As I watched my girlfriend play through Journey for the first time last night, I was again struck by how incredible that score is. It’s emotional, poignant, and is an equal partner in the story, along with the incredible visuals and mechanics.
Here’s an interview that our very own Elle Janecek did back in 2012 with the composer of that score (and countless others), in today’s GrE Rewind.
GDC 2012: Austin Wintory, Journey Composer
Posted by Elle JanecekHave you ever played a game and found yourself humming the music hours after you shut off the tv? Maybe you kept playing Bastion because the music is great and reminds you of Firefly. Perhaps you customized the ring tone on your phone to play the main theme song for Portal (yes, I personally know people who did this. Some of them are me). It’s ok to admit it, you’re not alone. Just as a soundtrack can make a good movie even better, so can a, er, gametrack.
What I have heard of Wintory’s score for Journey makes it clear that this is one of those soundtracks, and I can’t wait to hear how it all fits together with the intriguing and mystical new release from the same minds who brought about Flower.
It seemed like a great idea to interview award winning composer Austin Wintory because I’m a musician. After the interview time was all set up and there was no going back, it suddenly seemed like a terrible idea to interview Wintory because I remembered that I’m a very amateur musician.
Luckily for me, Wintory is a very kind guy and is at ease with chatting. He feels that games are poised to become the dominant storytelling medium of the 21st century and I am intrigued by his idea that every stage in life can glean new meaning from replaying a game, just like reading a book or watching a favorite movie again.
An admitted gamer himself, Wintory started his working life aiming to be a game designer but music and composing became the “creative blob that took over everything else.” It makes a lovely kind of sense for him to compose for games, then. He has a number of impressive awards and credits to his name, including music for thatgamecompany’s flOw. Check out the movie Grace if you get a chance; Wintory’s incredibly beautiful and creepy soundtrack is hair-raising in all the right ways.
Journey makes its official debut March 13, and Playstation Plus subscribers can download it now. In the meantime , you can go to Wintory’s website and watch the incredible cellist Tina Guo perform “Woven Variations,” a piece Wintory wrote as an exploration of the musical themes in the game soundtrack. I hope it whets your appetite for more.
Not much gameplay footage here, but the art style really reminds me of 30 Days of Night‘s Ben Templesmith.
Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today might be the next good one. Just check out the story, from the press release:
Published by BadLand Games, Dead Synchronicity tells the story of Michael, a man with no past who must recover his identity and decode the two events that brought the world to the edge of collapse. The first is the so-called “Great Wave,” an inexplicable chain of natural disasters. The second is a pandemic that has turned humans into “the Dissolved,” infected beings with special cognitive powers whose sick bodies will eventually dissolve into blood. If Michael doesn’t hurry, he won’t be able to avoid the impending moment of “dead synchronicity” … when time itself starts to dissolve.
The $19.99 Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today is ready for a download to your PlayStation 4, with a full-on box version set to show up Friday, October 7th. Still no confirmed release date for Xbox One, but we’re guessing it’ll be out soon.
From way back in 2008, here’s an essay that might still resonate with you as we look forward to Gears of War 4 coming out.
Let me know what you think in the comments below – the more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s interesting to note which of the blogs survived thus far; I know I didn’t. I moved on past the long-form video game essay into video gaming freelance news, then into tech/Apple blogging, and now most of my actual writing is about highly technical behind-the-scenes stuff for companies that pay well.
Bringing together diverse people and viewpoints is the big-picture concept behind a new team up between GaymerX and XPO Game Festival this year in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
GaymerX’s founder, Matt Conn, says, “GaymerX’s mission includes exposing people to rarely discussed social concepts and issues in games while creating a fun, inviting space. Our collaboration with XPO Game Festival will let us share this message with parts of the country that might not regularly have the chance to openly debate these issues.”
It seems surprising that a festival that takes place in America’s heartland would choose to connect with a diverse audience as represented by the GaymerX group, but Matt Stockman, Events Manager at VisitTulsa, is excited to include new voices.
“Like GaymerX, everyone has a place at XPO — regardless of gender, ethnicity, or orientation,” Stockman said in a statement. “Closely following the trend for more inclusiveness, XPO will feature transgender restrooms and open discussions on any and all topics related to the game industry and gaming culture.”
To learn more about these two organizations and their respective events, head to:
So, whether you’re in Santa Clara, CA, or Tulsa OK, you can get yourself to an inclusive gaming conference that respects all gamers. All means all.
There’s nothing better than a game that’s both visually stunning as well as mechanically deep.
Where Cards Fall is an upcoming game from the folks behind Alto’s Adventure, and we’re super excited to get this first sneak peek. Click on through to The Portable Gamer below to see the whole, beautiful dream, then read to the end to find out where to enter to win a killer t-shirt.
Looks like fun, yeah?