I spent a few months earlier this year composing music for a point-and-click game demo, Eerie Blue. The demo was released back in June, and can be played for free here.
The game is a mystery puzzle game that follows a female detective investigating a house in which a crime has happened. As the game progresses the main character will go through different levels of stress, and this is emphasised by changes to the music.
The game is made with the Adventure Game Studio (AGS) engine, which has only 8 sound channels. This meant I didn't get that many channels for music, so the music is based around two layers: The main loop and the stress layer. When the character is not stressed, the main loop is playing on it's own. This music is mainly ambient, and has very few melodic and rhythmic elements, as to make it seem less repetitive. The music is somewhat based around the note E, but it doesn't have any clear major or minor tonality, and doesn't follow any clearly discernible chord progressions. When the main loop is playing on its own, there are also a number of shorter stingers that will play at random from time to time.
As the stress levels increase, the Stress music layer starts to fade in and increase in volume. There are three levels of stress, and the volume increases a bit each time the stress level changes. The Stress music layer is more rhythmic and repetitive in nature. The aim, of course, is to make the player feel more stressed out, but also perhaps to give the player a greater sense of urgency, or having to hurry up a bit more that previously, as there is a certain danger element present that might suggest the character should try to get out of the house as quickly as possible.
The game is only a short demo thus far, but hopefully we will continue working on the full game soon.
Back in September one of the creators of 5 Minute Fun - one of Immediate Medias websites - asked if they could use some of my music on one of their videos. This video went live today.
Update: The video has been deleted from YouTube, but I was commissioned to compose music for 5 Minute Fun's Advent Calendar video series in December of 2016, you can hear all the music I did here. These videos were also removed from YouTube, but the music has been used in a few videos since then, for example this one:
Long time no blog...
So the plan is I will start blogging a bit about work I do on this site.
The biggest news is that I have finished my master's degree, MSc Sound and Music for Interactive Games at Leeds Beckett University. The summer has been rather busy trying to get the final master's project together. The project was on truly interactive music in video games, and the video below explains the project in more detail.
I hope to develop this game a bit further: Add in my own character (possibly a fox), new environment, adding sound design and improving the gameplay further. If and when I'm doing more research on the field, I will probably go away from this game entirely, so further development for it will mainly just be an opportunity for me to become better at creating music systems for games.
I have also started creating music for a YouTube channel doing tutorials on game art creations, and my music has been featured in some of the videos. The latest one was posted today, and can be seen here.
Thanks for reading!
I have been working on some music ideas for the The Rabbit and the Owl, and thought I could share some of what I have come up with. First of all I need to mention again that the game already have two composers, and my music will not be featured in the game. This is work I am doing for the sake of developing my skills as a composer.
The music I have composed so far is a concept idea or sketch for the kind of mood I want to go for. The developer told me that he liked the 'airyness' of some of my other piano compositions, so I took that into concideration with regards to the instrumentation. I went for a grand piano, and applied quite a lot of reverb to get a sense of air and space. The thought behind the flute and the bassoon is to give it even more air, and it was also a way of changing up the textures a bit as the piece progresses. There is a theme that is heard in piano at the very beginning, which is repeated several times throughout the piece, and the plan is that this will be the Rabbit's theme. The Owl's theme is still under development.
Hear the music here:
As I continue working on this, I think I will also use the flute as a sonic representation of the Rabbit: The Rabbit is white and female, and the flute has some light and feminine qualities to it which might work well in representing the Rabbit. The bassoon will represent the owl: It has a darker sound, and a much lower range, which might fit the masculine and dark features of the Owl.
Unfortunately the flute samples I have been using does not sound as good as I want them too. I will continue to work on this, or maybe try to obtain some better samples.
Although I am quite happy with this piece so far, it might not be optimal for an in-game situation, especially not if the music is going to be reactive: It has a very clear tonal development and a steady pulse that drives it. I do think it works in showing the kind of mood I want, however, and I will use this as a basis for the continued work.
I have been looking at a few games that I might want to make demos for, and would like to write about one that particularly caught my attention: The Rabbit and the Owl by developer Formal Sheep. The game was published on Steam Greenlight on the 11th of March, and crossed into the top 100 within 48 hours. (Edit: It has been greenlit now).
The game is set to be released in 2017, and the developers describe it as "[...] a single-player puzzle-platformer which introduces an interdependent 2x2-dimensional landscape. These two characters exist in a world in which a window for one is simultaneously a barrier for the other. You must help the Rabbit and the Owl navigate through the positive and negative spaces of mind-bending puzzles to discover the secrets of the strange land that they are a part of".
The game already has two composers, David Huff and Patrick Neff, and judging from the announment trailer (below), they will compose some great and well fitting music for this game.
Posts about some of the other games I have looked at will follow in the next few days.
Short update: I have decided to move blog, so I will be writing here instead from now on.
The purpose of this blog is still to update the world on my work for Negotiated skills practices, a module I am taking at university. My aim for tyhe module is to develop my portofolio as a video game composer by creating three pieces of music, or demos, for three different games. I am also going to create an interactive demo using FMOD and Unreal Enginge 4.