Nonfiction Book Award Status: Gold Award
Title: A Composer’s Guide to Game Music
Author Name: Winifred Phillips
Music in video games is often a sophisticated, complex composition that serves to engage the player, set the pace of play, and aid interactivity. Composers of video game music must master an array of specialized skills not taught in the conservatory, including the creation of linear loops, music chunks for horizontal resequencing, and compositional fragments for use within a generative framework. In A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, Winifred Phillips — herself an award-winning composer of video game music — provides a comprehensive, practical guide that leads an aspiring video game composer from acquiring the necessary creative skills to understanding the function of music in games to finding work in the field.
Musicians and composers may be drawn to game music composition because the game industry is a multibillion-dollar, employment-generating economic powerhouse, but, Phillips writes, the most important qualification for a musician who wants to become a game music composer is a love of video games. Phillips offers detailed coverage of essential topics, including musicianship and composition experience; immersion; musical themes; music and game genres; workflow; working with a development team; linear music; interactive music, both rendered and generative; audio technology, from mixers and preamps to software; and running a business.
A Composer’s Guide to Game Music offers indispensable guidance for musicians and composers who want to deploy their creativity in a dynamic and growing industry, protect their musical identities while working in a highly technical field, and create great music within the constraints of a new medium.
Winifred Phillips is an award-winning game composer. Some of her video game credits include Assassin’s Creed Liberation, Total War Battles: KINGDOM, God of War, multiple games in the LittleBigPlanet franchise (including LittleBigPlanet 3), The Da Vinci Code, Speed Racer, Shrek the Third, Spore Hero, and many others. Phillips is also the author of the bestselling book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music (The MIT Press 2014), which won the Global Music Award Gold Medal for an exceptional book in the field of music, and was described by The Boston Globe as “the first book designed to help experienced musicians brave the transition to the world of game composing.”
Phillips has received an Interactive Achievement Award / D.I.C.E. Award from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, three Hollywood Music in Media Awards, five Game Audio Network Guild Awards, three Global Music Awards, an IGN Best Score Award, a GameSpot Best Music Award, a GameZone Score of the Year Award, a GameFocus Award, and three Gracie Awards from the Alliance of Women in Media. She has released fifteen albums. Her soundtrack album for the Legend of the Guardians video game was the first video game soundtrack album released by WaterTower Music, the film music record label of Warner Bros. Music Connection Magazine described her as a “superstar of video game music.”