World of Tanks – Interview with Yamaoka Akira on collaborating with Wargaming

In 2017, composer Yamaoka Akira (Silent Hill) collaborated with Wargaming for the World of Tanks OST. The partnership worked so well, Wargaming and Yamaoka have teamed up again. This time though, the theme is more closely related to Yamaoka’s more well-known work; horror.

Since October 26 (and until November 9) the special Halloween event, ‘Mirny-13,’ is live in World of Tanks. Dubbed the biggest Halloween event in World of Tanks history, Mirny-13 sees players uncovering “the sinister story of a scientific experiment gone wrong.”

The PVE co-op event sees players working to uncover the mystery of the town Mirny-13 and defeat the “armoured manifestations of a mysterious power.” Working alongise Yamaoka on the event is Ito Masahiro, art director and monster designer on Silent Hill.

Suffice to say, there’s plenty of scary pedigree involved with this event.

World of Tanks Halloween

Yamaoka was tasked with creating spooky, Halloween inspired music for Mirny-13 and we were able to chat to him about his process, working with Wargaming and what “spooky” means to him.

PowerUp! – Having previously collaborated with Wargaming for World of Tanks, how did this new collaboration come about?

Yamaoka – This time I was approached by WoT team for another collaboration, the overall process didn’t change much, but writing a new piece of music from pre-existing sound materials was something of a new experience.

PowerUp! – How does it differ from the first time and the first track?

Yamaoka – Last time the theme was “Japan”, but this time was “Halloween”. The direction was a bit different.

Also as stated before using pre-existing materials to compose was something new to me.

PowerUp! – Where did you draw inspiration from and what makes this track both a “Halloween” track and a “World of Tanks” track?

Yamaoka – The inspiration came from the “image board” of the Halloween mode, and the WoT Sound team’s sound materials.

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PowerUp! – What makes a song “spooky” or “scary”?

Yamaoka – This is a very good question.

If I have to name one thing I would say “incompatibility/ inharmoniousness”. In the musical term “Preliminary Harmony”. Some musical phrases are predictable, but by intentionally “missing” them will create this “inharmoniousness” feeling.

Also sometimes I can use some frequency which will create some uncomfortableness in the music as well. There are many ways to achieve “scary”. Maybe we can have a lesson on this sometime haha.

PowerUp! – When you create a song like this, what is your process?

Yamaoka – First things first, touch musical instruments. If it makes sound, anything will do. While I’m making those sounds/noise, I will start thinking of the finished sound design in my head.

Basically I will spend the time, and do this until I have the final vision.

You can hear Yamaoka’s Halloween inspired track in World of Tanks during the Mirny-13 event until November 9. By playing the event, tankers can access unique content, special crew members, camo and more.

Thanks to Yamaoka Akira for his time.

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Leo Stevenson
Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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