Nathan Whitehead, the composer for Bend Studio’s latest PlayStation exclusive, Days Gone, recently spoke to Bloody Disgusting about some of the musical influences that inspired him when composing for the game. As a bit of a backdrop, Nathan has composed for The Purge series and various other forms of media, including TV. However, it turns out he spent a lot of time making that Days Gone soundtrack: two years!
When asked about how the process differs when composing for a game, a film, or a TV show, Whitehead spoke about these differences between mediums, as well as what it was like to work with the Sony music team on Days Gone. That’s how it came up that this score took him over two years to make
I think the overall mission is the same for all media; I need to find the musical identity of the project and participate in the storytelling in a meaningful way. There are a lot of differences in the logistics of each one. TV is always breakneck speed turning around episodes every week. Film is all over the place in terms of schedule; I’ve done a film in three weeks or I might have four or five months. I worked on the score for Days Gone for over two years! Games are just massive projects. There’s much more music to write and the games themselves take years to develop. Another huge difference with games is writing music that will be interactive and respond to the player’s actions.
He stated that throughout development, there was a ton of back and forth between him and the team at Bend Studio and Sony in order to get the music just right. He said:
On Days Gone, this involved a lot of back and forth with the brilliant Sony music team. They would design these interactive systems and I would write music to fit in that system. For example, I would write music in layers so that all the layers together sounded like a cohesive piece of music but the game engine could selectively turn layers off or on based on what’s happening in the game. That’s a little oversimplified but the result was a score that felt more like it was scored linearly, like a film, but it was responding dynamically to the action. It’s a big additional layer to the process that film and TV don’t have.
Have you had a chance to play Days Gone yet? If so, what do you think of the game’s music? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you haven’t picked up Bend Studio’s latest yet, you can purchase Days Gone on Amazon.
[Source: Bloody Disgusting]
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