On Friday 21st of June, at Edinburgh university’s Inspace, the Edinburgh Game Symposium will take place. The symposium will focus on music and the development of video games.
Tickets are available to the public, development community and those interested in the audio aspects of gaming. Prices start at £5.00 and creep up to the entirely reasonable price of £6.00. Note the decimal place. This is not TED.
As the symposium came as something of a shock to the Scottish Games Network team and seems to have been put in place without the majority of the development community in Scotland knowing it was coming, we spoke to Luci Holland, one of the organisers to find out more about the event.
Scottish Games Network: Who are the team behind the symposium, can you give me your backgrounds?
Luci Holland: The team is made up of Yati Durant (Edinburgh Film Music Orchestra Musical Director), Luci Holland (EFMO Orchestral Manager/Compositional Assistant) and Jacob Pernell (composition student of Yati’s with a background in games and games music).
Yati is a composer and lecturer with a background in live performance and silent film music: http://www.ydmusic.com/
Luci is a composer, orchestrator and arranger with a background in performance and film music: http://www.luciholland.com/
Jacob is a composer with a background in games and game music: http://www.jacobpernell.com/
SGN: Where did the idea for the symposium come from?
LH: Yati and Luci have been running EFMO since 2010, and when Jacob came to study with Yati the idea of a games music concert with the orchestra was suggested. Luci had been interested in doing something like this too and when Austin Wintory was approached, games composers talks were suggested. From there the concert grew into a whole day event focusing on games developers sessions, a panel with games composers and a concert of game music with EFMO. It expanded really quickly and seamlessly, and the idea developing has been really exciting for us all.
SGN: Why did you create the symposium as part of EIFF?
LH: The whole theme behind the symposium is the idea of games and game music growing into a recognised art form, which we feel sees a lot of parallels with the development of film music. Games are becoming a form of art as well as entertainment, and we felt that the EIFF was the perfect forum for spreading this awareness.
SGN: What’s the goal of the symposium?
LH: To spread the awareness of games and game music as independent and developing art forms.
SGN: Why is there such a strong focus on the audio and music elements of gaming?
LH: The concept originally began as a concert of games music, however it quickly expanded into a full day event including game developer speakers and an open games session. The evening concert focuses on games music, and the event during the day will feature talks with game developers, industry professionals and games composers. We wanted to split the day with an equal spread (more or less) on development and audio.
SGN: Are you aware of the games industry as it exists in Scotland?
LH: We are aware of the expanding nature of the Scottish games industry. When the concept started we wanted to primarily focus on independent developers and games.
SGN: What excites you most about the ongoing evolution of the games sector?
LH: Many things, but primarily the freedom of expression as games evolve into more complex and dynamic art forms. Games are becoming more interactive and aesthetically interesting with more focus on an interactive narrative experience which is incredibly exciting for the future of the medium. The advancement of games technology (such as the development of virtual reality (Oculus Rift) and Kinect) boasts more interaction with games. The evolution of music in games as interactive elements, which respond to ingame environments and the player’s actions, are incredibly exciting as unique dynamic experiences.
SGN: Are you planning other symposia (?) in the future?
LH: We are excited with the response and support we’ve received already in advance of the event, and we’re looking forward to the reception. We cannot currently give any solid information about future events at the moment, but we can say that we are excited to be exploring some opportunities and have some fun ideas in the works.
You can find the full schedule for the symposium on the event website.
If you’re involved with game audio, music or sound in any way, we can only strongly suggest you try to make it along.