Silent Hill Composer Akira Yamaoka Interview - World of Tanks, Silent Hill and More

Published: November 5, 2020 1:00 PM /


Akira Yamaoka Interview

Akira Yamaoka is no stranger to a creepy soundtrack. With titles like Silent Hill behind and The Medium in front of him, this made him the perfect addition to World of Tanks' Halloween event, "Mirny-13." We've decided to catch up with him to ask him all about it. In the interview below, we've included the original Japanese along with a translation provided by the folks at Wargaming.

Akira Yamaoka Interview
Akira Yamaoka Live in Kiev 2016.

TechRaptor: How did you start working with World of Tanks?

Akira Yamaoka: I was travelling to Minsk by air and just happened to be seated next to a member of the WoT team. He showed me a picture from Instagram - an airplane with WoT branding - and we ended up having a conversation. This ended up becoming the catalyst for me to work with the company directly. 

一番最初の出会いは、私がミンスクを訪れた時に飛行場で旅客機に「WORLD OF TANKS」がラッピングされた飛行機をInstagramに載せた写真をWOTのチームが見せてくれて、そこからその写真を通して交流がはじまりました。あの写真を載せて無かったら 交流はなかったかもしれませんw

TR: Evidently, this is not your first time working with World of Tanks, how has your approach changed this time around?

AY: I used existing material that was provided. It’s a method of mixing audio material based on audio tracks which is quite new. 

今回の場合は新曲ではあるものの、WOTチームがつくった音の素材を使い、それらの素材を 組み合わせ音楽にして行ったという、作り方に違いがあります。ある意味、コラボレーションになります。

Akira Yamaoka Interview

TR: Being a composer with a knack for creepy soundtracks, how did this translate to the World of Tanks Halloween event?

AY: The first demo I provided was too scary so I had to revise it. It’s pretty easy to create music that really gives you the creeps, so I reduced the scariness from the music incrementally. 

一番最初につくったデモトラックは怖すぎるということで、アレンジをしていきました。 怖い音楽をつくるのは、何も考えなくてもできてしまうので、作り方としては最初につくっ た音楽から、少しづつ「怖さ」を引いていく作り方という感じです。

TR: Did seeing Masahiro Ito’s artwork impact the way you composed this time?

AY: His art is very inspirational—it helped me when composing Silent Hill and it helped shape my ideas for this project too. 

彼にはサイレントヒルの頃から影響はされ続けているので、今回も同じ、彼の作品を見て、 インスピレーションは得ています。

TR: What is your inspiration here?

AY: I was inspired by the opportunity to combine the realism that WoT offers along with the fictional, otherworldy aspect of Halloween. It allows us to find a place somewhere in between the real world and fantasy to create something unique; it's a great opportunity to introduce fun, new ideas which would normally not be acceptable canon in such a realistic game genre.

WOTというリアルな戦車という造形と、ハロウインモードで描かれる不思議な世界のマッチングによる独特の世界観にインスピレーションを受けています。とてもフィクション感の ある感じですね。SFでもない、実際の世界でもない独特の世界観にインスピレーションを受 けています。

Akira Yamaoka Interview

TR: Would you like to work with World of Tanks again in the future? If so, to what capacity?

AY: Definitely. It would be nice to really create something that is immersive. It would be great to create music from scratch. 

ぜひやりたいです。さらに作品に入り込むような制作を一緒にできると理想です。 細かいゲームの仕様や音の構築を0から一緒にしたいです。

TR: Would you be open to doing guest compositions more?

AY: Definitely. I would love to work with games all over the world!


TR: What are you working on next, and what would be your dream project?

AY: Now I’m working on a Polish title called [The] Medium and also the anime version of Cyberpunk 2077. I have another action game project in the works along with several non-game-related production projects. Watch this space! 

MediumというPolandのホラー作品、またCyber Punk 2077のアニメ作品に音楽をつくって います。またとても大きなオンラインアクションゲーム、また皆がきっと驚くような作品も 現在制作中です。またゲームではないですが、あたらしい音楽作品をつくっています。ぜひ 期待してください。

Akira Yamaoka Interview
Don't look directly at it

TR: We couldn’t let you go without mentioning it: If given the chance, would you like to work on Silent Hill again?

AY:I would love to work on Silent Hill again. The game has left such a lasting impression on the genre; it would be great to revisit the franchise.

そうですね、ぜひやりたいですね。これは自分が制作したいというよりも、これだけ多くの 人たちから愛される作品に自分も携わって、自分でも遊んでみたいです。

TR: Thank you for answering all our questions and we're looking forward to hearing what you are working on next!

Ending on the Nov. 9, the Mirny-13 event in World of Tanks give the game a spooky twist. Log in any day to get extra stimulants used to restore your commander's health and take on the extra hard difficulty of Mirny-13. If you'd like to see more of the Halloween update, have a look here for a rundown of it.  We'd like to thank the World of Tanks and Akira Yamaoka for answering our questions.

You can check out the original soundtrack of Mirny-13 here, and you can download World of Tanks here.

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James Bentley is a freelance writer / editor / musician who has had a deep love of games ever since his childhood. This love had led him to chase a career… More about James