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Video-Game Music: Better Than Film Scores?

An interview with video-game music composer John Debney

11 min read

”Music in Video Games: Surpassing the Scope of Film Scores” --that was the title of a keynote talk given at the 2008 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco by composer John Debney. Last year, Debney set film work aside to score the hit video game Lair , because he believes composing for video games is the better gig these days. It's a surprising idea coming from someone who has won three Emmy Awards and in 2005 was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. There's more: the video-game community, more so than Hollywood, ”is where a lot of the more imaginative people reside right now.” The week before the February speech, Debney spoke by phone from his recording studio in Southern California to IEEE Spectrum Senior Associate Editor Steven Cherry.

IEEE Spectrum: I wonder if you could talk about the differences between film music and game music generally, and then the difference that it makes for the composer.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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