Composing Scores for Video Games

Hello Composers!
Would like to ask you one question out of curiosity, how composers compose music for major video games like: Call of Duty, Skyrim, Gears of War, God of War, Uncharted and so on?
What I mean when they compose music for movies it’s understandable because all movies have time limits/ duration.
But what about video games? I for example can play in Uncharted for hours (I don’t play video games anymore but been playing for 20 years) and the thing is that maybe I didn’t pay any attention to this but what if it takes me 1 hour to play in 1st level of a game, so music cannot last for so long. So in this case they use scores as loops, and do game level have their limits and duration for composers? Because if it takes me to play for 1 hour in 1 game level so a how much time a composer is given to compose a music for the same level? Some games are very long like Skyrim or GTA (don’t know maybe there are now even much longer games I don’t play now at all the last games I played were “Max Payne 3” and “Uncharted 3” it was like in 2013). So if you know much more about composing process for video games can you please share the info in comments! Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Aloha! Ive been composing for games for a little bit now. Its completely different since the games length and things that happen in the game are all triggered by input from the player.

Composing for them is pretty interesting. I try to avoid loops. When integrating the music into the game, I use a middleware called Wwise. A lot of things need to be taken into consideration.

Your entire composition probably wont be heard. For example… You make 10 mins of music for a section of the game… The player finishes this secrion of the game in 7 minutes… It fades out and the next part of the game begins. Music isnt the main focus of the game, so being able to fade one segment out and fade another one in seemlessly is the point. This can be done easily with “stingers”.

There is a LOT of information on this. I think thr best place to begin is to check out wwise. Its a great program, and understanding it and the game development process will help with composition.


interesting… I will look into it…

It looks like a whole new environment, as if it was a walled DAW with its own procedures and plugins.