Category: Video Games

Defiance: Video Game Soundtrack Album

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This month brings us the long-awaited rollout of the groundbreaking multimedia science fiction epic “Defiance.”  Developed from the beginning as both a SyFy television series and an immersive videogame from Trion Worlds, “Defiance” marks the first attempt to debut a franchise of this scale in two unique formats.

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The game and the series take place in a future Earth, terraformed by invading alien races known as the Votan.  Themes of exploration, racial tension and frontier life have been transplanted from the western genre and fit perfectly in this strange new vision of our world.  The game and series share principal characters, visual effects, production design and story arcs.  They also have one other important characteristic in common: the original score. (more…)

Moon Breakers Soundtrack

I love spaceships.

There’s little that ignites my imagination more than the swashbuckling outer space dogfights of yesteryear. So, I was excited to write a bombastic, retro-infused soundtrack for “Moon Breakers” — a multi-player online combat game from Imba Entertainment / Uber Entertainment that is now available to play for free on Steam.

To celebrate the game’s launch on this popular platform, we are releasing my complete score on iTunes and Amazon mp3. You get 20 minutes of pulse-pounding space battle music for less than $4!  Click the images below to download the “Moon Breakers” album from your favorite online retailer:

iTunes       Amazon MP3

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The SOCOM 4 Score

SOCOM 4 is the most exotic score I’ve composed, one that represents a striking step away from the usual tone of the shooter videogame genre. Though I was attracted to the idea of scoring a big military game with a unique sound, I wanted to ensure that fans of the classic SOCOM series would recognize the musical identity of the franchise. But, I also wanted them to experience new music for this new adventure.  SOCOM 4 has a distinct tone that sets it apart from the other games, so its score had to stand apart as well.

As with all the other projects I’ve ever tackled, my first task was to figure out the style, instrumentation and language I would be writing in.  There are three primary factions in SOCOM 4 so I decided to represent each with a different type of music: Traditional Eastern instruments represent the local insurgents, Western Symphonic writing represents the heroic main character while Electronic Music signified the private military company Clawhammer. (more…)

SOCOM 4 and a Brief History of Videogame Music

After several years working on SOCOM 4, I recently had the chance to play through the game and hear my score in action.  The developers and I had lofty goals when we started this process, so I was curious to see how it all came together.  Would the music integrate into the gameplay as seamlessly as we’d hoped?

As I played through SOCOM 4, I realized the functionality of videogame music is something I’ve thought about for nearly my entire life.  I first started playing games when I was a kid.  At that time, in the mid-1980’s, videogame music had basically just been born.  In the late 70’s and early 80’s, game sound effects and music were a virtually indistinguishable glob of beeps and chirps.  Music had no emotional impact on the gaming experience.

However, in the early 80’s, the ever-forward march of technology gave birth to the Nintendo Entertainment System.  This glorious piece of hardware allowed for five discreet sound channels, played off an on-board synthesizer.  The combination of triangle waves, sine waves and white noise allowed for disparate timbres and tones.  The differentiation of tone colors is one of the key aspects of orchestration, so the NES actually paved the way for the first “orchestrated” videogame music.

Game consoles now had the ingredients necessary to create real music.  The capacity for polyphony, dynamics and timbre led to the inclusion of counterpoint, harmony, accompaniment and melody.  Videogame composers in the 1980’s took these limited tools, and sculpted truly memorable music. (more…)

SOCOM 4 Game Released Today

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SOCOM 4 has been a long musical journey for me.  I first began writing music for this game in 2008 and now, almost three years later to the day, the game is finally released on SONY Playstation 3.  My soundtrack is simultaneously available for download from iTunes and Playstation Network.  Next month, La La Land Records will release an exciting expanded edition two-disc set, which will include nearly an hour of additional music, as well as a hidden surprise for fans! (more…)

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