POP Arcade brings gaming and music together

Nine Montreal indie gaming studios will demo their projects and give a symposium on music and gaming at this week’s POP Montreal.


Subaeria by Illogika

Screenshot from ‘Subaeria’ by Illogika Studios

POP Montreal is already synonymous with the city’s indie music scene, so it makes perfect sense that branching out would entail bringing Montreal’s other creative industries into the fold. Food is an obvious one, as is gaming.

This Saturday afternoon, POP Arcade will set up shop at Quartiers POP. Nine local developers will be present, demoing their games for free to anyone interested—pass­holder or otherwise.

“I know a lot of musicians who play games and get inspired by them. Montreal is a creative gumbo and it makes sense to bring as many as them together as possible,” explains POP Arcade curator Lateef Martin. The studio he’s currently with, Miscellaneum Studios, will be one of the nine in attendance.

“It feels like a natural thing—it’s an art festival. It’s a growing artform and more than ever there are indies who are able to do wonderful things. I wanted to expose the POP audience to games a little more,” he says. As for what the music and gaming indie scenes have in common, Martin says with a laugh: “It’s about passion. Passion and grants.”

Players will receive a punch card upon entrance, so provided they go around and try all the games, they will be eligible for a prize pack of gaming swag afterwards. Martin also wanted to bridge the gap between games and music by holding Music, Video Games & New Technologies: The Shape of Fun to Come, a symposium on music composition in video games. One of the panelists will be Ramachandra Borcar aka Ramasutra, contributor to Far Cry 4’s soundtrack and the mastermind behind 1999’s The East Infection. He will be joined by Benedicte Ouimet and Louis-Philippe Caron from Ubisoft, Justin Vasquez from Warner Bros. Games, audio designer David Blake and Vibe Avenue’s FX Dupas and Mathieu Lavoie.

“I know there are a lot artists who want to do music for games,” says Martin. “There over 100 game indies in Montreal alone, so if you want to be able to have a pool of musicians to work from, that pool has to have a good idea of how music for games is done.”

As for the indie studios, expect offerings from Miscellaneum Studios, Heroes Never Lose, Burrito Studio, Illogika, Red Se3d Studio, KO­OP Mode, Ankama, Artifact 5, and Mat Walker Entertainment. ■

POP Arcade is this Saturday from 11 a.m.­–6 p.m. at Quartiers POP (3450 St-Urbain). Free. The Music, Video Games & New Technologies: The Shape of Fun to Come symposium begins at 1 p.m.

This article has been updated to reflect a change in the panel participants.