I had a great time on the weekend making music and other little audio tidbits for games at the Perth Global Game Jam. It was pretty rad. I don’t know why but it just felt good putting myself in that position to see what it’s like to: 1. make music for games and 2. make music under pressure with a specific feeling or goal in mind.
I ended up working on three games, all of which were quite different from each other.
The GGJ theme this year was: “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
In this game you are basically stuck in an insane asylum and need to escape. But the only way to do that is to posses the tiny bodies of smaller creatures which can fit through cracks and vents and locate the extremely handydandyman key that will allow you to escape.
I made three pieces of music for the game. Each one for a different stage of the player’s progress:
- Deep depression; darkness; anxiety; failing sanity
- Hopeful escape; the end is in sight; just a little bit further
- Escape; freedom; a new beginning
You can download and play Mad House here. Although it does require an Oculus Rift headset… I’m not too sure everyone has one of those fancy-babies lying around just yet.
A giant world ready to be explored. You enter the world alone but soon find followers that learn and adapt from the actions you take. Will the land remain peaceful and safe or take a violent turn for the worse! Who knows?! You can download it and find out for yourself if you like.
For Alpha I was asked to make a piece of music that was relatively neutral in feeling (neither aggressive nor happy). I also wanted to get across the feeling of exploration and wonder, and also the slight sense of danger that is inherent in the open wilderness.
Forest went through many different designs before settling down on an interesting core mechanic:
You can only see or perceive what is in your immediate sphere of awareness. You can send out ‘flares’ or ‘scanners’ to see further ahead of you, but these only last a short time and anything you see doesn’t exist as a physical object (with gravity and other such things) until it comes into your sphere of awareness. You can also place ‘beacons’ to remember a certain location, but these memory beacons only stay active for a limited time. Check it out here if you’re interested.
This was an interesting game to compose for and also quite exciting because of its minimalist aesthetic. I made a bunch of sounds for activation events and the beacon bubbles. But I’m most pleased with the atmosphere track I’ve included above; I love the space and dreamy quality of it.
Overall I’m pretty happy with how all the audio turned out in the time I had. Although, listening back to them now I would have liked to smooth out a few things and spend more time on the overall composition. But! That’s for next time! Or even this time! Or maybe even right now! Yeah!