An interview with Mike Morasky
One of the best-selling video game of 2011, Portal 2 by Valve Software is one year old today. Praised by the critics, it received load of awards. In the music department it won the “2012 Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition” by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and “Best Game Music of 2011” by Kotaku.
A unique characteristic of Portal 2′s soundtrack, apart from its sonic grandness, is that it’s generated in real time by an adaptive music system that react to the player’s actions. This dynamic music was also designed as a reward for successfully completing puzzles inside the game.
So who’s behind the music of Portal 2? An insanely talented guy who also composed music for Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 and of course Portal 1 & 2. If you think that’s impressive, you should know that he can also blow some minds as the Visual Effects Director for the Lord of the Rings and The Matrix Trilogies!
You can imagine he’s a very busy guy! However, he kindly took the time to answer a few of our questions regarding the role that chipsounds played in Portal 2.
Here’s a short interview with none other than Mike Morasky:
David Viens (Plogue): Your resume is impressive to say the least, having worked on special effects in movies, to video game soundtracks and audio/dsp programming as well, what is it about game soundtracks that brings you back to your first love?
Mike Morasky: I am and have been a home recording enthusiast for a long time and have always been writing and recording music regardless of what I’m working on publically. I’ve got boxes of cassettes and hard drives full of studies and experiments that stretch all the way back to when I was a young teen. I often wonder however, why it took me so long to focus on game audio. I’ve been a gamer since Pong and have had various opportunities to explore this space but somehow the stars never seemed to align. The real shift I guess was finding myself at Valve. Working with broad-minded people exploring combinations of various disciplines really helped me to connect many of my disparate dots into a whole. Suddenly the idea of creating audio/musical experiences for and in the context of our games made a great deal of sense.
“Plogue chipsounds is used throughout Portal 2 and the game wouldn’t have sounded the same without it. I am a big fan.”