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Interview with World of Tanks Composer Akira Yamaoka

By Garrett Fuller on October 19, 2017 | Interviews | Comments

Interview with World of Tanks Composer Akira Yamaoka

World of Tanks is proud to work with composer Akira Yamaoka on its upcoming project for new artists. Akira is best known for the Silent Hill series which took the horror genre of games into a whole new level. He has been making music for games as far back as Contra. Akira will be judging the music submitted by fans for World of Tanks. He also will have a song on the new soundtrack. We got the chance to sit down with Akira and ask some questions about his career and passion for World of Tanks. 

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MMORPG: Tell us what got you started as a composer, it is such an amazing job.

Akira Yamaoka: I started around the time I was in high school, when I bought a PC and started studying design. I had a simple piece of software installed, which allowed you to make music. With the computers of the time, you could only play three sounds at once, so it was with that type of very simple software that I started making my own music. I then applied to a lot of different contests, and won all kinds of awards, which led to music becoming my job. I was studying design, but I kept getting more and more work with music, which is how I ended up composing.

MMORPG: What is your process in planning to write and design music for a video game? Do you play the game on mute first and add in your own melodies?

AY: Yes, exactly! I put game on the side of my desk, and while playing it, I start adding music. If I had to define it, I would say it’s more making a game rather than just making music.

MMORPG: People are going to be submitting their own work for you to judge for the World of Tanks music contest, what is something you look for when matching music to a game?

AY: Rather than making music, the ideal would be that they come up with a piece that brings a scene to mind when I listen to it. So it shouldn’t be about making “good” or “cool” music. The main point is to create sounds that create images and scenes in the mind of the listener.

MMORPG: You have written some scary soundtracks in the past, like Silent Hill, also you are a fan of horror. How do you change the music for the genre of game you are playing?

AY: I think it is really important not to think about music in terms of genre. If you limit music to the definition of its genre, then you end up having no idea what that music is. When you don’t think about the genre but rather about what you want people to feel, you will see your music change on its own.

MMORPG: How do you feel about combining music and game sounds together? It almost seems like an action packed experience for the players.

AY: Combining music and a gaming is really just making the music a part of the game. The game isn’t truly complete without the music. The music makes the game fun and interesting. This is the idea. If all your think of is creating good sounds, good music, then it won’t come together as a combination with the game. Looking at it from the music, what matters is that you wonder what would make this game more interesting, how will you fulfill the players, that is the one thing you need to focus on.

MMORPG: We are very excited to see you judge music for WoTs among fans, what is some advice you can give to submitters?

AY: What matters is that you make the kind of music that you would like to listen to when you are playing World of Tanks.

MMORPG: What are some of your plans for the future in video games?

AY: I would like to see what will happen when we see music that humans could not create, automated music creation, AI writing music, yet music that touches and moves people. I think that will be the first time that human musical creativity is truly tested… 

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