Specialization in Video Game Scoring


Note: This specialization is open to contemporary writing and production majors, film scoring majors, and electronic production and design majors only.

In the video game scoring specialization, students will gain the knowledge, commitment, and practical, professional skills for a successful, sustainable music career in the video game industry. The specialization provides a framework of courses that comprise a survey and history of music in video games, a working knowledge of the video game industry, and interactive scoring techniques applied to the composition of video game music. This specialization will focus on modern approaches to music in video games, professional opportunities and development, business aspects, evolving technology, and creative development.

This program is focused on collaboration, not only within Berklee, but also with universities offering the top video game development programs. These collaborations allow Berklee students to experience real-world game development and to learn by directly working on actual games designed by other students. This specialization allows students to further explore and cultivate career opportunities, relevant technologies, compositional techniques, aesthetics, historical perspective, self-discipline, musicianship, and storytelling.

Annually, video games represent a more than $20 billion revenue stream in which many composers, sound designers, and related audio professionals can participate. Many Berklee alumni have gone on to work in audio for video games, and it represents a great opportunity for future students. The video game scoring specialization emphasizes the opportunities for growth for musicians in this industry.

Entrance Requirements

This specialization can be declared by film scoring majors, electronic production and design majors, contemporary writing and production majors, or students who have demonstrated skills in both composition and electronic music production at the level of one of these tech-heavy majors (by permission of the minor's chair). Students must follow the regular declaration of minor/specialization procedure as outlined in the Registration Guide. This specialization is managed by the Film Scoring Department.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of a specialization in video game scoring, students will:

  • demonstrate a broad knowledge of video game history as it applies to interactive musical advances;
  • compose and produce scores using the most common interactive composition techniques for video games;
  • describe the business of making video games and the development process of modern games, including types of industry jobs, budgeting, scheduling, and networking;
  • implement music in a game using a middleware engine;
  • collaborate with game developers using technology tools and interpersonal and organizational skills;
  • use sample libraries, sequencers, and samplers to create convincing orchestral mockups as well as synth sounds; and
  • conduct a recording session for an interactive project.
Curriculum and Courses

Required Courses (five courses; 11 credits):

  • LHUM-433 Digital Narrative Theory and Practice (3 credits);
  • PW-365 Orchestral Mock-Up Production (2 credits) or MTEC-280 Introduction to Sound Design (2 credits)
  • FS-271 Analysis of Video Game Music Technique (2 credits)
  • FS-371 Interactive Scoring for Video Games (2 credits)
  • FS-471 Advanced Scoring and Implementation for Video Games (2 credits)

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