Music To Do Science To

Game music is slowly gaining credibility as an artform in itself – as evidenced, for example, by such projects as Amon Tobin’s soundtrack for Chaos Theory. Johnathan Coulton’s closing song for Portal was a particularly apt and powerful complement to a highly inventive game, but now that Portal 2 has been released, the testing can continue…

Portals Of Distinction

This time around, Mike Morasky’s synthy score for Portal 2 has been made available for free download – well, volume one has. There are another two volumes on the way…

In the game itself, much of the music is intricately linked into the player’s actions and progress through the scenes; in certain areas, various layers of sound/music are activated as you solve elements of the puzzle you are engaging with, such that objects in the game actually are tied to particular sounds/passages.

GameRadar have an interview with Morasky, where he reveals some interesting insights into the development process.

One of the problems we encountered early on in our play-testing was puzzle fatigue. While we solved that problem from many different angles, the musical solution was to attempt to make the puzzle music fun and odd, as if, in an otherwise dark and threatening environment, the puzzles were happy that you were there playing with them. This solution helped to lighten and energize the puzzle space without forcing so much music on the player as to distract them from the problem at hand, solving the puzzle.

For a taste of the Portal 2 sonic atmosphere jumped up with some extra science juice, check this out:


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