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Lessons learned from a composer turned game developer

After composing music for SimCity and Assassin’s Creed Unity, Chris Tilton remarks on his experiences creating soundscapes for a game created by a studio he founded.
"You're [normally] dealing with someone who knows all of that stuff, but you don't and you're trying to give them what they need. There's always a bit of disconnect."

- Chris Tilton comments on how composing for a game of his own design differs from his past experiences creating music for games.

In a recent story from The Verge, Chris Tilton explained how he went from composing music for games like Assassin’s Creed Unity and SimCity to going hands-on with game development to create the upcoming isometric adventure game Divide.

While the story contains some insightful lessons learned by the composer turned game developer, his take on how hands-on experience with a game changed his composition process is especially interesting.

Tilton’s experiences both creating music for and developing certain aspects of a game made by his own studio highlight some of the unique benefits gained by his being a composer with intimate knowledge of the game he's writing for. 

“Sometimes when I’ve played the games I worked on, I thought ‘It would’ve been good to know this or that. A lot of times with games they ask for the music for this scenario that ends up changing a bunch after you finish the music,” explained Tilton.

“I was so hands-on with the narrative and the pacing and all of that stuff, so I was able to write ideas early on and let them sit a while, see if they were working or not working, and go back and change things. That’s something you don’t get to do often on a game. You’re [normally] dealing with someone who knows all of that stuff, but you don’t, and you’re trying to give them what they need. There’s always a bit of disconnect.”

For more about Tilton’s experience developing and composing music for Divide, check out the full story over at The Verge. 

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