Final draft of my thesis: Music in indie video games.

Hi all. Just thought I'd drop my final draft of my thesis up here for all to read. I have made a tiny blog post about it and mentioned that due to some time constraints I rushed to get the final draft in and that caused some small issues. Basically I noticed I had run one of two words together in one of the chapters but it is very minimal and I only noticed after printing....but fuck it... for anyone who wants to check it out you can read it online or download it from here:

I'm gonna upload the music for the composition side next week. Hope you all enjoy.


  • I actually realised I had all my compositions with me so here they are. The ones that's I only had I mp3 have been embedded into the blog post. I also added my journey videos to the blog and my short playthrough demonstrations. I'll upload the audio visual examples for the thesis shortly.
  • Congratulations on completing your M Tim! I remember the wait for getting feedback from externals on mine was pretty nerve wracking...

    What are your plans now? Planning to study further, or hit the industry like a beast and be the composer of choice? :D

    Well done again!
  • Thanks dude! Appreciate the response. I want to do my PhD at some point but I really feel like taking a break from studying for a bit. II've actually been working on some albums for two different bands of mine that need finishing. So my first aim right now is to finish those...then focus on getting some new composition work in the new year. Do some game jams again and such! Exicit really to feel free again!
  • Ive only managed to get to the end of the Braid section and a bit into the Fez sections but i definitely recommend people have a look at this thesis. I dig how its insightful as well as detailed in how it explains composition for braid and the importance of the various elements that make up the soundtrack, various composition integration techniques(linear vs vertical), as well as some interesting ideas on topics on game design topics such as what defines an indie game and how music relates to that idea. I sound like i'm advertising... but really I think this is really cool and people should check it out.

    One thing to note, it is geared pretty heavily towards composition, but dont let that stop you! Or do? I dont know...
    Thanked by 1Tim_Harbour
  • To @Tim_Harbour specifically now, why did you insist on having improvised melody sections in the notes for Eno the Truth (yall should check it out) and im assuming on the recording. I ask because from what i understand the improvised melody removes that air of predictability that you might have with composing a melodic phrase but in recording this piece for a game rather than a performer is that not redundant? The composition would have the same melody from that point on. In this case doesn't it make more sense to have something planned rather unplanned? although i will note that what you did works well.
    Thanked by 1Tim_Harbour
  • Hey @Sigh_leeeee! Thanks for the advertising :D I'm glad someone is getting some joy out of my thesis! To answer your question on Eno the Truth, in an ideal situation the way the piece would work is that the melody could be improvised but digitally... so some sort of procedural system that could be given parameters and the the melody can be developed that way. Obviously though procedural systems aren't the easiest so another option would be to write multiple melodies that can be selected from a pool of melodies. This is more immediately achievable but less fresh after a few playthroughs. Obviously the recording is a bit strange because the melody isn't supposed to be heard over and over again, this was more a mock-up of how a melody in this situation could be written but the piece was actually written initially to be performed, so the actual performer would create his/her own melody while playing the pats written for the left hand. Though the piece never got performed the idea was to create a procedural system that could be used by both a human but also in the long run programmed into a procedural system to be able to create unique melodies on each playthrough. I was hoping that trying the system in a more human and analogue way would help give ideas towards how a procedural/improvised lines could be created.
  • Cool, I'm downloading and will read it tonight, I am doing my masters on the immersive benefits of ELF in motion picture (defined within the sphere of gaming). It's great to see some academic work done in this area from S.A. I certainly want to do a PhD. I'm not in bands anymore so the academic push is on.
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