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Bear McCreary On Composing The Live God Of War Demo

by Blake Hester on Jun 28, 2016 at 11:12 AM

Opening its E3 2016 press conference with a demo of a new God Of War game scored by an actual orchestra lacked no amount of spectacle on Sony's behalf. But, as the composer Bear McCreary tells it, it was also a terrifying and challenging feat to pull off.

Writing in a blog post, McCreary, who is composing the entire game, explains he was approached by PlayStation to bring his work to the live stage in front of 5,000 people at Los Angeles' Shrine auditorium. Though he says he jumped at the opportunity, the challenges facing him were many.

"The logistics of playing orchestra live to picture are daunting enough. This event, however, was further complicated by the fact that the picture would change every time because it was live gameplay, not a pre-rendered video. So, traditional sync techniques such as click tracks and streamers would be useless," he writes, explaining he and the development team at Sony Santa Monica worked together to create solutions that would allow him to follow the game musically, but with enough flexibility that the demo could be played in real-time. "The challenge was terrifying and thrilling," he adds.

"Clearly this show would not start with speeches or visuals, but would begin with music," McCreary continues. "With my arms raised in anticipation, I took a deep, long breath. I reminded myself to enjoy every second of what was about to unfold: scoring a live playing of a video game in real time with a full orchestra."

As he composed the troll fight near the end, he explains, McCreary found himself subconsciously avoiding the troll himself, ducking and moving around at the foot of the large screen displaying the demo. "It was the single most thrilling video game experience I’ve ever had!"

He concludes, saying the live demo gave him new inspiration for the game's score – a score he is still hard at work finishing. McCreary has also done work for the SOCOM and Assassin's Creed series. 

God Of War will be coming exclusively to the PlayStation 4, though a release date hasn't yet been given. Make sure to check out our preview of the game to read about how the game is taking a more grounded approach

[Source: Bear McCreary]