Scoring for Deadlock: Initial Idea - Step 1
published Tuesday, 10 May 2011, 12:00 by Reese
Ever wondered why composers are acting all weird and goofy in the game development process? Well, sit back and relax as we invite you on a unique music composing journey from the initial idea, and all the way to the finished music score in all its glory.
Download or Listen to Interstellar Marines: Deadlock Idea 01 (320 kbit, mp3)
Download or Listen to Interstellar Marines: Deadlock Idea 02 (320 kbit, mp3)
Download or Listen to Interstellar Marines: Deadlock Idea 03 (320 kbit, mp3)
Download or Listen to Interstellar Marines: Deadlock Idea 04 (320 kbit, mp3)
Download finished music
Initial idea -> Composing-> Arrangement adjustments -> Mixing -> Mastering
Welcome to my first Dev blog dedicated for Music since Scoring for IM:Prologue - You might want to read up on that one first as I cover the basics of my music scoring process. Yeah I know,- its been a while :)
As promised I wish to pick up on this previous music scoring blog initiative which provides any interested to follow and comment on the scoring process and my thoughts while composing for Interstellar Marines.
If you have been following the weekly SITREP you might already know that I have mostly been busy with time-consuming admin, investor and financial stuff.. but last weekend I was finally able to pick up on a more creative mode. So, I composed the above 4 short initial ideas (maybe) intended for our next multiplayer release, Deadlock.
I must admit, that releasing these pieces this early are with mixed feelings. On one hand I find this very exciting and I very much look forward to get your feedback and comments, but on the other hand I have a feeling that this is way to premature for release :) Oh well, this is what true Open Door Development is all about. Time will tell whether this will work or not but at least I hope you will find this interesting, and maybe even provide you with some insights.
Oh, and just to clarify before we proceed. I have a history of remaking stuff 50 times in the creative process so the ideas above may vary or be trashed if a new idea is more suitable for Deadlock. Please don't kill me when I change stuff.
The initial ideas
Scoring for Deadlock is first of all about coming up with some basic initial ideas. This is where I just play around with different themes, styles and maybe even genres to some degree.
Most game companies often hire external composers in the final phase and very close to final deadline. On one hand, this helps the composer as he/she can play the game and get inspiration with hands-on the final product, but on the other hand, the soundtrack often need to be composed within a very short period of time which tend to stress the composer and in worst, cut corners and with small time for iterations. We try a slightly different approach as I compose throughout the entire game development on a running basis. This provides Kim with a huge advantage and inspiration boost when he creates our videos. Also, the theme for Interstellar Marines can evolve over time through lots of iterations and be tested in-game and on you guys, our beloved community.
Anyways, (need to keep myself on track) I've been digging through the community comments regarding the previous released Interstellar Marines music and the common denominator seems to be a "love" for at least a piano part in the music pieces. Well, on that note I'm easily convinced. and do agree; so this time I've started out with some basics piano themes to set the right mood for Deadlock.
The rest of the ZPS team already got their own personal favorites which they think I should continue working with, so lets see if you concur.. or for some reason completely disagree ;)
The overall current idea and my initial thoughts is setting the mood with a piano part as introduction and then pick up on brass, percussion and choir.. you know, the whole shebang,- Deadlock is an action game and the music should support this. I've briefly tried that approach in the Idea 4 piece.
Besides working on a piece of music which will fit for Deadlock, I am also focusing on a somewhat more "joint" approach this time. Prologue, The Vault, The trailer-theme, BullsEye and Running Man all had their own respective function, but despite I managed to keep those scores within the same genre and style I am still searching for THAT specific theme which will characterize the Interstellar Marines soundtrack as a whole. That little music piece or call it "riff" that everyone will recognize and identify as Interstellar Marines. That piece which can be used in different moods such as sorrow, action and epic settings; I hope this makes sense.
I've had a little discussion with the rest of the team whether a common "riff" is necessary throughout x numbers of tracks or whether it really doesn't matter - My personal belief; I think if you ask 10 people you get 10 different answers on that one because it seems to vary a lot in both movie- and game scores.
'SARA' says: Closure ...
I expect to pick up the pace within the next couple of weeks in regards to music composing as I conclude several time consuming administrative tasks. So, comment, discuss, debate, do your thing and lets get this show on the road.. lets see where this approach takes us :)
For the love of the game (and music)
All the best and thank you for reading,
"Sound makes it real; music makes you feel"