Round 1


Round 1: Honing Your Craft - Learn to steal like an artist. A warm up music theory activity.

19-Sept to 2-Oct. Voting: 3 October

Submission deadline: 12am UTC 2nd October 2022 (View as your timezone)

Welcome to the first challenge in Season 8! We are going to start with a music theory warm up challenge, based on the wisdom of Matt Kenyon who will be joining us for a workshop to get you started. Lets start with some background reading.

Extract from Matt's Blog...

Pillar #2: Honing Your Craft

There are lots of disciplines game composers must master if they want to succeed in the industry. You must be able to communicate and collaborate well with development teams, understanding the game dev life cycle, and market yourself and your work.

However, none of this matters if you don’t spend time honing your mastery of composition itself.

No gear, fancy plugins, or industry relationships can replace good ol’ fashioned composition chops.

Learn to steal like an artist

I have “lightbulb moments” all the time on my podcast. A guest will say something about their process or their story that’s so profound, yet so simple, that it blows my mind.

One of my favorite lightbulb moments was with 8-bit Music Theory when he opened my eyes to the power of transcription and imitating our influences:

“The difference between plagiarism and writing a good piece of music is that instead of stealing from one song, you’re stealing from six.” – 8-bit Music Theory

Everything you or I know about making music we’ve consciously or subconsciously picked up from someone else, whether Mozart, the Beatles or Koji Kondo.

And they picked it up from composers before them. For better or worse, we are all walking combinations of our influences.

For a more fleshed-out argument for this indisputable truth, I recommend checking out Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon.

Read that book, and you’ll see just how far back the practice of stealing from other creatives goes.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it is...

Create an original track using at least 3 motifs taken from a VGM track you love and create something new that hints at the source without trying to copy it. You can choose any three tracks you love and use a phrase, or just a few notes.

Submission Requirements:

  • Post your track to the #challenge-submissions channel on the server as an MP3 audio file before the due date of 12am UTC 2nd October 2022 (View as your timezone). Please make the filename = [your discord name as registered].[full name of the track].mp3

  • Provide details of the three motifs you selected, with links to examples of the source.

  • Briefly explain how you adjusted the sources to achieve your own version.


Big thank you to Matt for supporting the challenge! Check out Matt's blog and online course here.

Round 1 Results