Happy Holidays, everyone! 2015 has been a really memorable year for me, and a successful one for my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music. Writing this book not only allowed me to express my excitement about game music, but also opened up my world to a huge community of game music enthusiasts that I’m now proud to call friends.
I’ve been delighted to meet so many people who have read my book – from aspiring composers, to scholars and educators, to game audio pros. It’s been tremendously gratifying!
I’d like to spend this blog recapping the events of 2015 as they related to my book, and I’ll also be sharing some book-related resources and tutorials that I created in 2015 (in case you missed them). Happy Holidays, everyone, and thank you so much for your tremendous support this year!
The North American Conference on Video Game Music
On January 18th in Fort Worth, Texas, I gave the keynote speech at the North American Conference On Video Game Music. What a fantastic gathering of scholars and game music experts! Here’s a video excerpt from my keynote:
Also, I enjoyed participating in a lively Q&A session sponsored by the TCU Society of Composers during the conference. You can read a partial transcript of that Q&A here.
Finally, the conference held a wonderful book signing event for A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, and I had the pleasure of signing lots of books and meeting lots of wonderful folks! You can see photos from that book signing event here.
Society of Composers and Lyricists seminar
On February 9th 2015, I discussed various concepts from my game music book at a Society of Composers and Lyricists seminar in New York City. Here’s an excerpt of that seminar in which I discuss how I got my big break in game music:
Game Music Online’s Annual Game Music Award
On February 12th, my book won an Annual Game Music Award from Game Music Online in the category of “Best Publication.” More information here.
Top Score Podcast
On February 19th, Minnesota Public Radio aired an interview I did with Emily Reese of the Top Score Podcast about my work as a game composer and my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music. You can listen to that interview here.
Game Developers Conference 2015 Talk and Book Signing
On March 6th I presented a talk on the music system of the LittleBigPlanet franchise. Entitled “LittleBigPlanet 3 and Beyond: Taking Your Score to Vertical Extremes,” the talk explored the Vertical Layering music system that has been employed in all of the LittleBigPlanet games (and that I discussed at length in my book). I also posted a blog that included some key concepts from that GDC talk – you can read that article here.
In addition, I signed many copies of my book during an official book signing at the GDC conference bookstore – you can see photos from that event here.
RPGFan Music of the Year Feature
On April 4th, I was interviewed for RPGFan’s “Music of the Year” celebration. The interview includes lots of discussion of my book, as well as some advice for aspiring composers. You can read the interview here.
The Los Angeles Review of Books
On April 13th, my book received an excellent review from the prestigious Los Angeles Review of Books! You can read that review here.
Video Game Music Online VGMO Interiew
On May 7th, VGMOnline.net posted an interview with me that discussed my work on the LittleBigPlanet franchise, and my reasons for writing a book about composing game music. You can read that interview here.
National Indie Excellence Award
On May 18th, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music won a National Indie Excellence Award in the “Performing Arts (Film, Theater, Dance & Music)” category. You can read more about that here.
The Note Show Podcast
On June 5th, I was interviewed by Joshua Note of The Note Show about my book, and my work as a game composer. You can hear that interview here.
Nonfiction Book Awards
On July 9th, my book became a Gold Winner of the Nonfiction Book Awards. More information here.
Japanese Translation Released by O’Reilly Books
The Japanese translation of A Composer’s Guide to Game Music was released in Japan on August 26th and quickly rocketed to the top of the Amazon Japan bestsellers chart for books about digital music. More info here.
Three-Part Series of Articles on Arranging for Vertical Layers
Beginning on September 17th, I wrote a three-part series of articles for Gamasutra as a compliment to A Composer’s Guide to Game Music. The articles focused on arrangement techniques for interactive music in vertical layers. You can read those articles here:
Audio Engineering Society Convention Speech
On October 31st, I participated in a panel on game audio during the Audio Engineering Society Convention at the Jacob Javitts Center in New York City. The following day, I gave a presentation on the music of the LittleBigPlanet franchise. Here’s an excerpt from that presentation:
On November 24th, the Beep Documentary released a webisode of the interview that they conducted with me for their upcoming documentary film (to be premiered in Spring 2016).
In the video, I discuss my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, and place it within the context of a game composer’s day-to-day working life. Here’s the 39 minute video in its entirety:
GDC Presentation 2016
On December 8th, I was able to announce my Game Developers Conference presentation for the upcoming 2016 conference. My talk will be entitled “From Total War to Assassin’s Creed: Music for Mobile Games” and it will include concepts from my book, in addition to my recent experiences with music composition for mobile games. Read more here.
It was a wonderful 2015, and I’m excited about the upcoming year. Thanks to everyone who supported me and my book in 2015!
Winifred Phillips is an award-winning video game music composer whose most recent project is the triple-A first person shooter Homefront: The Revolution. Her credits include five of the most famous and popular franchises in video gaming: Assassin’s Creed, LittleBigPlanet, Total War, God of War, and The Sims. She is the author of the award-winning bestseller A COMPOSER’S GUIDE TO GAME MUSIC, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. As a VR game music expert, she writes frequently on the future of music in virtual reality video games. Follow her on Twitter @winphillips.