If you’re a fan of virtual reality simulations, music videos, 3D animation and rhythm games, then [NUREN]: The New Renaissance is probably something you’re going to want to keep an eye on. Having just launched it’s Kickstarter, [NUREN] is a project headed by composer Jake “Virt” Kaufman (Shovel Knight, Contra 4) along with Jessie Seeley. (voice, Double Dragon NEON, Bloodrayne: Betrayal)
According to the Kickstarter page, the game is basically a interactive music video, featuring 3D animation in real-time virtual reality. The game will feature seven distinct segments planned with musical and fully voice-acted interludes joining them together, with the Kickstarter helping to fund the guest creators that will help construct the [NUREN] world.
“[NUREN] combines influences from sources including Fantasia, Space Channel 5, TRON, Ghost in the Shell, Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, the Animatrix, and the technically and artistically brilliant PC demo scene. Dancing robot girls, synchronized light shows, vast panoramas, and starry skies await you.”
- [NUREN] Kickstarter
The game will offer full Windows/MAC/Linux support, but the biggest draw will be for the Oculus Rift and the full VR immersion experience. The current funding goal for the project is $70,000, with pledge rewards being largely immaterial and instead offering direct access and interaction with the development team. A demo for the game will be available for all to check out via the Kickstarter page, to get a good preview before your pledge! With VR games still being new and unique territory for game developers, [NUREN] looks to have the potential to really break into the new frontier with both style and a fantastic soundtrack.
[NUREN]: The New Renaissance – Kickstarter
Need some more chiptune music in your life? The Castle In The Darkness OST may have just what you’re looking for. Coinciding with the release of the game on Steam, the Castle In The Darkness OST is out and ready for download on Bandcamp. Like the game itself, the music plays homage to the 8-bit NES era of games. Some of the tracks even manage to sneak in some clever music references/easter eggs to the Castlevania and Final Fantasy series.
The music is written by Matt Kap, who also developed the game. That’s right, he created the game AND wrote the music. You may be familiar with his work as the pixel artist for games like The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. If you’re a fan of classic 8-bit music, this is a new album that you’ll definitely want to check out. Castle In The Darkness is currently available on Steam, and the soundtrack can be found on Matt Kap’s Bandcamp site.
If you didn’t notice already, Sumthing Else Music has finally released the full original soundtrack for the haunting indie game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.
This was a soundtrack that I put on my list of Top OSV’s of 2014 and with good reason. Composed by Polish musician Mikolai Stroinski (The Witcher 3, Dark SoulsTrailer), the music of the game fits the atmosphere and pacing well and creates an eerie and ethereal feel to the subtle horror of the game, earning it Best Audio at the 15th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards as well as several other nominations. Fans of Silent Hill and Gone Home will no doubt easily find something they like about The Vanishing of Ethan Carter‘s soundtrack.
The complete album spans a bit under 50 minutes at $9.99 or $0.99 per each of the 17 tracks. Do yourself a favor and go pick it up if you haven’t already.
The soundtrack to Double Fine’s latest game project, Massive Chalice, will be available on several new platforms. The Massive Chalice OST had its original release on Bandcamp back in November of 2014, in time for the release of the game on Steam Early Access. The soundtrack features a mixture of electronic, ambient, and orchestral elements, all designed to compliment the unique turn based strategy game. The soundtrack was composed by Brian Trifon and Brian Lee White, who make up the Finishing Move music and sound production company.
The complete Massive Chalice OST will be available today for download on iTunes, Amazon, Xbox Music, and Google Play. If you haven’t had a chance to pick this soundtrack up, you will now have a few more opportunities and options available for grabbing yourself a copy.
The newest iteration of the Game Music Bundle from the fine folks at Loudr is now on sale for auditory consumption!
From now until December 18th, the Game Music Bundle 8 features 19 separate video game soundtracks for sale on different “levels” of purchase. The first level is unlocked with just $1 and offers five soundtracks, including:
Ever wondered what The Binding of Isaac would sound like if it were an NES game? Chiptune artist Inverse Phase’s newest album The Chipping of Isaac explores that very concept. Covering the music of Danny Baranowsky’s original The Binding of Isaac OST, this album features NES interpretations of every track from the original game. This includes the title screen, boss fights, and even the shop theme.
According to the album home page, Inverse Phase plans to add tracks from the Wrath of the Lamb expansion and loopable tracks at a later date. So if you’re a fan of The Binding of Isaac OST and enjoy the chiptune sounds of the NES, this may be an album you’ll want to check out. The Chipping of Isaac is currently available on Inverse Phase’s Bandcamp page.
A roguelike that uses sound generation and music sequencers to create a game environment? Okay, that will certainly get our attention. Band Saga is a game that is currently looking for funds through Kickstarter to aid its development. The project is headed by a team of two, Roger Hicks and Hillmon Ancrum. The duo is hoping to turn their current game prototype into a full game for Mac, PC, Linux, and iOS.
Band Saga is, as mentioned, a music generated roguelike. Each item, enemy, and level is tied to a specific element of the music. As you explore and unlock new sounds, characters, and items, you can manipulate parts of the soundtrack through a sequencer to change the game world. The game’s art style sticks to a 16-bit graphic aesthetic, while the music that is generated takes its cues from the FM synth sounds of the Sega Genesis. You can see and hear this all in action in the demo video below.
