Today’s it’s Darren Korb, the composer for Supergiant Games, in particular Bastion and Transistor. They’re more like cinematic soundtracks than what you’d typically find in an RPG, and more upbeat than last week’s Myst + Riven.
The games themselves have very lush graphics and interesting dynamics–I’ve played both and enjoyed them–but it’s the soundtracks that really stayed with me. Bastion, in particular, has a great steampunk vibe–like cowboys with laser guns–lots of layers and a great beat that makes it perfect to write scenes that need a certain amount of swagger to them. (I wrote one post-apocolyptic gunslinger short listening to nothing else and enjoyed the hell out of the experience).
(Here it is as a single YouTube video.)
If Bastion is steampunk, then Transistor is cyberpunk. It’s got a grungy electronica crossed with a jazz nightclub vibe. There’s more sung pieces–which I find less useful to write to–but there’s also an ‘extended soundtrack’ where the lyrics are replaced with humming and remixes of the original soundtrack.
(For some reason the bandcamp playlist auto-starts at the end of the soundtrack and I much prefer the beginning. Here it is as a single YouTube video.)
There’s a new game as well, Pyre, but I haven’t played it or listened to the soundtrack yet; now that I know it exists I’ll give it a go and probably update this post with my thoughts on it afterwards. Let me know what you think in the comments!