It would normally be a little early for me to be involved in a game’s development. The sound and music doesn’t get tackled until there’s a brief put together: some storyline, visuals, characters, possibly even some playable elements. This is different though, we’re getting our heads together as a team. We’re all chipping in ideas for ‘Grumkin’ to craft into a staggeringly brilliant playable story…lucky him. So I am in on how things are developing and can build ideas as the rest of the elements grow. For now things are vague, so I’m feeling pretty vague too. I get the feeling that atmospheric sound beds are more the ticket than big chest-swelling themes, so I’m doing some research in that area. I had a listen to two game soundtracks today: Harry Gregson-Williams’ ‘Metal Gear Solid 4′ (nope, full of big themes and cinematic orchestras), and Mark Morgan’s ‘Fallout’. Well, now this is a bit more like it! There may not be much in the way of grand themes, but talk about atmosphere! It’s full of fabulous layers – quite a few very reminiscent of a certain Korg synth I have in my collection – and evocative sounds. Drawing influences from other soundtracks is always a great start for me. It isn’t about copying or writing a pastiche; it’s about striking a spark. For example, when I’m listening to a song my mind fills in a rhyming couplet before the singer gets to their next line. It is much the same when I listen to music: timbres, phrases and next steps spring to mind like so many threads. If I then take up some these strands, something completely new emerges. So I think I’m going to blow the cobwebs off the Wavestation and start fiddling with some settings on the fabulous Absynth. This is also the perfect opportunity to take the wrappers off the sound design sampler I built earlier in the year. It’s going to be a lot of fun mashing up home recordings of my fan oven and my wife’s bottle of hair mousse…did I type that last bit out loud?
So, there may be nothing specific to go on for now, but in the meantime I’ve got my toys to play with and the inspiration of some great composers. *Enter here the sound of someone licking their lips*!