We all know that Olivier Deriviere is an innovative and creative composer. Every game he touches has an extraordinary soundtrack. In the 2018 Wwise Interactive Music Symposium he revealed some of his composing tricks and tips as well as his general approach towards video game scoring.
It is important to think like a gamer.
For many devs a composer is not a part of the team, he said, but only a music provider and the music for the game is only a .WAV file for them. This is okay for many composers but Olivier emphasized that being in a close relationship with the devs is key. First of all, discussing a lot with them about their game and their expectations may be vital to creating an interesting score.
Secondly, scoring for films is different than scoring for games. For the movies, the script is the core yet for the games – the gameplay. That is why when you are scoring a game, you should ask a lot about what the gameplay would be like, then the story and other aspects. Also, writing a soundtrack for a game gives you more freedom than for a movie since the gaming industry is more open to experiments and has less limitations.
For many devs a composer is not a part of the team.
Furthermore, it is not you and your “composer’s ego” nor the devs satisfaction that is most important when writing music for games. The most important are gamers because they are the final receivers of the product. A composer writes music for them, not for themselves or the devs. Also, Olivier emphasized that you should be a gamer and play all the games you score, since it is important to think like a gamer and understand the specificity of the medium you work with.
Finally, Olivier mentioned about the importance of embracing technology. For video game composers being familiar with it and learning the abilities of such a powerful tool like the Wwise middleware is very important. It gives them a lot of opportunities, as he demonstrated on an example of his Vampyr soundtrack and, most importantly, the score for Get Even (for me the score of the past decade). I highly recommend watching this Olivier Deriviere’s presentation. Lots of useful information which are priceless especially for the beginners.