The feedback from the united team was that was a touch too predictable. However, it did have a catchy melody, that is something we shoot for in the Astro Bot games because they’re, at their heart, ‘old-skool’ platforming experiences. So, before shifting, I had a chance at rendering it a bit more “digital” or synthetic sounding:
That felt appropriate for Astro certainly, but we were still concerned that men and women unfamiliar with gaming music culture might not “obtain it.” So, I started exploring something a bit more contemporary sounding and began experimenting with the thought of writing a song.
Before I’d even started focusing on the overall game I have been considering personifying the PlayStation 5 console giving it a voice. This tapped in to the proven fact that perhaps you’ve always known PS5 or somehow encountered it before, as though it were your real love. But I have been saving this notion for the CPU Plaza area since it felt just like the best suited spot. However now that I was starting on the music for the GPU Jungle again, I saw a chance to introduce this idea to the united team. Here’s my first sketch:
The lyrics you can find:
GP-You and GP-Me, amongst the trees here.
GP-You and GP- Me, as as your eyes can easily see far.
Voxels; pixels delight; shaded perfectly.
GP-You and GP-Me.
That is intriguing, however the overall tone was too closely aligned with these “ethereal real love” concept which wasn’t an excellent fit for GPU Jungle. THEREFORE I didn’t share that with the team (this’ll function as first-time they’ve heard it too – surprise!). But I stuck with it as a starting place and developed this:
The feedback with this version was that whilst it had been playful the fun had been missed because of it, had opted far another way and be too serious in tone too. D’oh! However, the team really liked the primary riff by the end and thought that people could find a house for this in the CPU Plaza area.
Starting once more, I felt like having tested the waters in several different directions and found where in fact the lines of acceptability were. I possibly could now develop an approach which may provide best of both worlds hopefully. I was thinking about attempting to make the song idea work still, but instead than lead with that and getting side-tracked, I started with the groove of the drums and bass to find the energy right and done the lyrics and melody. What I sent to Nicolas Doucet here’s, Creative Director of Astro’s Playroom (with reassurances that I would put in a vocoder to my voice!):
It’s ready and rough, but even at this time it had something going on and we were excited to make it happen.
When I was writing it I was taking into consideration the genius graphics coders I understand or been employed by with and wanted the lyrics to be a thing that they might recognise to be at the very least vaguely authentic. But I also knew it couldn’t you need to be a grocery list of rendering terminology, because that’s not at all something a lot of people can relate with. I’m uncertain at what point I realised that the love song idea I have been exploring previously could possibly be designed to fit, but I really do remember being worked up about obtaining the lyrics to use on multiple levels because that’s what chamfers the hard techy edges off and makes the song palatable.
Obtaining the tone of the track right took some iteration – it had been tricky to include elements to the core I’d established without them taking something away. Here’s a version out of this exploratory production phase:
You learn something out of every little misstep and, in the event that you persevere, all of them leads to a thing that clicks. Rinse, repeat. Then at some time you understand it’s baked! Here’s a preview of the ultimate version on the soundtrack album:
I’m incredibly grateful to possess such brilliant and trusting collaborators in Team Asobi that provide me the encouragement, time and space had a need to explore ideas like this and use their skills and craft to get methods to incorporate them in to the project in a holistic fashion. Don’t assume all little bit of music I write is at the mercy of this type of circuitous or lengthy gestation period – when you are the very first thing that I tackled, this track had to bear the responsibility of getting a direction for the whole project.
But I also wished to take the chance to shine a light on an innovative process that is frequently hidden from view – composers tend to discuss sort out the lens of the finished product, but our ideas rarely are, if ever, born formed fully. Music direction is attained by way of a journey.
Thanks for coming along for the ride! You’re hoped by me enjoyed this little insight into my world. The state soundtrack for Astro’s Playroom, released by Sony Music Masterworks, will undoubtedly be available March 12 – happy listening digitally!
By PlayStation Official blog (blog.playstation.com)