Today’s the big day! The release of LittleBigPlanet 3 in the USA. I’m so proud to have composed music for this project and been part of the extraordinary music composition team for LittleBigPlanet 3! Just got my LittleBigPlanet 3 Plush Edition, and I couldn’t wait to see what was inside. A new LBP3 sackboy will join my previous LBP2 pal. Here are some pics from the unboxing.
Last week, I spoke at the Montreal International Game Summit. It was a fantastic experience, and I wanted to share a video excerpt of my speech with you! The speech was called, “Music, the Brain, and the Three Levels of Immersion.” I’m grateful to Clement Galiay and Nicolas Bertrand-Verge of the MIGS for the opportunity to speak at this great event! Also, I’d like to give a shout-out to Jean-Frederic Vachon for the tremendous support and encouragement for me to get involved in the MIGS — thanks, JF!!
More about the Montreal International Game Summit:
MIGS was founded in 2004 to meet the needs of the video game sector, which currently represents close to 9,000 workers in Quebec. Ten years later, its mission remains: developing the transfer of knowledge and expertise, increasing exposure for Quebec players abroad and promoting exchanges and communications between stakeholders, making MIGS the East Coast’s leading professional-only event for the games industry.
Music, the Brain, and the Three Levels of Immersion
Music has the power to deepen player immersion through psychological effects documented in scientific research. This talk explored the influence of music on the brain, and how these effects can aid game designers in meeting the criteria necessary for the “Three Levels of Immersion.”
Montreal is a beautiful city, and that’s reflected in the fantastic rainbow-tinted windows of the convention center where the summit was held – the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
The weather was relatively warm while I was there, but I spent most of my time at the summit… although I did enjoy the city views from the enormous walls of windows.
This year’s summit was more vibrant than ever, and the fun began in the wide hallways where attendees could test their video game trivia knowledge by taking part in “The Game Masters” quiz show. I wasn’t brave enough to compete, but I had to get a picture of the set:
The show floor was very exciting this year, with a lot of the activity centering around the two Oculus Rift stations. My attention, though, was caught by two things. First — the AudioKinetic booth, where the Wwise middleware was on display:
And second, this big green guy who was hulking inside the Ubisoft booth. He looks brutish, but don’t let that fool you — he’s a real charmer.
Here’s the big schedule of sessions that was posted at the event. My speech was towards the end of the second day of the summit, right before the MIGS Brain Dump (which is kind of similar to a GDC rant).
My talk was titled, “Music, the Brain, and the Three Levels of Immersion.” It was a great audience!
I had a wonderful time sharing some ideas about the role that music can play in helping gamers to achieve immersion. I’d first explored these ideas in my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, and it was such a joy to explore these ideas with such an enthusiastic audience!
I’ll be posting a video excerpt from my talk soon. It was wonderful to speak at MIGS 2014, and thanks to all the creative and inspiring people I met this year in Montreal – it was a tremendous pleasure!
I was tremendously honored to speak at the Audio Engineering Society’s convention last month, and I thought I’d share a video excerpt from my speech, which was entitled “Effective Interactive Music Systems: The Nuts and Bolts of Dynamic Musical Content.” Many thanks to Steve Martz and Bob Lee at the Audio Engineering Society for organizing an outstanding event!
More about the AES:
The Audio Engineering Society is the only professional society devoted exclusively to audio technology. Founded in the United States in 1948, the AES has grown to become an international organization that unites audio engineers, creative artists, scientists and students worldwide by promoting advances in audio and disseminating new knowledge and research. Currently, over 14,000 members are affiliated with more than 75 AES professional sections and more than 95 AES student sections around the world. Conventions, which include scientific presentations, student activities, workshops, and exhibitions, are held annually both in the US and Europe. Additional conferences and regional summits are held periodically throughout Latin America, Asia, Europe, and North America.
Effective Interactive Music Systems: The Nuts and Bolts of Dynamic Musical Content
Interactive methodologies have profoundly impacted the way that music is recorded, mixed and integrated in video games. From horizontal resequencing and vertical layering techniques for the interactive implementation of music recordings, to MIDI and generative systems for the manipulation of music data, the structure of game music poses serious challenges both for the composer and for the game audio engineer. This talk will examine the procedures for designing interactive music models and implementing them effectively into video games. The talk will include comparisons between additive and interchange systems in vertical layering, the lessons that can be learned from conventional stem mixing, the use of markers for switching between segments, and how to disassemble a traditionally composed piece of music for use within an interactive system.
Hey, everyone! After my blog yesterday about winning the Hollywood Music in Media Award, I’ve received a bunch of questions about LittleBigPlanet 3 and the Hollywood Music in Media Awards program – so I thought I’d post some info that explains everything in a bit more detail. It’s a little easier to do this in third person, so here goes – I hope this helps!
