Making audio, whether sound effects or music, for a video game is one of the simpler things to do. Not that anything in game development is actually simple, no. Rather: many people do it, the processes are well understood, and there are so many different avenues to go about executing game audio.
Of course, making game audio is never just pure mechanical execution of well-worn processes. There’s artistry to be had. Aspirations, too. Ambitions. Fun!
I like to think of myself as a game developer before a musician, and like some developers, I’m a big fan of Raph Koster’s learning = fun model; I knew if I was going to be starting this new project with TGC, I needed to have things that I wanted to learn as I was bringing this soundtrack to fruition.
Over the course of development of our new title Sky, I pushed myself to learn how to properly play some wind instruments, including the clarinet and EWI (Electric Wind Instrument) and the music I’m now making has clearly benefited; it’s a big change from the pianistic pieces most people remember from Flower. I retired some of my old hardware and started learning new gear, such as an ultrasonic microphone that captured sounds above the human hearing threshold, bringing them into the audible range and expanding my options in the sound design realm.
Learning isn’t just tools and skillsets; it spans all the way to other people as well. Probably the toughest (and most fun) learning has happened with everyone that’s joined the company recently. I’ve been incredibly fortunate the last few years to get know our new lead sound designer Ritsu Mizutani, from his experience working on Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy at Square-Enix to his idiosyncrasies in workflow and tools to his preferences in ramen noodles.
Simply put: there’s a lot of fun stuff that’s been happening here during this production, so please anticipate some equally fun stuff for you to partake in in the near future. In the meantime, please listen to a newly released track (also in our teaser video) from our new game, Sky.