Skip to main content

Making the Music of Verdant Skies

By March 3, 2016Development

The team is trying to establish a coherent mood for Verdant Skies and a big part of that comes from Troy’s music. To begin the project, he established a palette of instruments that coalesced around guitar, drums, bass, and organ. Those aren’t everything, but it has done a nice job to establish the frontier-like elements of the game–an untamed wild, expansive and uncharted.

The trailer needed to invite the audience in and preview the musical style. For that, Troy decided a piano would be fitting. He used the EastWest Steinway virtual instrument treated with Logic’s built-in Space Designer convolution reverb plugin. This lent a grounded yet otherworldly, shimmering sound. He applied a tape delay to the pedal tones as well.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 9.55.10 PM

To structure the music, Troy focused on the three main scenes: a woman walking along a lake, a man walking through a swamp on an autumn day, and two friends meeting near a grove of trees. Each offered a glimpse into the possibilities in store with the game, so the musical material needed to build as the world opened up. Troy built clusters of lightly articulated piano chords filled with dissonances that didn’t resolve–we don’t know where the next scene will take us, or what we’ll find on this strange world. As it grows in volume and the range increases, we peer through trees to see evidence of a new colony and the Verdant Skies logo as an F# chord plays in the strings.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 9.49.42 PM
The final four notes utilize the main motif of Verdant Skies: an ascending major 7th followed by a perfect fourth a minor 6th above (in this key, F#, E#, C# & F#–and don’t try to tell him it’s an F natural!).

There is lot of exciting audio happening in Verdant Skies, so be sure to check back to hear what Topher Pirkl is doing with sound design and adaptive audio implementation.

Listen to Troy’s track on the teaser trailer: