Composing for Video Games

 Composing for Video Games

With Garry Schyman

Learn how to compose for video games and dive into composing for video games in this hands-on workshop. Learn some of the advanced techniques of writing music for this exciting genre. BAFTA award-winning composer Garry Schyman will teach a three-day seminar on scoring video games.  Schyman is the composer of some of the most creative games ever produced such as the Bioshock trilogy, Shadow Of War and Shadow of Mordor and many more. His latest score for  “Forspoken”(for Square Enix games) will be a major AAA game release 2022.



In addition for the past nine years he has been teaching Scoring For Video Games in USC’s world-renowned Screen Scoring Program.

This class will be an intense three-day workshop distilling the essence of his experience scoring games, films and television.
The participants of this workshop will be challenged to write music, and absorb a great deal of information.

Requirements: Students will need to be familiar with at least one DAW such as Logic, Protools, Cubase or Digital Performer and be able to work with samples and synth plugins to produce their compositions “in the box”.

Students will learn about video game music to include aesthetics and techniques for interactive scoring.  Student composers will utilize those techniques to compose several compositions that will be evaluated by the instructor. Mr. Schyman will analyze at least one of his scores in class and share his long experience working in LA on multiple games, films and television productions.


Topics to include:

  1. Understanding Interactive music.
  2. Composing, loops, stingers, layers, intros and outros, cut scenes, randomization.
  3. Understanding and working with middleware such as Fmod and Wwise.
  4. Hybrid Orchestration.
  5. Working in the industry: With a review of royalties, contracts, agents, PR (Public Relations), assisting composers, reasons to live or not live in Los Angeles.
  6. AAA Games versus casual gaming.
  7. In-house composers versus contracted composers.
  8. Scoring films and television and how they add to a game composers opportunities.
  9. Writing combat action music.
  10. Extended techniques – a lecture on writing aleatoric music.
  11. Lectures on three or four of Schyman’s best known scores – complete post mortem talks presented at the Game Developers Conference presented to the students.
  12. Reviewing in class scoring assignments given to the students.
  13. One on one reviews of their music with Garry Schyman.
  14. Career advice from a veteran of Hollywood.  How best to proceed to a successful career.
  15. Production music:  If you’re not working on a gig how to earn money writing production music (library and trailer music). Never stop writing !

Composer Garry Schyman’s award-winning music can be heard in nearly every audio-visual media, including feature films, prime-time television, and video games. His haunting orchestral scores for the globally acclaimed video games BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite have earned him multiple awards, including top honors for Best Original Score from the British Academy of Film & Television (BAFTA) and the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.

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