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Video Games Live at Gen Con

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the it's-a-[clatter]-pleasure-to-meet-you dept.

22

GameDaily reports on the upcoming concerts at this year's Gen Con. Video Games Live will be playing this Friday and Saturday, to coincide with the second and third days of the annual RPG event. From the article: "'Performing Video Games Live with such a distinguished orchestra, venue, and convention helps to further legitimize the important cultural and artistic aspects of video games and their music,' said Tommy Tallarico, famed video game composer and co-creator/executive producer of Video Games Live." I uh, won't be able to make them. Because, you know, I'll be gaming.

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A video game concert... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15861974)

I guess someone ran out of good ideas for putting on a concert.

Re:A video game concert... (3, Informative)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15862019)

Erm, if this [youtube.com] isn't a good idea to get younger people interested in orchestras (and their possibilities besides "boring" classical pieces), I don't know what is. The link leads to an 8-minute vid of them in action; Great stuff imo.

Re:A video game concert... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15862092)

Oh, wow, I just had my entire childhood flashed before my eyes. And a headache to boot. That was interesting. ;)

Re:A video game concert... (1)

dfsmith (960400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15862283)

I saw the San Jose concert. The choral pieces (Halo, etc.) were just wonderful. Just as good as more "classical" concerts. Also the real-time-Frogger music was a very interesting concept. But it was hard to really listen to because my brain kept screaming "why did you jump there?!" while they were playing.

Re:A video game concert... (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15864715)

Why would you say that someone ran out of good ideas for a concert? Video games have always had fantastic music. How could anyone think otherwise?

Re:A video game concert... (1)

illumina+us (615188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15865012)

Video games have some truly good music, especially RPGs. But yeah, what a bad idea it would be to have an orchestrated [square-enix-usa.com] video [square-enix-usa.com] game [square-enix-usa.com] concert [play-symphony.com] . I mean, who in their right mind would attend such a thing? Obviously they are never sold [music4games.net] out [play-symphony.com] , right?

It's interesting the advancement of music in games (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15862008)

I am an old school gamer. I remember when the great sound tracks were Final Fantasy VI and to an extent Link to the Past.

This event is being held at an RPG event, but if ever there was a time it should make the jump to an all over event now. No longer is well done scores held only to the RPG. Metal Gear Solid had an amazing score along side it.

It's true that many games instead opt for commercial music, but at the same time, many more games such as Ico and Shadows of the Colossus and even god of war are working towards better music. It was only a generation or two ago that the only places a real score was worked on was RPGs and even there it was mostly in the SquareSoft realm to really put the resources these companies are able to place on it now.

The question is with the way the price of music is (at least 50K just to have a song in a tv show), will more games opt for a cheaper but more personalized soundtrack. It's true it wouldn't be worth the effort for large games like GTA, where the music needs to be licensed, but for a game like Dead rising, the entire game can last with out a single licensed piece of music, and can have some interesting applications of music.

In it's own area look at Konami's extreme amounts of music that they have produced for the bemani series. That alone tells me that game studios may be able to produce music on the same levels as Record studios, perhaps for a fraction of the price.

Re:It's interesting the advancement of music in ga (1)

Saxophonist (937341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15864192)

That alone tells me that game studios may be able to produce music on the same levels as Record studios, perhaps for a fraction of the price.

Interesting. My concept of recent video game music is more like film music, but with more possibilities due to non-linearity. It should be possible to have a very effective soundtrack without huge "forces" (composers refer to the number of performers required to perform a composition in this manner) with a more reasonable budget. This soundtrack would not necessarily be among the greatest ever, but it might be more effective than a commercial music ripoff.

One of my life goals is to, at some point, write and produce a video game score. I never seem to have enough time to do it; I was trying last summer to find an open-source game that I was sure would actually be produced, but even then, it really wasn't a project for which I could do justice in a summer. Once I'm not in school anymore in three years or so, I might be interested in a commercial video game project, if someone was willing to hire someone with "only" a bachelor's degree in composition. (I'm a doctoral student in performance. Hey, maybe I could even play on the soundtrack.)

Was there a point to this post? Probably not. This is Slashdot, after all. But if there was a point, it would be that creativity might help with budget issues, enabling more video games to have quality music.

Re:It's interesting the advancement of music in ga (1)

Loligo (12021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15864690)

>I am an old school gamer. I remember when the great sound
>tracks were Final Fantasy VI and to an extent Link to the
>Past.

FFVI? "old school gamer"? Uhm... well... no.

Go back to Loom (an early Lucas release) and Wing Commander in 1990, or any of the other projects involving The Fat Man (George Sanger).

Check out some of the Apple II stuff Origin did with the Mockingboard, particularly Ultima V.

There were great computer soundtracks back in at LEAST the mid 80s, if not earlier. Sometimes you just had to pay a little extra for the hardware (SB16s are a dime a dozen now, but back when an AdLib card ran $200 or more... imagine what it was like paying for a Mockingboard Sound II, much less two of them for maximum effect on Ultima V).

  -l

Re:It's interesting the advancement of music in ga (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15864723)

There were great computer soundtracks back in at LEAST the mid 80s, if not earlier.

