Brendan Ratliff’s ‘Theme of Awesome’, Fist Of Awesome
To compose the music for Fist of Awesome, the multi-talented Brendan Retliff had to ask himself, ‘What would the theme tune to a game featuring stripper bears with nipple tassels sound like?’
The answer is Theme of Awesome, the lead tack from Nicoll Hunt’s iOS and Android beat-‘em-up, Fist of Awesome. It’s a tune that composer, producer and performer Ratliff (AKA Syphus) poured his extensive skills into, creating an air-punching chip tune riot.
All high energy and euphoria, with a soaring central melody, Theme of Awesome is the ideal accompaniment to Fist of Awesome’s pixel art visuals, exuberant action and tongue-in-cheek humour. Punching bears in the face has never had a better soundtrack.
David Wise’s ‘The Awakening’, Tengami
David Wise made his name at Rare Games, creating the music for numerous titles including the acclaimed Donkey King Country series, which drew on different musical styles from around the globe.
For Nyamyam’s iOS hit Tengami, however, Wise focused on a specific non-Western country for the first time, studying Japanese instruments and compositions to create a beautiful, striking score to fit the atmospheric adventure game’s bold visuals and Japanese pop-up book-themed gameplay.
The standout track from Tengami’s score is The Awakening, which makes heavy use of classical Japanese stringed instrument, the Koto. Highlighting the breadth of Wise’s musical proficiency, The Awakening is a beautiful and striking track, perfectly in keeping with Tengami’s bold visuals and Japanese pop-up book-themed gameplay.
James Hannigan’s ‘Horizon’, RuneScape 3
A new arrangement of a fondly-remembered classic from RuneScape’s original incarnation, James Hannigan’s Horizon for RuneScape 3 is a fantastically warm, magical piece of music.
Hannigan himself is no stranger to accolades. Over the course of the composer’s 20 years in the industry, Hannigan has picked up IFMCA and BAFTA awards, as well as numerous BAFTA nominations in the category of Original Music.
Taking Ian Taylor’s original composition – encountered when players enter Runescape’s Taverly village – and updating it with a lush new arrangement performed by a live orchestra, Horizon is a beautiful tune full of gentle flute, swelling strings and dancing piccolo. It’s one of the highlights of Jagex’s extensive revamp of the popular free-to-play MMO.
Jesper Kyd’s ‘Welcome to Decay’, State of Decay
Veteran composer Jesper Kyd got to work in one of his favourite genres for Undead Labs’ runaway XBLA hit, State of Decay. A huge fan of the horror movies of the 1970s and ‘80s, Kyd relished the chance to create the score for a game set during a zombie apocalypse.
Dark and screeching, there’s a tremendously ominous feel to State of Decay’s opening track, Welcome to Decay. Relatively sparse, its quiet moments are full of danger, pierced by a mournful steel guitar and driven by plodding, heartbeat-like drum beat.
With twangs of Americana inspired by State of Decay’s rural northwestern US setting, Welcome to Decay reflects the emptiness, death and horror faced by players of the game. It’s yet another success for the multi award-winning Kyd.
Jim Fowler’s ‘Diggsieland’, Diggs Nightcrawler
Created for Moonbot Studios’ film noire-esque Diggs Nightcrawler, Jim Fowler’s Diggsieland is a brilliantly jaunty, jazzy piece that fulfils several different aims. Composed for a young audience and thematically consistent with the game, the music adapts to the player’s actions.
Diggsieland plays as the protagonist Diggs is trapped in a barrel and tossed into a river. The player must guide Diggs into rocks and other obstacles to help break him out. In keeping with the setting, the music adopts a Dixieland jazz style, a type of music which began on New Orleans riverboats in the early 20th century.
Divided into discrete sections, the piece adapts as the player succeeds in breaking more and more of Diggs’ barrel, building and changing key to drive the action along and increase the intensity, while undercutting the danger to let young players know that everything will be okay.
Jamie Hamshere’s ‘Noise Pulse’, TxK
Jamie Hamshere’s Noise Pulse, as featured in Llamasoft’s TxK, is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Tempest 2000’s stomping rave soundtrack and Llamasoft’s three decade long love of electronic music.
Featuring a euphoric analogue synth, lead by a persistent chiptune square wave, the track hurtles along at just under 150bpm, punctuated with the inspirational and cosmic words of cult hero Dennis Greenidge. It’s a tune that perfectly encapsulates TxK’s simultaneously retrospective, cutting edge and futuristic style, while representing a taste of Llamasoft’s silliness.
Picked out for individual praise in numerous reviews and extensively featured in TxK’s promotional material, Noise Pulse is undoubtedly one of the year’s stand out tracks.
Joe Henson and Alexis Smith’s ‘Portobelo’, Assassin’s Creed IV multiplayer
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’ was the first game in the best-selling series to feature a unique music for its multiplayer component It was created by London-based composers Joe Henson and Alexis Smith, who boast a wealth of experience across a range of industries.
Hensen and Smith have composed and produced for the music, TV and movie industries – with clients including Lana Del Ray, the BBC and Disney. They’ve also seen success working on such games as Sesame Street Kinect, LittleBigPlanet Karting and LittleBigPlanet Vita.
The stand-out track from Assassin’s Creed IV multiplayer, Portobello drives the player along with strings and percussion, inspiring urgency and suggesting intrigue. With its international flourishes, it’s the perfect soundtrack for hunting through the game’s exotic environments.
Olivier Deriviere’s ‘Nilin the Memory Hunter’, Remember Me
Olivier Deriviere’s interactive musical score for Remember Me features live orchestra that has been digitally processed and manipulated with multiple layers and effects to create a futuristic – but entirely organic and acoustic – musical palette.
In this way the score reflects Remember Me’s futuristic world, in which memories can be bought, sold, stolen and remixed. It also represents the plight of the protagonist, who through the course of the game must reconstruct her own memories. And nowhere is this better represented that in the score’s opening track, Nilin the Memory Hunter.
Recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra at Air Studios in London by Grammy award-winning score engineer John Kurlander and mastered at Universal Mastering Studios in Los Angeles, Nilin the Memory Hunter is a distinct and powerful piece of music.
About The Develop Awards
The 2014 Develop Awards will take place on Wednesday, July 9th at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Brighton, and recognises the best innovators and development talent in the UK and Europe.
If you want to attend, you can book single seats and standard or gold tables by contacting Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk or calling 01992 535646.
There are multiple new awards this year, with a total of 24 prizes up for grabs, while PlayStation 4 lead architect Mark Cerny is 2014’s Development Legend.
There is a host of big names backing this year’s Develop Awards, including Crytek and Deep Silver as Platinum Partners, a slew of Gold Partners in UKIE, Amiqus, Keywords International, Codemasters, Perforce, Cubic Motion and Unity, Event Partners Wales Interactive, InnoGames and Tandem Events and Table Gift Partner OPM.
For more information on the sponsorship and partnership opportunities still available, contact Alex.Boucher@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647.
You can find out more about the Develop Awards at the official Develop Awards website.