Video Game Music
Making music for video games is fun! The challenge is to compose in a style that works with the visual design and has a length that matches game play.
Below are some examples of music I've made for video games. For "Rex McFury: Public Defender" I had a great time learning about and creating music in the 8-bit style. With "Somebody's Hero," I used a hybrid symphonic/electronic style to match the dark superhero aesthetic. This was a fun chance for me to play with my new ComposerCloud and Serum's Wavetable Synth tools.
Rex McFury: Public Defender
April 2018, Ludum Dare 41:
The amazing Dave M (Minibobbo) and I built this game in just 2 days!
Dave did all classic 8-bit visual arts and game programming.
I did all the music, voice acting, and sound effects in my home studio. I wanted to start with a classic 8-bit sound and slowly build in more modern sounds: guitar, drum kit, and orchestral elements
- Music: ProTools using various plug-ins and live electric guitars
- Voice-overs: BlueBird mic, then down-sampled/processed with ProTools
- Sound FX: Bfxr for custom 8-bit sounds: hits, jumps, explosions...
*NOTE: the tracks loop in the game, so they end abruptly here.
Direct link to game (Works on Firefox, sound issues on Chrome):
Link to the game site on Ludum Dare 41 website:
The great Dave M and his art!
Some sound-related comments from players:
- "The music was groovin, and I liked the gritty synthesized sound effects."
- "The graphics and sound design give this game a real sense of personality."
- "I love the graphics and the voice acting."
- "The retro aesthetics are awesome, especially with the bit-crunched voice clips, and the entire concept is hilarious."
- "Dave did some awesome voice work and I think it is some of the funnier parts of the game."
- The lengths of the musical tracks that I made are much longer than the typical game play (or cut-scene reading) time. It's helpful to understand the typical time lengths are so you can scope out a good musical arc within that time. Here, the music hasn't even started to properly build before you either die or kill the opponent.
- There was too much bit-crushing on the vocals. While they sounded intelligible on their own, once behind the game music it was hard for people to understand them.
- Implement separate sounds for when attacks hit vs. miss an opponent.
- This was my first foray into chip-tune music, 8-bit sound FX generation, and video game music making! So it required quite some learning curve! Given the timeline of 2-days, I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.
Helpful links while doing this project:
- The 8-bit Guy is awesome! The following link on old-school game music/sound helped me understand how typical arrangement worked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_3d1x2VPxk
- I used anode8's instruction on using the 'Vacuum" plug-in to synthesize an NES-style sound that I used in the "Normal Battle" track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UNuqYFP-pM