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How to Write Music for Video Games

March 11, 2021 / Collin @ Epic Stock Media

How to Write Music for Video Games: A Guide for Aspiring Game Composers

As video games continue to grow in popularity, so too does the need for skilled composers to write the music that accompanies them. From setting the tone of the game to immersing players in the virtual world, video game music plays a crucial role in the overall gaming experience.

According to Master Class, “Video game music composition has come a long way since 8-bit games”. If you’re an aspiring composer looking to break into the world of video game music, here are some tips to help you get started.

5 Tips to Get you Started on Writing Game Music

How to write music for video games

  1. Study the History of Video Game Music: Study the works of influential game composers and learn about the evolution of game music over the years. This will help you gain inspiration for your own compositions and understand the role that music plays in video games.
  2. Get to Know the Game: Spend time playing the game and get to know its story, characters, and overall aesthetic. This will help you create music that is appropriate for the game and enhances the player experience.
  3. Collaborate with the Game Developer: Working closely with the game developer will ensure that your music supports and enhances the overall experience. It’s important to understand their vision for the game and the role that music will play.
  4. Use Music to Tell a Story: Video game music should help tell the story of the game. Moreover, think about the emotions and moods that the music should convey, and use musical themes and motifs to reinforce the story.

Five More Tips to Ensure the Perfect Game Music Composition

  1. Experiment with Different Musical Styles: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different musical styles and techniques. From orchestral to electronic, hip-hop to rock!
  2. Consider the Interactive Nature of Video Games: Video games are interactive, meaning that the player can influence the game world. When writing music for video games, consider how the music will change and adapt in response to player actions.
  3. Work Within the Constraints of the Game Engine: Writing music for video games often requires working within the constraints of the game engine. Be mindful of memory and processing limitations. Use techniques such as looping and dynamic music to create music that is both efficient and effective.
  4. Playtest your Music: Playtesting your music in the game will help you ensure that it works well and enhances the player experience. Pay attention to the timing, dynamics, and overall balance of the music. Then, make adjustments as necessary.
  5. Build a Diverse Portfolio: Take on as many projects as you can, and build a diverse portfolio of game music compositions. This will help you showcase your skills and demonstrate your versatility as a composer.
  6. Stay Current with Technology: Keeping up to date with the latest software, hardware, and techniques in the field is crucial. Stay ahead of the curve and stay competitive.
Writing Music Comes with Challenges

In addition, writing music for video games is a challenging but rewarding endeavor. By following these tips, you can develop the skills you need to create music. Which in turn, enhances the player experience and contributes to the overall success of the game. Epic Stock Media also provides a Game Maker’s Sound Effects Kit to get you started.

Finally, remember to stay true to your own musical style. Be open to trying new things and pushing your limits. Check out this interesting Beginner’s Guide to Creating Video Game Music by Creative Sauce on YouTube.

Rumblings from the Studio at Epic Stock Media
Rumblings from the Studio is a blog about royalty free sound and digital media products. We talk about sound effects, plugins, samples, SFX, video and the technology around creating and using these in media productions. We write about creating royalty free products that change the way you hear and see audio in games, films, TV, performances etc. Take a look around and thanks for reading.

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Collin @ Epic Stock Media

Co-founder of Epic Stock Media, Collin has several years of experience in sound design and music composition. He has a proven track record for creating original music and sound effects for video games, films, and commercials, most recently with a placement on the film Jumanji. Collin is passionate about creating high quality music and sound effects and is on a mission to help others do the same.<\/span>

How to Write Music for Video Games

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