Interview: Gareth Coker (Ori and the Blind Forest)

Interview - Gareth Coker (Ori and the Blind Forest)

Marius and Gareth sit down for a detailed discussion about Ori and the Blind Forest—the game, the score, and the incredible stories behind its four-year development cycle. Naturally, they stray off topic too, tackling the future of game audio, the role of library music in modern scoring, the power of game music concerts, and the amazing resource that Twitch has become for gamers and developers alike.

Episode Highlights

00:00 - Intro & musical background
04:20 - Getting the Ori gig
06:52 - Long development time for the game and its impact on musical development
10:00 - Moon Studio's distributed development structure
14:36 - Constant testing by the entire team and how it contributes to polish
17:07 - Musical flow on album and why the main title cue isn't on the album
20:52 - How the incredible prologue came together, and its many musical challenges
28:25 - Finding the score's musical identity; references, and how visuals inform the music
33:50 - Unifying the flavours of each location's score
35:42 - Working with the Nashville Music Scoring Orchestra
39:30 - Score excerpt from 'Finding Kuro'
40:30 - Video Games Live concerts and inspiring listeners to engage with new genres
42:14 - The landscape of recent game releases, the role of the composer, patience, and the value of immersing yourself in the project
46:58 - Whether or not new game devs recognize the potential value of great music
50:54 - How Gareth discovered Aeralie Brighton and her magnificent voice
56:21 - Library music and whether or not it's a threat to creative opportunities for composers
59:32 - What's next for game audio? What's the "next level?"
65:15 - Future projects and the way it feels to experience such a huge release
66:42 - Finishing games and how polish and process influence the way people engage with a game
69:31 - Word of mouth marketing, release schedules, and having fun "trolling" on Twitch
71:03 - Having fun "trolling" on Twitch; Twich as a platform for feedback and engagement
73:14 - Conclusion

Music Selections

00:00 - 01. Ori Lost in the Storm
16:49 - 02. Naru Embracing the Light
22:55 - 04. The Blind Forest
32:16 - 07. Finding Sein
34:47 - 22. Kuro's Tale II: Her Pain
37:33 - 09. The Spirit Tree
49:34 - 31. The Sacrifice
52:52 - xx. Ori and the Blind Forest (Launch Trailer)
61:11 - 16. Climbing the Ginso Tree
73:36 - 32. Light of Nibel


Download Gareth Coker's score excerpt from "Finding Kuro"

Special thanks to: Greg O'Connor-Read

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