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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?
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