I know for a fact that Last Ninja 2's soundtrack from 1988 (Commodore 64) is one of the best ever. Matt Gray even covered some Tangerine Dream music for it.

Re:It's interesting the advancement of music in ga (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15866162)

Those were less scoring and more properly manipulating midi, but yes. Wing Commander and Loom both had excellent scores for their time. The problem with Wing Commander that I remember is you heard the same bit of music after every battle, the same bit of music for the battle, but it was well done.

And people didn't buy Adlib cards. They bought Adlib Compatible to save 50 bucks. Yes they had to work on the settings in the games, but they saved money :)

Re:It's interesting the advancement of music in ga (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 8 years ago | (#15866628)

Those were less scoring and more properly manipulating midi

Why make a distinction between the two?

If anything, MIDI scoring is more difficult than scoring for live musicians. A human musician is trained to give nuance to the music, to balance within the ensemble, to make the music sound natural. To get the same effect out of a group of crude electronic waveform generators, or even a set of looped samples of real musicians, is a painstaking task involving a lot of data shaping. The musicianship has to be added in manually, one byte at a time.

Re:It's interesting the advancement of music in ga (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15870496)

Oh I'm surely not saying that a human musician has an easier job than Midi Scoring. The distinction I'm making is more that the Midi is clever use of hardware rather then expertly done music. Do I think that the guy who did FF6 is better than wing commander? not in the least (and when we factor in my personal hero's name (Spector) to the equation WC is much better) but at the same time, it's not the same style score. FF6 score was done by a musician for the most part. Wing Commander score was done by a programmer. Their greatness is equal, but their path is definatly different.

Re:It's interesting the advancement of music in ga (2, Informative)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15865787)

It was only a generation or two ago that the only places a real score was worked on was RPGs

Totally untrue. Sierra and Lucasarts adventure games all had fantastic scores based on the mood and setting of scenes. Countless Nintendo games like Ducktails, Contra, Kirby's Dream Land, and and the Super Mario Brothers series had memorable and professional soundtracks. Even games for the Commodore 64 and Tandy took advantage of those systems' advanced sound and music processors.

Saying that RPGs had the only legitimate soundtracks is just an opinion, and certainly not the most common one. Even my parents would play Tetris and Dr. Mario with the music on even though they'd heard the songs a million times.

What are they playing? (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15862009)

Anyone ever play 1942 for nintendo 8 bit? That's my nomination for the worst music ever.

Chicago Show (1)

SirusTheVirus (258106) | more than 8 years ago | (#15863098)

I just saw the performance at the Rosemont Theatre outside Chicago (coinciding with Wizard World). It was a lot of fun... performances including: Classic Video games (Pong opened the night), Frogger competition onstage, Mario, Final Fantasy, Halo, Castlevania, World of Warcraft, Sonic, Medal of Honor, motion tracked Space Invaders challenge onstage, God of War, Beyond Good and Evil, Tron, Advent Rising, and more...

The Question (1)

Asm-Coder (929671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15863834)

I would like to attend this. Would you?

Re:The Question (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15865810)

Yes, but it's $40 for cheap seats in Toronto, plus $10 service charge. That's a hard sell to arrange a group to go with.

Plus, even if you want to go, others may not. This is the concert's second try - its last tour was cancelled due to lack of advance ticket sales.

Why GenCon? (1)

jiawen (693693) | more than 8 years ago | (#15864190)

GenCon is the biggest tabletop/pen-and-pencil RPG and gaming con out there. (Unless you count things like DragonCon, which isn't primarily a gaming con.) But it's not a computer/console/electronic gaming con. Why have performances better related to electronic gaming there?

I know of people who play music in the background of their RPG sessions to add a little mood music, but I don't think I'll be hearing of any orchestras in people's living rooms any time soon. It seems like they didn't think enough about their target audience and target context.

Re:Why GenCon? (1)

Saxophonist (937341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15864270)

I know of people who play music in the background of their RPG sessions to add a little mood music, but I don't think I'll be hearing of any orchestras in people's living rooms any time soon.

Yes. Live orchestral music in living rooms is so last-century [grovemusic.com] . And German.

(I know most of you won't be able to open that link, but Wikipedia doesn't have it and I couldn't find another reasonable source. My apologies.)

Crossover Audience (1)

WolfStar76 (708609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15868541)

Many gamers are gamers regardless of the genre. I play consoles, PC, boardgames, pen-and-paper games, and card games. I'll be at GenCon tomorrow and bought my Video Games Live tickets a couple months ago.

I guess it's the same reason GenCon doesn't "just" have Dungeons and Dragons - despite that being its roots. GenCon, while still focused on RPGs is a "gaming" convention as a whole - and even that is starting to branch out more and more, as this year they're offering an "anime only" badge, for those that are interested in only seeing the anime rooms that have been growing in size the last few years.

Video Games Live reheasral Video (1)

hupdaddy (995102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15900288)

I work for a local news station in Indy and I was able to actually play Frogger with the orchestra behind me...incredible. I think that this is a brilliant show... Check out the video here... [youtube.com]
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