I started scoring Underspace in early July. It was my first soundtrack for a full-fledged video game, so I approached it with that mindset. The result? Fitting action packed lead themes tailored to the gameplay, as expected.
The first 50% of completed game music was written on the basis of a life listening to video game and film music. My vast exposure to soundtracks served me well for the first 50% of the work I had done.
About a month in, my approach to writing the music of Underspace went in a new direction.
It all started with a composition we know as Vauldwin Overture, which was the first publicly released track from the game. Because it was written in a concert hall style, I didn’t think it would be suitable for the game, but I sent it to the lead developer anyway. To my surprise, he thought it would fit really well in the game.
Vauldwin was a turning point. After the overture was released, my film score mentality that I had turned to for the first half of the soundtrack was quickly matched with an approach to music for concert hall.
The soundtrack really started getting good after that. I was professionally trained for five years to write for concert hall, so it only made sense to utilize all the skills I had built from writing traditional classical music for the game.
It wasn’t a matter of choosing one approach over the other, but rather the marriage of film scores and music for concert hall. After Vauldwin, the remaining 50% of the soundtrack was written under that hybrid approach.
To give you a little perspective, the Main Theme and Battle were written first. Vauldwin overture was the turning point. Marren Overture was the first true hybrid of the film score and classical approach. Finale, the last piece completed for the game, was a culmination of the evolution of the soundtrack.