My first video game soundtrack

Back in January, I attended Global Game Jam 2011 which was hosted at Cogswell College. The event divided participants into teams that would each go on to create their own game in under 48 hours. My team (made up entirely of Cogswell freshmen and one senior) produced a game about a planet-devouring cat called I Can Has Your Planet? While I helped plan some of the overall game design aspects, my primary role was creating and delivering audio assets.

The most important part was writing the music. I had enrolled in Cogswell’s Game Audio Production program only a few weeks earlier, so I was still fresh to the process, but I had a strong enough foundation to create something I was satisfied with. Time was still tight though; all other distractions aside, the time I actually spent on the music was probably around 12 hours.

Most of that time was spent composing the main theme (“ICHYP? Main Theme”), an airy optimistic piece with hints of impending doom to it. I was inspired by Hitoshi Sakimoto’s work on Radiant Silvergun, and wanted my own piece to be interesting and brave enough to serve as the theme of this game, yet still have a serious feel to it. Mere hours before the deadline, I found out I had to write a menu theme as well (“Space Ambience”). I took some of the unused melody from the main theme project and added some new elements to create a slightly mysterious sounding piece (gotta love the harmonic minor).

Shortly after the game was completed and the event was over I released the music as a free digital album called I Can Has Your Planet? Original Score. Looking at this project now, it’s quite obvious I was still very fresh to audio production and music theory back when I wrote this. I have learned so much in the past 4-5 months at Cogswell that I’m itching to write some music that blows this out of the water. I may have my chance soon as the Game Development Club begins work on a new project planned to be finished at the end of summer. I shall do my best!

-Kaleb G.

(Illustration provided by Team “Four Refugees & Their Cat”)

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