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Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures: Exclusive Interview with "Godslayer" Composer Knut Haugen

MikeBMikeB Community ManagerQueens, NYPosts: 5,755Administrator Uncommon

Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer composer and music producer Knut Avenstroup Haugen spoke to our very own Garrett Fuller to discuss the expansion's soundtrack in this exclusive interview.


Game music is very important to the player experience, how do you set the mood of the player in combat, questing, or exploring?

Knut Haugen:

The most important things to convey when you compose music for films or games, are a feeling of mood, time, place and intensity. For exploration you will always try to make the experience richer by creating a musical background that reflects the general mood of the area, the time-period/era in question, where you are and the tension or lack thereof in this particular area. For combat music mood, time and place is equally important, but most importantly you have to raise the intensity level and get the adrenaline pumping in the player. Unique for games – and in particular MMORPGs – is the fact that the player often stays in the same area for hours on end and will hear the music over and over again. This is the biggest challenge for a game composer: You do not want the player to get tired of the music and turn it off, because then he or she will miss out on much of the experience. The solution to this is to vary the music as much as possible. You should also make sure it is not too prominent with too much thematic material, because it will be more annoying to listen to repeatedly. At the same time, to make the music interesting, it needs melodic material. A good game score manages to balance these two conflicting aspects.

Read the full interview here.

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB


  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,527Member Uncommon

    Thanks, great article, I always want to know more about composition for games.

  • AmazingAveryAmazingAvery Age of Conan Advocate UK to CanadaPosts: 6,960Member Uncommon

    Knut I brought the Godslayer soundtrack from itunes for $10 was a good buy thanks. However, where is the redeemable code for the in game item the flute? Lots of people wondering!

    Informative interview, thanks

    Conan Vids Corsair 800d Case/i7 930 @ 4.4ghz/EVGA x58 760 Classified/Corsair Dominator 12GB 1600/Corsair HX1000 PSU/GTX 580x2/Intel X25-M SSD/2x WD 1TB Blacks/Corsair H90 cooler / 1x 28" 1900x1200 monitor/ G-19 Keyboard/ G500 mouse

  • Ngeldu5tNgeldu5t PhoenixPosts: 606Member Uncommon

    I only hope they choose him to write the music for the new Conan movie beause this guy is an amazing composer :)

    In the land of Predators,the lion does not fear the jackals...

  • DarkjinxterDarkjinxter PortsmouthPosts: 174Member

    Kudos to Knut Haugen for creating an outstanding soundtrack for RotG. A masterful mix of European and Asian music.

    I propose a 24th track though Knut, something along the lines of incessant grinding noises.

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,815Member Uncommon

    In addtion to having the best graphics AoC has my all time MMO award for best music. The atmosphere the game could generate is second to none.

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  • Deadman87Deadman87 TromsøPosts: 253Member

    Interesting article :)  Nice to get to read about the greatest MMO composer evar.

    It is preferable not to travel with a dead man.

  • TarotMageTarotMage Tampa, FLPosts: 126Member

    Anyone know where/when the Godslayer soundtrack will be available on CD in the US? I've checked the websites for Best Buy (where I found the 2-disc version of the "Hyborian Adventures" soundtrack), and FunCom. Nothing yet. :(

    Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. - Marie Curie

  • mCalvertmCalvert Tallahassee, FLPosts: 1,283Member

    As good as the AOC music is, I tend to turn off music in MMOs. Mainly becuase its reptitive, I cant hear my combat sounds, and I need to hear vent. But yes, the music is one of the best features of AOC.

  • ASpartanASpartan Honolulu, HIPosts: 24Member Uncommon

    The OST is really about the best I ever listened to in a game.

    Sadly those of us who purchased RotGs from FC get screwed out of the full quality version of the OST; that is simply not right. We should be able to download it directly from FC for crying out loud!

  • DeeweDeewe Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,965Member

    There are 2 purrfect things in AoC only one being the environmental art and even better the second is the soundtrack :)

  • black_isleblack_isle IstanbulPosts: 239Member Uncommon

    Music was almost the first to grab me in AoC. It's probably the best MMO when it comes to music imo.

    I still remember when i first hear the oriental sounds of khemi and the first time i set foot on Cimmeria. Haunting!

  • haratuharatu Tom Price, AKPosts: 409Member

    I always love the music for Po-sha. It feels heroic and dramatic. Gets your blood mixing in the right way. Well done for an excellent score.

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