On November 4th, game composer Winifred Phillips received a 2014 Hollywood Music in Media Award (HMMA) in the category of “Best Song in a Video Game” for music she composed for the LittleBigPlanet 3 video game (developed by Sumo Digital Ltd. and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, LLC).
As one of the composers on the LittleBigPlanet™3 music composer team, Phillips was recognized for her song, “LittleBigPlanet 3 Ziggurat Theme.”
Info about LittleBigPlanet 3:
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced the news about this award on November 6th via their official LittleBigPlanet twitter feed.
The critically acclaimed and best-selling PlayStation® franchise LittleBigPlanet™ makes its debut on PlayStation®4 with LittleBigPlanet™3. Sackboy™ is back, this time with playable new friends – Toggle, OddSock and Swoop – each with their own unique abilities and personalities. This handcrafted adventure is set to revolutionize the way gamers Play, Create and Share in the world of LittleBigPlanet.
Sumo Digital Ltd, the developer of LittleBigPlanet 3, has forged a reputation as a World Class multiple award-winning independent game development studio. The company has grown exponentially over 11-years from 15, to 270 people spread across the Head Office in Sheffield, UK and a dedicated Art Studio in Pune, India. Sumo Digital is one of the UK’s leading game development studios.
Info about the Hollywood Music in Media Awards:
The Hollywood Music in Media Award ceremony was held on November 4th 2014 at 7pm at the Fonda Theater (6126 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood). The Hollywood Music in Media Awards recognizes and honors the creation of music for film, TV, and videogames, the talented individuals responsible for licensing it and musicians both mainstream and independent, from around the globe. The HMMAs is co-branded with Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music Conference. HMMA advisory board, selections committee and voters include National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Oscar, Emmy, Society of Composers and Lyricists and Guild of Music Supervisors members.
Additional info about Winifred Phillips (the LittleBigPlanet franchise and the HMMAs):
Phillips’ award-winning track, “LittleBigPlanet 3 Ziggurat Theme,” from LittleBigPlanet™3, is a highly interactive musical work, written as a complex classical fugue, and incorporating an organic, world-music influenced instrumental arrangement in support of an 18-voice women’s choir. Phillips has received two previous Hollywood Music in Media Awards – in 2012 for Assassin’s Creed Liberation (Ubisoft®) and in 2010 for the Legend of the Guardians (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment). Phillips is one of the composers on the LittleBigPlanet music composer team, and has created tracks for six games in the series, including LittleBigPlanet 2, LittleBigPlanet 2 Toy Story, LittleBigPlanet Cross Controller, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita, LittleBigPlanet Karting, and now LittleBigPlanet 3.
Phillips’ work as a composer for the LittleBigPlanet game series has earned her previous awards nominations from the Game Audio Network Guild Awards, the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, the NAViGaTR Awards and the D.I.C.E. Interactive Achievement Awards. Phillips works with award-winning music producer Winnie Waldron for all her projects, including those in the LittleBigPlanet franchise. Phillips is also the author of the book A COMPOSER’S GUIDE TO GAME MUSIC, published in 2014 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.
My latest project is music for the game LittleBigPlanet 3. I was a member of the composer team for that project, and I composed many tracks for the game. One of those tracks is entitled “LittleBigPlanet 3 Ziggurat Theme.” It’s a classically-inspired vocal fugue written for an 18-voice women’s choir, and I’m thrilled to say that on November 4th, my track won a Hollywood Music in Media Award in the category of Best Song for a Video Game!
Since Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced the award today, I can now share it with all of you. I’ve been bursting with excitement over my involvement in LittleBigPlanet 3 — it’s going to be the best LittleBigPlanet game ever, and I’m so honored to have been a part of it! I’ve been keeping the secret for a while.
Here I am at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles this past June, looking at the wonderful booth for LittleBigPlanet 3.
Of course, my favorite will always be Sackboy. Just look at that face! What’s not to love?
Doesn’t OddSock look like he’s whispering a secret in my ear? I suppose we really were keeping a big secret then, and I’m so glad I can share it now with you all.
Well, that’s my big announcement. I’ve been keeping this secret for almost two years. Working with the wonderful creative team at Sumo Digital and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe on music for LittleBigPlanet 3 has been a wonderful adventure, and I’m so excited that the game will be released on November 18th!
I’m very excited to share that my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, has been reviewed by the nation’s leading writer on the subject of music for films and television, Jon Burlingame! As the most respected journalist in the field of music for visual media, Jon Burlingame writes regularly for Variety, and also contributes to The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Newsday, Emmy, Premiere and The Hollywood Reporter.
His review article about my book appeared in the Film Music Society features section. He described the book as a “beautifully organized, intelligently written book about music for games,” and said that “gamers as well as composers may be fascinated by her thorough analysis of what music works, and why, in various game genres.”
I’m both humbled and elated by this review, and very happy to share it with you! You can read the complete review here.