CCOG for MUC 286 Spring 2024

Course Number:
MUC 286
Course Title:
Game Audio: Music
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces creative and technical skills required to compose music for video games and adjacent interactive experiences. Introduces fundamentals in compositional theory as it pertains to games as well as technical requirements to produce music that behaves effectively during game runtime. Covers the theory of interactivity in music, how it affects the gameplay experience, and how to leverage those techniques while composing their music. Includes video game music throughout the history of game development. Recommended: knowledge of a DAW, basic audio recording and production. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Design an interactive music structure using vertical remixing, horizontal resequencing, and other common techniques using data driven input from a game, either from player input or through the action of game systems.
  • Utilize the FMOD and Wwise audio middleware tools to realize interactive music structures.
  • Analyze a game, either in pre-production or active development, in order to designate an appropriate and effective sonic palette.
  • Compose music that can sync to linear events such as cutscenes or scripted events in a game.
  • Produce musical assets that meet the specific technical needs of a game audio pipeline.
  • Compile a portfolio of music intended for use in games that can be used as reel for networking and job application purposes.

Course Activities and Design

  • Scoring assignments
  • Rescoring of existing video game cutscenes (linear music structure).
  • Creation and production of an interactive musical structure for a game demo.
  • Instructor led demonstration of creative and technical processes for game music.
  • Evaluation of styles and techniques used in modern game music as well as historically important game titles.
  • Exploration of various game audio pipelines and how to work effectively within them.
  • Surveys into the business of video game music.
  • Technical instruction on various tools to create game music: such as Chiptune trackers, sampled instruments, sample engines like Kontakt, and synthesizers.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Grades will be determined by measuring student competency in the related subject matter. Methods used to determine competency may include:

Practical Examinations
Quantitative/Qualitative Examinations
Individual projects
Peer Reviews/Evaluations

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Foundation and history of video game music (VGM)
  • Critical and analytical listening
  • Deconstruction of famous video game scores
  • Interactive music design
  • Linear music composition
  • Game audio pipeline
  • Business of VGM
  • Aesthetics of VGM
  • Music production, synthesis, and virtual instruments