As a nice little bonus, the soundtrack for Band Saga is already available on Bandcamp. The soundtrack is primarily written by Rekcahdam (aka Roger Hicks), but also features a number of guest artists. These include some familiar game music names like Laura Shigihara, Disasterpeace, Stemage, and Danimal Cannon. The project has less than two weeks left. If a music based roguelike sounds like your idea of a great time, check out the Band Saga Kickstarter and be sure to take a listen to the released soundtrack.
This seems to be the time of year for game music Kickstarter campaigns. In addition to the previously covered Beep game audio documentary, another full length film titled The Players’ Score: A Videogame Music Documentary is looking for support through a Kickstarter campaign. Unlike the Beep documentary, The Players’ Score will be focused specifically on the music by game composers, chiptune artists, and videogame music cover artists. The documentary will also be taking a look at the culture and community surrounding game music.
The primary goal of the Kickstarter is to help fund the film team’s expenses as they travel to locations like MAGFest (Music and Game Festival) and to international locations in order to interview composers and artists and to cover game music events. Hitting the first stretch goal will allow the team to fly out to Japan for even more interviews.
Cast members in the film include Austin Wintory, Jesse Buddington, Nate Horsfall, and bands like Urizen and The Megas. The documentary is being narrated by Arin “Egorapter” Hanson and will have an original soundtrack composed by Jake “Virt” Kaufman. Backer rewards for the project include physical copies of the soundtrack, Blu-ray copies of the film, and special Skype calls with the cast and crew. If a documentary on the community and culture of videogame music sounds interesting to you, definitely take a look at this Kickstarter project.
Back in February of this year, composer Jimmy “Big Giant Circles” Hinson released a Kickstarter funded album titled The Glory Days. A spiritual sequel to one of his earlier albums, Impostor Nostalgia, this new project featured original music written in the style of chiptunes and old-school videogame music. Part of the original Kickstarter stretch goals included the eventual release of a remix album, which the Kickstarter achieved.
The time has finally come for the release of this extra album. Each remix track comes from members of the game music community. Artists contributing on the album include Stemage, Chipzel, and C418. The Glory Days Remixed is set to launch on August 27th and you can pre-order it on the Big Giant Circles Bandcamp page.
Creators of a new game documentary have launched a Kickstarter. The project titled Beep is intending to take a look at the history of game music and sound. Everything from the old school sounds of arcade games all the way to the games of today. The focus isn’t just on the music of these games. The documentary will also be an exploration of audio design, voice work, and the use of chiptune and other game sound technology outside of the gaming medium. A book will also accompany the documentary to supply more detailed information about the various subjects covered in the film.
There are already plans for interviews with major members of the game audio community. Raising money through Kickstarter will aid the creators in being able to travel and interview composers and sound designers. Several composers have already been named for interviews including Tommy Tallarico, Winifred Phillips, Shota Nakama, Peter McConnell, and many more.
Rewards for backers include copies of the documentary, book, soundtrack, t-shirts, and many other physical rewards. The Kickstarter has already raised over $15,000 of the needed $40,000 pledge goal. If this sounds like a project you’d like to see made, definitely check this Kickstarter out.
MagicalTimeBean, aka Ian Stocker, is the composer of a couple of game series, that of Escape Goat and Soulcaster. His music is very synth laden and, as a result, might not be to everyone’s tastes. I personally have enjoyed most of his music in the past and I have a great deal of respect for a talented composer that truly understands the language and nuances of computer games, and how to best write music for them. If nothing else, the music to Escape Goat 2, and indeed Escape Goat, perfectly matches the game’s play style and, because each level is essentially a static screen from which you have to escape (who knew!), part of the interest needs to come from the music. I feel that Stocker was very aware of this. But, does the music work outside the game? Can you listen to it while on a train or while you relax? Let’s find out. (more…)
I feel that I must get one thing very clear before you continue to read this review. My speciality is piano music. I am a pianist, I listen to a lot of piano music, from Mozart to Debussy, and I go to piano concerts in London. I’m also as close to an expert on the use of the piano in games as you might get, from the triumphant fanfare like riff from Halo 3 to the myriad of Final Fantasy Piano albums. As a result, my standards may be unrealistically high. I also have a confession to make: I’ve never played Journey! I know I know, it’s on my to-do list. This is particularly heinous of me as not only is the game supposed to be amazing, but the soundtrack is said to be excellent as well. However, this might not be a bad thing for this review, as I will not be influence by the game or the original soundtrack. I will take the music at face value, in its own right, separate from its related media.
It’s interesting to note that the composer, Austin Wintory, seems to have had little to do with this album. Transfiguration has been arranged by the Laura Intravia, the singer in the last track, and performed by Robert Thies. In general I think this is a good thing because, as a composer myself, I know how hard it can be to separate myself from my own compositions. I prefer to arrange for other people so I can focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the instrument, rather than being influenced by my own work. So with that said, let’s take a look at Transfiguration. (more…)