Vertical SliceVertical Slice is an arcade platform puzzle game where the player takes the role of Tatsuo. The goal of the game is to reach the roof tops of the city by utilizing blocks falling from the sky. The game itself is really fast paced and requires a lot of multitasking since you have to control Tatsuo and at the same time place the falling blocks.
The city is placed in a futuristic cyberpunk world, so the atmosphere is really digital and glitchy which was just perfect for my personal aesthetics for music. For this game I decided to make use of the middleware Wwise by Audiokinetic for several reasons. For one, although the game is an arcade game, one round can take quit a long time, so it was necessary to make the background music loopable, but not repetitive. The background music consists of several parts, like percussion, a bass line, synthetic pads and a melody line. Each part is available in multiple variations. Every time the loop plays, one variation of each part is selected at random. This way, every loop sounds different without changing the general mood of the music.
While the player tries to build a way up to the top, he is also being chased by an entity called "the void". To build up the pressure, the game designer asked me to give an acoustic feedback of the proximity of the void. So I designed a synthetic bass line, that sounds really distorted and destructive but plays well with the rest of the background music. The closer the void gets to the player the louder this bass line gets.
Another special thing I used for this project where the sounds, when the player destroys some of the blocks. It was requested for these events to sound digital and glitchy as this is the aesthetics of this game. I thought, the best way to get a sound that sounds like a digital software was destroyed, was to actually destroy a software. For this, I used some of my own software code and changed the header file of the executable to be recognised by an OS as an audio file and this was all that was necessary to produces these glitchy sounds which perfectly hit the requirements of the game designer.
The game is available on itch for free.
Pew Pew Battle ColloseumPew Pew Battle Colloseum is an extremely fast paced multiplayer combat area shooter. Up to 4 players can play locally, and the screen is static, so the whole area can get really crowded. But there is one special thing about this game, that makes it really hard to play: The characters don't move just by moving the joystick. Per default, the characters fall down, obeying the laws of gravity. To move the character, the player has to utilise the recoil of their guns. And if that wasn't already hard enough: every now and then, one of the walls of the area is removed and replaced with a laser, that on touch kills the player, so it is impossible to just crouch in a corner and wait to win.
For this game we did not use a middleware since the programmers already created their own randomisation engine. To make the gameplay appear even more chaotic and intense a whole variety of sounds was necessary. Therefore the background music was really quiet and just there to fill out the void in between. On the other hand, the sounds where pretty loud and upfront.
Every character of the game has its own special weapon. The game designer wanted this to be reflected in the soundscape. For this reason, every character got its own set of sounds for their weapons.
The game is available on itch for free.
Disclaimer: The music that plays during the trailer was NOT written by me.
Planetary Excavation WorkforcePlanetary Excavation Workforce (P.E.W) is a local mutliplayer top down shooter. The players form a team and it is their task to land on a monster infested planet and clean out a certain area to setup a beacon.
For this project again I decided to make use of the middleware Wwise. As for the monsters, the game designer wanted them to make random noises not only when they attack or are being attacked, but also when they are just idling so the players may have a chance to hear them before the actual encounter. I created some basic sounds to have a set for a language the monsters communicated in. Depending on the situation, this voice set was manipulated and layered with other sounds.
The game goes from being somewhat tense, when the team is not in a battle but constantly on the edge and just waiting to be attacked to being realy crowded, chaotic and dangerous when there is an actual fight. The game designer wanted that to be represented in the music. There are three separate parts for the music that play one during exploration, another as a warning for combat and the third during a fight. Depending on the situation these parts fade seamlessly and loop. Every loop consists of several music- and melody parts that play at random and extend the range of the tensity and variety.
The game is available on itch for free.
Prozedurales, parametrisiertes Sounddesign in ComputerspielenThe key premise of my bachelor thesis "Procedural, parametric sound design in computer games" is to find a method to change the way sounds are used in computer games or simulations.
In many modern computer games it is really important for sound to be interactive and to react to what is happening in the virtual world. The problem is: in most cases all of this is still done by using static base material like wav- or mp3-files and than trying to manipulate these to match the corresponding event. In my opinion, this is not the right way to approach this matter.
I think it would be far more effective and useful, to instead build the base material to be interactive from the beginning. My goal was to create sound files that could be used in any type of framework such as a game engine or a web site, just like a normal audio file while still having a way to manipulate the sound at runtime with intuitive parameters.
If you want to know more on how I approached that topic and the solution I came up with, you can check out my bachelor thesis here.
So I coded the software in C++ using the JUCE-Framework and therefore being able to export it as plugins for various DAW and as a platform independent Standalone version. More information about the GlitchRack can be found here.
PercussiveCloudWhen playing or writing music I like to use glitchy aesthetics, digitally corrupted sounds and faulty riffs. Especially when it comes to percussive- or one shot sounds, i like using samples that don't necessarily resemble anything commonly known. Although creating such sounds might not be particularly hard, it sometimes can be a tedious task when it comes to pitch shifting for creating a melody. Even more so when such a riff is supposed to sound random and you have to create multiple samples for the same note to have that variety.
With me being a programmer for some time now I thought: "No, this is a task that should be automated and not done by hand". This is how I got the idea to write a plugin to create these sounds.
The PercussiveCloud can load any audio file (wav). This sound determines the general characteristics of the result. Per default, an explosion sample will load, which creates an extremely overdriven, distorted noise. When a sound has been loaded, it is cut into 8 different, really short pieces at random. When sending a midi note to the plugin, all 8 sounds are played consecutively at a certain speed and signature (both can be changed). This creates a rhythmic percussive line. To create a more interesting pattern, some of the sounds can be skipped. Furthermore upon playing, all sounds are speed up to be at a pitch that roughly matches the height of the note that has been send to the plugin. This way, the pattern can be played as a melody.
A more detailed explanation and description on how to use this plugin can be found here whereas the plugin itself can be downloaded here. (MAC only, be sure to check out the aforementioned description).
If you just want to check out how it sounds, you can check out this little track. It was part of a semester assignment for the course film music, so it is pretty short, but it uses the percussive cloud a lot.
I also used this instrument for the menu music in the game "Vertical Slice" mentioned above.
HybridityThis short film was the Bachelor thesis by the artist Th-Phuong Ly (Website). My job for this project was to create the background music and sound effects.
You can check out the film on youtube.
I want cookiesThis song was a semester assignment of the song writing course at my university. It is about a ghost that realises, i is craving cookies and therefore starts baking some. There is a lot more to the making of this piece, if you are interested in reading the whole background and documentation, you can check it out in this pdf and the leadsheet.
You can check out the song on SoundCloud