Hi there. If you’re reading this, you probably know about our new game: Renowned Explorers: International Society. You’ve probably also seen a bunch of visual teasers and read a bit about what the game is going to be like. If not, go check out the Renowned Explorers main page!

Today I would like to give you a teensy musical heads up on what kind of soundtrack is going to accompany Renowned Explorers. It’s not finished, not even by far, but neither is the game, so I guess it’s on schedule. And it’s not definitive either – a lot can change in the proces of making it and the soundtrack changes right along with it, of course. The music, presented all the way down this page, is an estimation, though, of what this game is going to sound like.

Just so we’re clear: it’s not going to sound anything like Reus. In that game I wanted to enhance the experience of managing a brand new planet, like I’ve explained in a previous blog. To do that I used music that sounded old, rhythmic and exotic and contained simple repeating melodic phrases. I based that style on the work of some contemporary folk bands that have a strong connection to nature in their music like the Dutch I Am Oak or the American Bowerbirds.

But what soundtrack does this Renowned Explorers game need? That’s the question I tortured myself with the last few months. When we started out, the setting was going to be a bit more steam punky than the one we’re aiming for now. To fit that setting I tried to create sounds and music that can be best described as 19th century futuristic. I used machines, like the mellotron and old synthesizers – retro futuristic as they sound, combined with a light orchestral set up and a wide and echo-ing piano to suit the mysterious and weird Jules Verne vibe we were looking for at the time.

In the proces, though, the whole thing shifted to a more bright and adventurous, almost Disneyesque vibe. Which is great. I love Disney. The game was also growing “bigger” really fast at this point. And I don’t mean big in a gameplay scope sense, but in a we’re-going-on-a-big-adventure sense. It had clearly left the dark and freaky streets of Jules Verne’s London and set out into the world of adventure movies like Indiana Jones, King Kong and Jurassic Park or Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean and Up. Big.

This bigness demands one thing and one thing only: an orchestra. It really needs it. And I’ll be the first to admit that this scared me at first. A lot. I’ve never worked with or on orchestrated music before and unlike for my work on Reus I couldn’t fall back on any previous experience. At the same time it was really exciting, since I always wanted to fool around with and learn about orchestrated music. This was the ultimate opportunity.

So I jumped in the world of brass, strings and woodwinds and started experimenting with midi orchestration to test musical ideas for this game. This is a process that is still very much going on and I hope by the end of it we can all enjoy Renowned Explorers in all the epicness it deserves. Until then, please enjoy this raw, fresh, yet unmastered and barely mixed (insert more disclaimers here) midi-demo of the orchestrated theme of Renowned Explorers.

And yes, “theme” implies that I’ll use it more than once. I already did, actually. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go check out the Renowned Explorers main page (again)!

So long,
Joni

@jonidus