, is something from which all video gamers can benefit. Ideally video game reviewers and designers themselves will begin to pick up on such nuances as well, but only if gamers writ large begin to demand it.
As we dip into the uncanny valley and emerge on the other side at nearly photo-realistic visuals, it's no longer enough just to have "good graphics". Over the next decade it will not be good graphics that win recognition, but good and cohesive art design (in truth, this is already happening). The singular artistic vision, contributed to by many — just like a movie — is the future of growth in games. This should — this must — include a much deeper understanding of visual-oriented music scoring and how it can enhance the gaming experience. We must create more immersive, more supportive scores, and the time is now for it to happen.
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