flOw turns 10 (?!)

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Life could be simple
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You can still play it! Go here https://www.jenovachen.com/flowingames/flowing.htm
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The massive leap from Flash to PS3
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Babies!
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thatgamecompany, 2007 + a very, very lucky composer
  1. Just dive in. Above I mentioned that, after Jenova first showed me the prototype to flOw, I had no idea what it was or how to do it, but I just said yes. Only later did I really appreciate how important a decision that was, and decide to turn it into a mantra. We so easily tell ourselves reasons why we shouldn’t do X or Y, how they won’t work out or how the risk isn’t worth it, etc etc etc. I’m lucky that life showed me how narrow-sighted that is, and it’s been a non-stop rollercoaster ever since. I’m pretty confident that in this case, correlation = causation.
  2. I have amazing colleagues in this industry. A unique experience happened at GDC one year later: flOw was nominated for a bunch of awards, including for its music. I lost all of them, mainly to Garry Schyman for his absolutely industry-elevating score to Bioshock. I was in such awe of that game and score, that being nominated with it felt like someone had made a mistake, but it was especially noteworthy how GOOD it felt to lose. Feeling inspired by the people you stand alongside, versus those up-on-a-pillar, demigod heroes (like Beethoven or some other non-mortal), is magnificently powerful. My colleagues drive me to be better and a significant part of my motivation today is in hoping to offer to the same to them.
  3. Who we create with drives what we create. Again, this seems obvious but I really underestimated how much my development as a composer / person would be influenced by my friendship and collaboration with thatgamecompany. I don’t look at art or music remotely the same way now. I have, at least I think, a vastly deeper appreciation and far wider view, and I don’t see where I could’ve gotten that perspective if not from them. And that’s skipping how much those relationships have meant to me. In short, there’s no such thing as a mere “gig.” Every project and interaction constantly, actively, rewrites our DNA.

Written by

Professionally curious about music. Composer for Journey, Abzu, Erica, John Wick Hex, The Banner Saga 1–3, AC Syndicate, Tooth & Tail, etc. Fan of humanity!

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