James Hannigan talks videogame soundtrack composition

By Stephany Nunneley, Thursday, 12 March 2009 01:30 GMT


Recently the music composer for Harry Potter and Red Alert 3, James Hannigan, sat down with the BBC and chatted about the challenges that come with composing music for games.

Hannigan says the main challenge is writing for scenes that he has not personally viewed, which is never the case with television or movies. Games, especially, do not follow a “conventional linear narrative” and the composition between third- and first-person offerings is a completely different thing all together.

In first-person games, he said, “You’re sending out the message that this is you, this is your eyes and ears,” and more prominent music could “conflict” with the immersion in a first-person game.

Third-person, however, is approached differently.

“You’re in control, but there’s also a sense that you’re part of an interactive audience,” he said. “So there is room to have more manipulative music that treats you at least partly as an audience”.

Hannigan also mentioned that he is thrilled that game music gets the younger generations interested in classical music.

Full thing over on BBC.

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