What I’ve Been Working On — October 2018

Every so often I get messages on Tumblr or Twitter asking me to “make music again” as though I have stopped! While it’s true I don’t update my Soundcloud nearly as often as I should (oooops), I am usually working either on ideas for personal projects or commissions.

I have a bunch of ideas vocal songs, but I seldom get past the music-file-sketching phase on those because lyrics don’t come to me very easily and I really, really hate recording my singing voice. I’ve had a lot of voice training and performance experience which has somehow resulted in me being unable to sing properly outside a performance context. It’s a very strange and frustrating phenomenon. So that’s why that doesn’t happen, in case you’re wondering.

Generally my music life is split between commissions and a pile of proof-of-concept tracks. Occasionally I post these to my Patreon, but for the rest of my fans (all three of you), I thought I’d plug some of the game projects I’ve been doing soundtracks for recently!

From my experience, a freelance game composer ranks about one tier lower than a freelance game voice actor on the “need to know” hierarchy. You do your work, get paid, and if you’re lucky, within a couple years you’ll get to see it in a finished project. For this reason, I don’t have any cool insider information or exclusive downloads for these.

BattleCON Online

The online adaptation of the popular tabletop series BattleCON is finally in Early Access on Steam! Most of the songs I wrote for BattleCON Online were done in 2014-2015, right as I was getting started with using commercial libraries. See if you can pick out my efforts with Junk Guitar, the free Japanese electric guitar library I used before upgrading to Shreddage.

BattleCON Online is free to play so you should give it a shot if you’re a the kind of person who goes to an anime convention for the board game room. Yeah nerd, I see you.

The soundtrack isn’t available online anywhere for purchase, but you can hear some of the character themes on the BattleCON soundtrack playlist. Magdelina’s, Kimbhe’s, Cesar’s, Anath’s, Mikhail’s and Burman’s themes were done by Wesley Slover, but the rest are by me.

Driftwood, A Rotten Fairytale

Driftwood is an upcoming ocean fantasy dating game by Awkward Turtle Games. One of the developers at Awkward Turtle is my friend Zack Maher, who voices in a lot of Jello’s videos (most recently as Donald Duck) and has a character in Pizza Game. Zack was with us at Animanga 2018 back in August to voice act some of his character’s scenes. (We got a video recording of it by the way, but finding and editing the footage is on my long long list of things to do — argh!!)

Here’s the plot of Driftwood: Ian is a high school senior who has a fatal encounter with a sea witch named Morgan and her friend Sierra, who is a mermaid princess. Sierra needs to find her true love before she comes of age, or else she’ll turn into sea foam. She needs to sojourn on land in order to find and court this person, so Morgan blackmails Ian into helping her out by putting a curse on him that will turn him into driftwood if Sierra fails.

https://soundcloud.com/plasterbrain/adventurers-lullaby

Here’s a little preview of the soundtrack!

The Collector

This year I wrote about ten songs and compiled some sound effects for the first episode of The Collector, a visual novel by HeartWorks that’s still in production. HeartWorks is led by Heart (aka Rinoa Page), a comic artist whose stories focus on bondage/S&M from a female point of view.

In The Collector, you play as a cop in a faux-Pokemon world investigating a serial kidnapping case before winding up as its latest victim. The unfinished game can be downloaded if you pledge $10 or more to Heart’s Patreon, or you can watch some of the first episode below (you may need to turn up the volume!):

The part of the game I wrote the soundtrack for has been a completed draft for a while, but Heart is putting a lot of time into the art direction. As you can see from the preview, each scene has a variety of shots which make it more dynamic (and time-consuming) than a traditional visual novel. I don’t envy her at all!

TOME

Last but not least, if you’ve heard of the webseries TOME by Chris Niosi, get excited, because he’s making a game based on it now, and get more excited because I’m writing some music for it! WOW!

TOME actually has four composers, one for each of the game’s four regions. I’m doing the tracks for the last area, Orange Island.

TOME is an RPG which takes place within a fictional MMORPG. Its gameplay takes cues from Super Mario RPG and Mega Man Battle Network. It was successfully funded on Kickstarter and seems to be on track for release December 2018. Don’t quote me on that, though — after all, I am Ms. Pizza Game: Coming 2017/2018/later in 2018(???). In the meantime, you can download the TOME demo from Itch.io.

Until next time, when I might actually post a game review or whatever it is I’m supposed to use this blog for.

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