Hi there! :)
Today, let’s take a look, or to be more specific let’s lend an ear to an important element in “Beware Planet Earth!”: music!
We’ve been lucky enough to work with AurÃ©lien Piters (2011′s classiest man in the world) who composed the BGMs and some sound effects for the game!
The pitch we gave AurÃ©lien was this: we needed one theme for each season (a 3 minute loop), with 3 specific constraints.
The first constraint was about the tempo and musical mode (minor or major): for example, spring, which is the first season with the player discovering the game, had to have a lighthearted theme, and was therefore composed using a major mode, while winter, on the other hand, has a much slower tempo and a minor mode, which gives an insecurity and somewhat sad feeling near the end of the game.
Here is what Fall’s music sounds like:
The second constraint was about the instruments we used. He needed “signature” instruments, each specific to each season, in order to emphasize their atmosphere we wanted to have in each level. Springtime features light flute tones and xylophone to have a soft, round and warm theme. Brass and timpani emphasizes the a oppressive, hot tone of summertime. Fall’s theme features violin to have a nostalgic ring to it. Last but not least, winter has comparatively more electronic sounds, which give a cold tone, along with some small bells.
The third constraint needed more signature instruments, but instruments that would echo “Beware Planet Earth!” as a whole. These instruments can be found in all four seasons’ themes, but also in secondary and menus theme musics. Their role is to give an overall logic to all the musics so that the general atmosphere remains consistent throughout the game while resembling the main story element: the Martian threat!
To do so, we used Theremin – the one ’50s Sci-Fi/Horror movie instrument, to bind all themes together. Other sounds and recurrent throughout the game, such has drum rolls to show the military aspect of the Martian army, or threatening Gongs…
We have brought a lot of care while creating the score for “Beware Planet Earth!” because it is such an important part of how the background of the game and inspirations from movies are apprehended.
We talked a lot with AurÃ©lien, and he perfectly understood and translated our intentions to music. Thanks a lot to you, man! ;)