Whenever I feel like I’m playing the “same old” over and over, I pick one of my favorite keys and use a different mode. I LOVE g minor, but it has started to feel predictable and stale because I end up falling back on muscle memory and “old” ideas. Nothing like a flat 2nd scale degree to shake things up a bit.
This year I got to work with some people I already knew as well as some people I had just met. Either way, it is always an amazing experience to be surrounded by so many talented and tenacious people and to make a video game start to finish within a 48 hour window.
As per usual, I worked on more than one project doing original music composition and sound design.
Crosswired is a Virtual Reality cable management game with funny dialogue. It’s up to you as the operator for an intergalactic communications switchboard to connect the correct calls. Don’t break a connection or you will be jettisoned into outer space!
For this track, I was going for “crappy corporate musak.” The goal being, write the least memorable, most aimless melody line ever that represents the banality and loneliness of being the only life form for light years in any direction while simultaneously being in an extremely dull environment…I also scooped out all the low end to make it sound like it was coming from a crappy hole-in-the-wall speaker.
You can download and play the full game HERE (assuming you have an HTC VIVE VR setup).
Next up is a game called Spacing Out. But! Before I can talk about that I need to touch on something that I talked about in my last post, and it has to do with the Misfits of Video Game Music. Sometimes, you get a temp track, or somebody says they are looking for a certain sound, or you have an idea of something that might work, and it turns out…it doesn’t work. The first instruction I got for this tune was to make music kinda like that in Overcooked. So I did. Turns out this is just way to goofy for the vibe of interstellar mind control (regardless of if the ultimate goal of the game is interstellar sandwich delivery…). Here is Polka Party.
Okay, so on to the music that did work! Complete 180.
Welcome to the Stellar Delivery Service! You have been assigned to the SDS Sand-Witch as its acting Captain. With your rank comes access to the Employee Positive Influencer, which you will use to ensure the crew stays on task and content. The crew of the Sand-Witch are known for being difficult to manage, but we have faith in your abilities and in the EPI. Your mission is to carry a very important cargo from Earth to one of our interstellar colonies, Sigma Alpha Nu Delta Which. Deliver it on time, and don’t explode. Godspeed Captain! Spacing Out is a single person game about mind control and space travel. You control four crew members on a spaceship as they hurtle towards a far away planet. You can only control one of your lazy crew at a time, so plan ahead and don’t get stuck.
You can download and play the full game HERE (all you need is a PC).
It sure has been a minute since my last post. I’ve been busy recording an Audiobook and setting up some other very exciting projects that’ll be happening in 2018 here at The Solar Studio! More to come on all that in a future post.
On to the business at hand!
So, I got some new virtual instrument softwares on Black Friday (I didn’t leave the house PS) and got a chance to use them for the Ludum Dare 40 Game Jam!
Pixel Forest (named after the fact) was my first attempt at music for our game. Turned out a little too happy and “foresty” for our game (very grateful to have a team who is honest and will speak up when their BS meter goes in the red), but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this silly little chippy tune 🙂
New instructions from the team: Make it more industrial and not so happy. Me: Otay!!
I should mention that I recently started re-watching the Dollhouse TV series (sooooo gooood), and I think the melody (or at least that minor #7) is part of me now.
This is what came out for my 2nd attempt. Again my team’s BS meter started pushing the red. WAY TOO INTENSE! And also too mysterious… When it’s not right for the game, it’s not right for the game.
So, here is an homage track to the incidental music in Dollhouse (That music was written by Mychael Danna and Rob Simonsen. Hats off to you both. This music is my original composition. Copyright me 2017).
Okay, so new instructions. Can you make it less intense, but still urgent, but also kinda chill, but not too chill because your character is a dude at work rounding up monsters with a leaf blower and you might get your head bitten off at any point…? We have a winner!
Closing thoughts: Never turn down an opportunity to create music as quickly as possible. And never turn down critical feedback from team members. It just means you get more practice and the final product will be that much better.
I wrote “The ‘Good’ Guys” and “The ‘Bad’ Guys” to showcase my writing in a dark, epic, industrial/orchestral hybrid setting. For both of these tracks I have used East West Quantum Leap samples as well as SoniVox Twist & Wobble. I sequenced these using Pro Tools. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: This is original music written by Bryan Schumann. I’m a fan of the game and a composer. This is my homage to CSGO. This is not the original music from CSGO, which was written by Mike Morasky. Hats of to you as well good sir. Cheers!