The scene music tracks (I’ve been calling them talking head in previous articles) in Lord of Rigel are short 30-60 second loops that play during four particular screens in game – the news network feed, completing research, galactic council vote and spy master. These elements of the game are a nod to Master of Orion II in which there are similar scenarios used. With the news network track especially I have tried to give it a similar feel to that used in MoO II, using a synth arp and high percussive sounds with a repeating melody. At first I listened to some American and British news network music to get some ideas but they were mainly full of fanfares (something I was trying to avoid!) and didn’t really fit in with the rest of the soundtrack.
The research complete track was a similar process and in fact, originally was drafted as the news track. There were some similarities to the approach – busy percussion and a repeating phrase – but the feel of it landed more on the side of research as it didn’t have the same kind of urgency that we thought was necessary for a news ticker.
I’m currently in the process of writing an idea for the galactic council vote theme. My initial thought is to go with low woodwinds as a sound bed for this and something more ethereal than the other tracks in this group to give it a sense of grandeur without it being too overpowering. I imagine this to work better the less intrusive it is but we will have to wait and see what I can come up with in the coming week or so.
The spy track is something of a mystery to me (no pun intended, I promise), as it was one of those wonderful moments where I didn’t think about anything and just jammed something out and it all came together like some kind of magic. In fact this piece of music was written quite early on and helped shape the sound palette, as I discovered certain sound combinations that I liked. Ambient noise mixed with a perky synth and low fuzz bass, some of which you will hear in the Skirmish track, for example. Funny how things can work out. Thinking is over rated at times, trust your instincts kids.