It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know…

Welcome back everyone and let me start by saying that it is essential to know your craft, as well as knowing the right people to get the jobs. In this case it was a matter of working with David Whitehouse on the game Coffee Crawler and him loving the song so much that it played all day for the last day of production at the 40 Hour Make A Thing, needles to say that we couldn’t get the tune out of our heads for a while and were walking around humming it for the next couple of days.

I’m pleased to say that David has invited me back to work on his next project, Sphere Runner, another game that has a 40 hour deadline. He has come up with a simple but very fun concept of an automatic running game where you run and jump in between different layers of planetary spheres, collecting the rewards and reaching the goal, in this case a black hole.

Required Assets

  • Looping Ambient Music (around 2 mins)
  • Sound FX for, Jump, Land, Collect Item and Reach the Goal

David has given me a basic outline of what he would like to hear in the game, as well as providing music references, which helps immensely when communicating with people who do not know specific musical terms but know what sound they want.

Creating the Music for Sphere Runner

This project was announced only yesterday (12th of February, 2015) so I thought I would start with the music to create the sonic landscape and mood of the game. Some of the listening examples David gave were from the games Thomas Was alone and Monument Valley, as well as a remixed dance version (why would you do that?) of the theme from Inception, by Hans Zimmer (I know it’s sacrilege to alter Hans’ work, sorry Hans! Your soundtrack for Inception is one of my favourite pieces of all time, EPIC!). The good thing about working with David is that he gave me those examples as a guide to what feeling he wanted, then had enough confidence to say now do whatever you want! I trust you.

Because I thought out side of the square for the music to Coffee Crawler, I thought, jeez, this guy probably is expecting something crazy again! So trying not to disappoint, I had to think of another gimmick and thats when I thought, well, the game is about running on a sphere that is basically an earth-like structure, so what speed does the earth rotate at? After a quick google search and from referencing good ‘ol Wikipedia I had soon discovered that the earth rotates at an “equatorial speed of 465.1 m/s (Wikipedia, 2015). So with this measurement I then divided it by four, because I was using a 4/4 time signature, which gave me the number 116.275, this became the tempo of the song.

With the aim of creating some music in line with the examples that I had been given, I decided to use my 8-string Schecter Damien Elite electric guitar for the bulk of the track, using Guitar Rig 5 for the effects. The great thing about using an 8-string is that you almost have a bass guitars range (lowest note is F#, one tone higher than a bass), as well as the higher notes from a standard electric guitar.

I have been playing Destiny lately and the sound track was a collaboration of three composers, all with their own musical strengths. One of the first pieces you hear when you play the game is from composer Marty O’Donnell, who mentions that he used the Lydian Mode, a Mode that has a supernatural, other-worldly feeling to it, a feeling that Marty describes as a Magic Forest. Witnessing first hand that The Lydian Mode works perfectly for an outer space adventure, it seemed logical to use this mode for Sphere Runner.

So here is the basic layout for the music

  • Ambient
  • 116.275 BPM tempo
  • Lydian Mode
  • Guitar and effects Driven

Have a listen!

The deadline for this project is COB tuesday so watch this space for updates!

 

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