Another Summit Concept Sound

The wind rises, but the travelers press on towards the Summit.

Advertisements

“Astral Battle” – Music by Send More People

I thought it might be interesting for folks to see the music that we’ve been generating for our projects. Even though only one game has been published, we’ve got done dozens of songs.

Astral Battle is a soundtrack from “Drift”, Send More People’s once and future space game project.

The song was intended to be the in-combat music for a game set in the far reaches of space. Drift went through several concept iterations which ended up removing ship to ship fighting. The piece has a soft spot in Derek’s heart, though, and he plans to work it in, when and if Send More People returns to Drift.

Author: Derek Gildea

Free Licenses! And an artist understanding his role.

Eric just discovered that the Unity iOS and Android licenses are available for free, at least for now.

This is astounding news. Eric and I can make Shaped and wont have to pay another dime for development costs.  Thank you, Unity – you guys just earned yourself mention in the credits for being hands-down awesome.

Development is coming along for Shaped iOS. Eric has been flexing his coding muscles and porting the game over to touch controls. It now runs as well as the PC version – just on a smaller screen and with touch controls. Over the coming weeks we’ll be implementing our other ideas for adding content to the game and making it worth the $1 we want to charge for it on the app store… more than $1 worth, if I have any say in the matter.

Here's what my afternoon looked like.

I was thinking of different ways to diversify the audio experience of Shaped and the idea of layering the soundtrack as the player progressed through the game came to mind. After an hour or so of composing I sent something Eric’s way and asked for his feedback. Part of me wasn’t certain that what I came up with fit with the game. It was good, it fit with the game sounds but it was also… upbeat. Too much so, for a game that was birthed out of a sense of loneliness. Eric’s honest criticism said as much and we’ve agreed not to make it a key part of the game… but perhaps it has a place as an unlockable.

Here, take a listen. Let me know what you think: Shaped – Building Soundtrack Demo

As I told Eric, I think part of my effort to tinker with the soundscape was prompted by a desire to shape the game creatively – something I haven’t really done recently. My greatest direct footprint had been left during the 20 hours of effort during Ludum Dare, my other contributions had been really nibbling around the edges – correcting the orientation of an audio listener or replacing a broken texture – or indirect contribution, bringing issues beyond my coding ability to Eric’s attention and watching him fix them. That’s how these things are supposed to work, after all; an artist is usually not a programmer. And I have other roles to play on the business development and marketing end of things. But part of me still wishes that I could execute things as I conceive them, directly, so I can carry out my usual work strategy of “tweak, tweak, tweak.” This is why having a good partner is so important – If I can’t do a thing directly, I can happily depend on my partner to help me figure out another way.

Another music track – again made with FL Studio. Let’s hear it for free VSTs like Ganymede to make the basis for interesting sounds! I’m planning to save up for a $110 Bundle that includes the lauded Sytrus plugin (which makes HUNDREDS of beautiful instruments) but in the meanwhile I’m using what I have. There’s a pretty stark transition in the early moments of this song from orchestral to electronic. I picture this track as being the early moments of the game when it first turns on. You’ll see the “Send More People” logo (and possibly our publisher?) then the main menu appears and the base kicks in. Cue spinning objects and dramatic space scenes in the background. Gonna be the sexiest home screen ever.  -Derek

Another music track – again made with FL Studio. Let’s hear it for free VSTs like Ganymede to make the basis for interesting sounds! I’m planning to save up for a $110 Bundle that includes the lauded Sytrus plugin (which makes HUNDREDS of beautiful instruments) but in the meanwhile I’m using what I have.

There’s a pretty stark transition in the early moments of this song from orchestral to electronic. I picture this track as being the early moments of the game when it first turns on. You’ll see the “Send More People” logo (and possibly our publisher?) then the main menu appears and the base kicks in. Cue spinning objects and dramatic space scenes in the background. Gonna be the sexiest home screen ever. 

-Derek

A few of my music posts mention that I feel a little caught up in a loop rut recently and feel like a lot of my music is a little stunted by the method I use to create it. My phone app is great, but it insists upon loops of 4 bars at a time, which I’ve found inhibits musical themes longer than that. It also makes it quite a challenge to switch keys, or throw little pieces of ambient variety in there. The result is I feel somewhat “herded” towards a certain style of music – It’s difficult to experiment “sideways” but easy to experiment “up,” which results in these songs that build and build and build towards a crescendo. That’s great for some things, but since I constantly think of the Drift sound track as a ambient “mood-setter”, like a movie soundtrack during a dialog scene, and not aggressive, as an object of the player’s direct focus, I have trouble creating the appropriate tone. This attached piece is made in FL studio, as opposed to the phone, and an attempt to enjoy more of that “sideways” experimentation – no loops save for the beat at the baseline, which are subtle. FL, of course, is much superior to a little $8 app on a smart phone, and I really think that the flexibility it provides will be great for the soundtrack. I think this pieace captures the kind of haunting mood I’ve been seeking for Drift. Please to enjoy! Derek

A few of my music posts mention that I feel a little caught up in a loop rut recently and feel like a lot of my music is a little stunted by the method I use to create it. My phone app is great, but it insists upon loops of 4 bars at a time, which I’ve found inhibits musical themes longer than that. It also makes it quite a challenge to switch keys, or throw little pieces of ambient variety in there. The result is I feel somewhat “herded” towards a certain style of music – It’s difficult to experiment “sideways” but easy to experiment “up,” which results in these songs that build and build and build towards a crescendo. That’s great for some things, but since I constantly think of the Drift sound track as a ambient “mood-setter”, like a movie soundtrack during a dialog scene, and not aggressive, as an object of the player’s direct focus, I have trouble creating the appropriate tone.

This attached piece is made in FL studio, as opposed to the phone, and an attempt to enjoy more of that “sideways” experimentation – no loops save for the beat at the baseline, which are subtle. FL, of course, is much superior to a little $8 app on a smart phone, and I really think that the flexibility it provides will be great for the soundtrack. I think this pieace captures the kind of haunting mood I’ve been seeking for Drift. Please to enjoy!

Derek