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  #1  
Old Dec 26, 2007, 09:28 AM
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Secret Squirrel Secret Squirrel is offline
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Default Works - When does an artist merit the inclusion of Works albums in the database?

I'd like to open up some discussion on the "Works" category, or more specifically, a discussion on how we determine whether an artist is associated with game music closely enough to merit putting their discography into VGMdb. This was partially prompted by this artist, though it's been a source of confusion for a lot longer:

Joe McDermott

Visiting Joe's website more or less confirms that he's primarily a children's music composer, and VGM is an afterthought. What does everyone think about the inclusion of his kid's song releases?

The example that I always give on this topic is Trent Reznor. While he composed music for the Quake series, I would never consider him predominately as a VGM composer, and would say that the Nine Inch Nail discography should not be included on VGMdb (although it they ever released an album which contained a single Quake arrangement or remix, then that album would be eligible to include here).

Just to be fair, I should mention that there are a number of Japanese and Dojin artists who may also be questionable for inclusion of their works albums -- the Mintjam 2nd-5th Gigs come to mind.

Generally, we want to provide useful information, so I've been erring on the side of allowing more things to be included, while providing the user with adequate filtering to hide anything they consider non-essential, so I probably won't lobby for the removal of these albums, but I want to hear what the rest of our users think about this.
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  #2  
Old Dec 26, 2007, 10:36 AM
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Kaleb.G Kaleb.G is offline
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Given the Trent Reznor example, I think these things will have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To help do this, I think we should have a 1-to-1 standard. This means, an artist must have at least one game soundtrack per each original work in order to warrant inclusion of those original works. As far as I can tell, Joe McDermott only composed for one game (Zombies Ate My Neighbors). Being that his ratio is 1-to-6+, his original works should not be included.
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  #3  
Old Dec 26, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Gaia Gaia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
Just to be fair, I should mention that there are a number of Japanese and Dojin artists who may also be questionable for inclusion of their works albums -- the Mintjam 2nd-5th Gigs come to mind.
I've already thought about the same thing.... MintJam started with some good doujin albums but I wouldn't categorize them as a doujin band any longer. MintJam is currently just a japanese fusion rock band with some electronic elements, in my opinion.
But same goes for Taka from CROW'SCLAW. "Leader Of" and "Parental Advisory Explicit Guitar" are showing, that he becomes more and more interested in composing his own music. I hope he won't, since I like his HR/HM arrangements.

Anyway... I agree, that we shouldn't move to far away from the main topic of this database. If there are one or two non VGM albums it's still fine, but we shouldn't overdo it.
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Old Dec 26, 2007, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleb.G View Post
As far as I can tell, Joe McDermott only composed for one game (Zombies Ate My Neighbors). Being that his ratio is 1-to-6+, his original works should not be included.
Except that that's wrong. Even a quick look at MobyGames shows he's also composed for Q*Bert 3 on the SNES, IndyCar Racing for DOS, and children's game Pajama Sam 3 for Windows. Alongside Zombies, those are the works where he gets either solo or co-credit with The Fat Man as a duo.

There are also the games with soundtracks composed and performed by Team Fat, which I'm guessing are mostly the Fat Man (esp. The 7th Guest/The 11th Hour) but may also involve the other Team Fat members on the composition side: Shannara, Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, This Means War!, and Jane's Combat Simulations: U.S. Navy Fighters '97. (Could be other games where McDermott hasn't been credited on MobyGames; not implying a slew of them, but there could be 1 or 2 others.)

That his website doesn't focus on his VGM background is irrelevant, IMO, at least as a deciding factor. It seems to me like McDermott's inadvertently being scrutinized because most of his VGM soundtrack work has never been released on CD, thus making the addition of his Works albums seem too lopsided career-wise.

The short of it to me is that McDermott's got several composer credits for games. Once that's established, I feel at least that the inclusion of Works albums is viable. Not that it means anything, but I definitely wouldn't add slews of "Works" a la the Trent Reznor/Peter Gabriel scenarios.
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  #5  
Old Dec 26, 2007, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liontamer View Post
It seems to me like McDermott's inadvertently being scrutinized because most of his VGM soundtrack work has never been released on CD, thus making the addition of his Works albums seem too lopsided career-wise.
Well I checked a couple lists outside VGMdb to see if he had composed anything not on an album, and I came up empty. I guess I should have tried MobyGames.

I certainly would not dismiss anything an artist has composed which hasn't been released on an album. After all, some of my favorite soundtracks have never been published.

In the case of Joe, even with those additional credits, it still comes up as only 4+-6+. He straddles the line of what I would consider sufficient credits to warrant inclusion of his many non-game albums. We'll just have to get more people in here and see what they think.
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  #6  
Old Dec 28, 2007, 01:07 PM
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I've always been of the opinion that non-game related works by a certain composer should only be added if said composer is (1) primarily known for his work in game music and (2) has acquired a certain (fairly high) level of fame as a vgm composer.

The Trent Reznor example is a good one. It wouldn't matter how many vgm credits he'd had under his belt, his fame as a vgm composer would still pale in comparison to the fame of Nine Inch Nails. The very same concept applies to people like Yoko Kanno and Ryuichi Sakamoto as well.

In the end it comes down to drawing the line somewhere. I mean, technically we could add the entire NIN discography and so on, but this just isn't the place for it - it just doesn't fit within the scope of the database. Joe McDermott is another fellow who clearly doesn't live up to either of my standards.


As doujin has been brought up as well, I'll just say that I think the very same standards could apply there as well. So as long as (for example) MintJam remain to be mostly famous as a doujin band, I say add their releases even if they are 'works' (so to speak) albums.
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