While we’re not always conscious of it being there, music in motion pictures and video games is without a doubt, one of the most important elements. It’s a hugely powerful tool that can not only control the emotion and establish the tone of an unfolding narrative but drive the way we perceive a certain situation. It is crucial that a film or game’s soundtrack work hand in hand with the visual story, enhancing the overall experience. If you’ve ever seen one of those “music changes everything” videos, you’ll know exactly what we mean!
Throughout August, we’ll be posting more content from what will form part of our brand new Steam page (launching soon) and thought this would be a great time to touch on a little bit of information behind the music of Instinction and share with the community.
Daryl Leigh Lynn is our sound genius behind the scenes, developing the palette and soundscape that will define our sound.
In June, we announced we would be working with Daryl Leigh Lynn on something exciting. Over the
past few months he has been working behind the scenes, developing a palette and soundscape that will define our sonic identity.
Initially, we began with demo audio to conceptualise the core tone discussing the fundamentals of what we’d envisioned and gave Daryl some images and a brief to get his interpretation of what the sound should be. The subsequent themes and sound pallete remained versatile to facilitate a multitude of biomes and locations and needed to include key story and gameplay moments such as transitional events, location and weather setting, objectives, combat pacing, item discovery, tension curves and POIs.
When asked about the soundtrack in a recent article, Daryl answered: “From the ground up, we wanted to develop something unique that really adds to the overall, player experience. The core sound and tone will start to become apparent in upcoming media releases but we have extended this to a number of factors in-game. It’s not just the story we look to drive forward with music. Locations/territories, biomes and of course the Dinosaurs and Prehistoric creatures all play a role in what you will hear and how you hear it.” - courtesy boolachitaa
For us, it was important that we capture the mystery that surrounds the story of Instinction and that it be reflected not only in the soundtrack but so too in the sonic branding. We have all these beautiful locations but something isn’t quite right. There is always a looming danger close by.
At the heart of the soundtrack, there will be traditional orchestral sections: used in untraditional ways with a modern approach. Daryl’s individual style often uses a hybrid mixture of orchestra and electronic elements, embellished with world instruments which gave us a great starting point. We then began to put in a lot of research to determine which instruments could bolster our sound palette whilst staying true to the regions in which the game takes place. We looked into native woodwind, stringed instruments and percussion to build the correct palette for Instinction.
Once we had an idea of the sounds we wanted to use, we created some original guide compositions to see how the combinations could work together. The results of which led to some fortunate accidents and certain compositions created what could be described as perfection, capturing a mood that genuinely felt as they should within the context of the game. Alternatively, the result may give us an eerie, cinematic soundscape with the beauty of ethnicity.
With a base palette agreed on, it opened the door to brand Instinction sonically. We began to try ideas that even within a very short 5-10 second stinger of audio, makes you feel the tone of the game. One of the aforementioned fortunate accidents actually gave some of the team chills and it was obvious we had discovered the sound of Instinction.
Throughout the month we will be posting small segments of content allowing you to see and hear more of what we have been working on, which we are all very excited to share with you all. Until then, we’ll leave you with this:
When working with creatures of any kind, what better place is there to look for inspiration than the natural world? Being based in New Zealand means we have access to animal sounds almost completely unknown to the rest of the world, for example we've integrated the sounds of the Tui into some of our forested locations, but pure recordings of animals can also be manipulated digitally to create some incredible prehistoric sounds for our beasts.
After experimenting early on with animal recordings - with great results - we are now looking to further that with future field recordings.
Birds, marine life, juvenile animals that haven’t quite found their voice yet all form part of a plethora of natural sounds that will serve as the organic back bone to our creature sounds.
In closing, sound design and music play an important role in the complete experience in games. Game audio can help developers drive immersion, create tension and emotion, direct the player to certain waypoints and discoveries. Don't believe us, what would Bruce Lee have thought of this audio edit? Way of the Dragon Bruce Lee The Wrong Music Changes Everything - Eye Post Videos