Before the Tech & Unfreezing a Town with Story and Transitions | Kristofer Eng & Gustaf Grefberg
Interactive Music Symposium 2021, presented by Audiokinetic.
Kristofer Eng (Composer/CEO at Elias Software AB) and Gustaf Grefberg (Composer at Hazelight Studios) kicked off the event by sharing their experience as co-composers for the action-adventure game “It Takes Two”. For the first half of their presentation, titled “Before the Tech”, Kristofer highlighted the importance of the prep work that goes into composing and arranging for a game, and provided examples of how scores are composed to evolve. He dived deep into the Vacuum Boss fight music, as well as how and why he and Gustaf set up rules and strictly followed them throughout their collaboration.
For the second half of their presentation, titled "Unfreezing a Town with Story and Transitions", Gustaf touched upon his approach to scoring, as well as what composing for a video game level looks like, from story structure, to the implementation of finished tracks. He also explained how they set out to match the music system with the game’s constant journey forward into new worlds, staying away from loops and music that was noticeably systematic.
To wrap up, Kristofer and Gustaf expressed how much they enjoyed co-composing “It Takes Two”, how they got to combine their different and somewhat-overlapping skill sets, and how the collaboration ended up feeling like a very healthy competition, where they constantly encouraged one another to learn and “step up their game”.
0:00 - Introduction to the Interactive Music Symposium by Simon Ashby
6:39 - Introducing Kristofer Eng and Gustaf Grefberg
7:59 - Kristofer Eng presents 'Before the Tech'
23:00 - Gustaf Grefberg presents 'Unfreezing a Town with Story and Transitions'
35:27 - Kristofer and Gustaf share final thoughts
41:31 - Community Q&A
42:12 - Q1: Have you ever set down any rules to guide your composing which, after living with it for a while, you started hating? Did you typically stick with those rules to the end or change those rules?
44:36 - Q2: What was your personal process of managing transitions between stages? How do you write in-game music that flows naturally but that still is able to stop, start, and change fast? And how does that requirement affect how you compose?
48:04 - Q3: Was there any time where the two of you had clashing opinions in the collaborative process, or did you mostly occupy separate spaces in the composition? How did you resolve these situations?
50:42 - Q4: When you say that there is no repetition music, do you imply there is no form of looping? Or does the music always correspond to the duration of the gameplay sequence?
51:54 - Q5: Can you show us more of how you implemented this in Wwise? Like how long each section is and where you set the loop points?
53:23 - Q6: Are music changes triggered by players - instant, on a beat, next bar, end of a phrase, or all of the above? Did any of your music have rubato?
55:02 - Thank you, Kristofer and Gustaf!
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