A music post from M.J.
Holy cow, we recently passed 50% of our funding goal! I'm amazed, the support and encouragement that we've received so far has been phenomenal. Before I hand the post over to M.J. to talk about music, I wanted to give you all a new avenue that you can help with.
New share page
To commemorate getting to 50% of our goal, we've got a new page for you all to help share the love. Simply click here to go to the page, and click the like buttons on the page. "Liking" these articles about the game will naturally let others know about the game, and it only takes a few seconds!
I also want to mention some livestreams as we approach the end of the Kickstarter campaign. You can find the livestreams here when they go live.
Saturday, May 3rd I will be doing a livestream of The Fourth Wall with commentary, around 9PM PST.
Sunday, May 4th I will be doing a livestream of Perspective with commentary, around 5PM PST.
Monday, May 5th or Tuesday, May 6th, we will also be doing a livestream of puzzle games and games that are an inspiration to us. We will most likely play this one by ear, but expect to see it on Monday or Tuesday, leading up to the last hours of the Kickstarter. You can tell us when you would like to see the livestream by taking this one-question poll.
Now, with that out of the way, I'll hand it off to M.J.
The Music Of Four Sided Fantasy
Usually before I write down any ideas, I like to get a good look at the game, how it plays, and all the artwork up to that point to give me a first point of reference, and I start to imagine vague ideas on how I think it should sound. After that I usually ask for several reference tracks that the designer or producer feels fit the sound, texture, or emotion that they’d like to be conveyed. This gives me a big mental picture of the game’s musical landscape and helps me get into the head of the client so as to better understand what they’re looking for from the music. The material Logan sent me reflecting the current aesthetic that was being developed at that time included the Upstream Color soundtrack, tracks by Washed Out, Youth Lagoon, Passion Pit, and even the Twin Peaks soundtrack among several others. Alongside that he sent a general list of themes for the mood:
The very basic idea for the music I got from all of this, with the large variety of reference music, was an earthly, dreamy and nostalgic kind of balance between organic and electronic sounds, which was similar to a previous game I worked on, Chrono Disfunglement, albeit with more electronic leanings. Much of that will vary throughout the game in the future.
The Music Itself
The first piece of music I started working on for the game proper (after the trailer) was Breezy Reverie, as per it’s namesake was intended to reflect a very open, airy clearing surrounded by grass and mountains in the distance on a summer morning. I wanted to use the chord progression as a sort of drawn-out melody so as to keep a slower, more dreamy and relaxed feel to it, and not have much in the way of an ‘out there’ lead instrument; the synthesized bell sound served the lead purpose when there wasn’t much going on in the track.
One of the things Logan stressed to me about the music is that none of the electronic sounds, pads and whatnot should sound too sci-fi or spacey, and that was an issue here with the main pad progression having too many warp-esque effects on it, as well as the bell melody sounding honestly terrible in parts...
The current cut: https://soundcloud.com/mr_quiggles/level1-3-sc
The pad has been changed a fair amount here, I tweaked it to make it sound more airy and less sci-fi and layered a deep simple bass pad on a lower octave from the main chords in places to help fill it out. I also rewrote parts of the bell melody and added a few bits of background noise to add some interest to the white noise wind that’s already there. The track’s still isn’t as good as it could be and this will more than likely not be the absolute final version of this track, I always come back to previous material to make it better.
The other track, The Mountain Sings, started as an early concept loop I made while developing Breezy Reverie. When I make music for a game I’ll write out several 4-16 measure loops of music that acts as small slices of larger pieces of music; I’ll have the clients take a listen, and whatever ones they like I develop further while the other ones are put aside for future use and improvement. This was the original concept loop for The Mountain Sings I sent Logan:
Still fairly rough and undeveloped here, but Logan ended up liking it enough for me to continue developing it as a full track, which is on the main page of the kickstarter, but I’ll put it here as well.
Theres some slight influence from Vangelis in this track. The intention for this track is for more of a ‘moment’ bit, like coming across something unique or a significant change in the environment or what have you. In the future I’d like to make this track longer, if not for the game, then for the soundtrack release.
Thank you all so much for the support!
-Logan (and the Ludo Land team)