“I don’t make a particular distinction between ‘high art’ and ‘low art,’” composer John Williams once said. “Music is there for everybody. It’s a river we can all put our cups into, and drink it, and be sustained by it.” In a blockbuster era sonically defined by atmosphere and atonality, Williams’ brand of invigorating, motif-driven film music looks (or sounds) more and more like a relic of the past. Then a score comes swooping in to remind us that, yes, grandiosity still has a place at the movies. For the last decade, those reminders have been John Powell’s compositions for the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, which concludes with this month’s threequel, The Hidden World. Through three adventures, the classically trained Powell — whose credits include the Bourne films, Happy Feet, Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone and United 93, Kung Fu Panda, and most recently Solo: A Star Wars Story — has … [Read more...] about How the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy wound up with the most thrilling score since Star Wars
How do music producers get paid
You might have seen the news that Microsoft has unveiled xCloud, a streaming service that will let you play Xbox One games on smartphones, tablets and basically anything that can connect to the internet. This comes after EA announced in June that they would launch a game streaming service as part of their clunkily titled EA Origin Access Premier offering. And Sony already offer a streaming service for PS2, PS3 and a limited number of PS4 games in the form of PlayStation Now. Even Nintendo, dear old online-phobic Nintendo, has a couple of streaming-only games on the Switch courtesy of streaming version of Resident Evil 7 and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey - although these are currently only available in Japan. In short, streaming is so hip right now. But is it any good? Will it take off? And what impact will it have on the games industry?Hold on, hasn’t streaming been done already?OK, first things first, video game streaming is not a new phenomenon. OnLive launched … [Read more...] about Is streaming the future of video games? And can it even work?
The following is an excerpt from a near-complete version of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II – Heaven, Hell, and Secret Cow Levels, now funding on Kickstarter. The book chronicles the making of StarCraft and Diablo II, and reveals new details about cancelled projects and the history of Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard North. “One of the things we always hated at Blizzard was, if you’re going to make money, do it by making really good products, not just because there’s a business opportunity. That situation occurred here. Our parent company said, ‘We have this studio that’s not doing anything. Why don’t they make a Diablo expansion?’” -Pat Wyatt, vice president of research and development, Blizzard Entertainment “They said, ‘It’s impossible to add Battle.net support in this small amount of time. You’ll never be able to do it.’ That’s why multiplayer is one of the Easter eggs: Because Blizzard … [Read more...] about How a Diablo expansion led to behind the scenes trouble
HitRecord is an artist collective that actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt founded in 2004, with one key goal in mind: let everyone contribute to a project, and help everyone get paid. Gordon-Levitt and HitRecord are partnering with Ubisoft for Beyond Good & Evil 2, allowing artists and musicians to contribute their own pieces that will be used in the game. Most importantly, each contributor who works on a piece used by Ubisoft will earn some kind of compensation. Gordon-Levitt stressed the importance of creators being paid for their work — HitRecord’s core philosophy — in a followup tweet addressing concerns raised over vague details surrounding the initiative. You are super right. Huge oversight. I think script got trimmed at last minute and we fucked that up. It’s hugely important to me that @hitrecord pays artists fairly. Since 2010 we’ve paid community almost $3 million https://t.co/oauU4IUiyE— Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe) June 11, 2018 … [Read more...] about What is HitRecord, and why is Joseph Gordon-Levitt teaming up with Ubisoft?
The first time Taylor Kurosaki and Bob Rafei saw a running PlayStation, they were in a Las Vegas hotel room. It was the 1995 Consumer Electronics Show. They, along with the company they worked for, Naughty Dog, were being given a behind-closed-doors look at Sony's first foray into the game console industry. When they describe the event now, they use words like "inspiring" and "enthralled" and phrases like "blown away." They didn't know it at the time, but the members of Naughty Dog in that room — Kurosaki, Rafei and co-founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin — were looking at the system that would host the team's next game: Crash Bandicoot. They were seeing the console their company would eventually create the unofficial mascot for — the console they would develop Naughty Dog's first smash hit for. It was Kurosaki and Rafei's second day with the company. Naughty Dog released Crash Bandicoot for Sony's original PlayStation in September 1996. In it, the team took an old … [Read more...] about Crash Bandicoot: An oral history