GDC: Koji Kondo's Interactive Musical Landscapes

The line for Koji Kondo's panel, Painting an Interactive Musical Landscape, began forming an hour before its schedule start time. Developers and fans mingled as they waited for the doors to open, and when they did it was only a few minutes before the room was filled, forcing people who merely arrived on time to stand on the sides. Composer Tommy Tallarico quickly introduced Kondo, and the lecture, accompanied by translations from Kondo's Japanese to English and Korean started at full speed.

When Kondo begins his musical creations, he keeps three things in mind: rhythm, balance, and interactivity. Rhythm here refers to the timing of character movements, game animations, and the players' own ways of pressing sequences of buttons. In order to do serve the game rhythm, the composer must keep them in mind in crafting the rhythm of the music. This demands playing the game again and again during the composition process. "If the music doesn't reflect the rhythm of the game, it becomes background music that might as well be piped in from any other room," he said.

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