Making games may be largely a team effort these days, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't acknowledge the individuals who make outstanding contributions to the industry as well.
Gamasutra and its sister site Game Developer magazine have put together a "Power 50" list of people in the game industry who have stood out for doing work in the last year that is new, different, or better.
Here, we've highlighted four talented developers who've created exemplary work with the audio for their games, championing the composers who inspire us to do better. We are also recognizing talented individuals in the fields of Art
, Business, Design, Evangelism, and Programming in separate posts.
The following names are not ranked -- they are listed alphabetically by last name.
Shaw-Han Liem and Jonathan Mak
(pictured above, courtesy of Jeriaska
PlayStation 3 indie hit Sound Shapes
marries music and platform-hopping together in a manner so elegant and intuitive you might not at first realize how many iterations it took to get right. Jonathan Mak and Shaw-Han Liem (the latter often credited as I Am Robot And Proud), from Toronto-based Queasy Games, are the two responsible for making Sound Shapes
Games built around music largely live or die by how well their designers can integrate music into the core design. In Sound Shapes,
the levels, and with the level editor, we too can make and play our music. With Sound Shapes,
Mak and Liem remind us that music games can be more than a series of notes that we plug into a bulky, plastic, guitar-shaped controller.
Rich VreelandDavid Kanaga
If Sound Shapes
gently massaged our brains into a state of musical play, composer David Kanaga's work on Dyad
simply melted said brains outright. Thanks to Dyad
, we can check "David Kanaga and (Dyad
creator) Shawn McGrath" off our list of fantasy indie game dream collaborations.
After years of anticipation, Fez
finally wowed indie game scenesters with its throwback look and feel. We would be remiss if we didn't include Rich "disasterpeace" Vreeland's Fez
soundtrack work in this year's Power 50 audio nominations. Thanks to Vreeland, Fez
feels atmospheric, pensive, maybe even a little bit melancholy.
[You can subscribe to Game Developer magazine in physical or physical/digital combo form now.]