Thank you so much to everyone who’s sent in samples for Gunpoint’s music! It’s been exciting to sit here listening to all this awesome work. Some people have asked for a) a deadline and b) a bit more guidance. I mentioned Monday on Twitter – I’d like to extend that to Friday the 23rd of December, since I won’t have time to go through everything thoroughly on a weeknight anyway.
As for b), I don’t want to get too specific about genre or style, because the great thing about this process is that people are always surprising me with things I wouldn’t have thought would work, or just hadn’t considered at all. I will say that you need to put it over the gameplay video, and if your music doesn’t ever change in response to what’s happening in the game, it’ll probably lose out to something that does.
When you’re done, uploading it to YouTube and posting a link in the comments here seems to be the best way to get it out there. E-mailing me a download link is fine too though. I’ll see it either way so you don’t need to do both.
To help out as much as I can, I want to pick out some to he submissions that have come in so far and point out specific things that are awesome about them. This isn’t a best-of list, I won’t decide stuff like that till all the submissions are in. There are some great ones I haven’t included here because they’re just generally good, or because the thing they do well is already covered here.
C418 worked on something called a Minecraft? I am stunned and immensely flattered that he made a sample for Gunpoint, and stunned and immensely excited by how good it is. A few people on Twitter said things to the effect of “Contest over!” – that’s not true. I’m serious about the open submissions idea – if John Williams, Jeremy Seoule and Jesper Kyd sent in samples too, I’d still listen carefully to every submission anyone put their time and effort into, and give them all a fair chance.
The two things I love most about C418’s take are a) the clever transitions between indoors and outdoors – not only adding an extra layer when you go inside, but muffling the music when you leave again. And b) the beautiful crosslink music, and the natural way it builds onto the existing track – I get excited thinking about how switching in and out of crosslink could feel like composing your own music on the fly.
HyperDuck’s take is a great example of subtle game music, focused entirely on atmosphere and tone. There’s a fantastic heartbeat pulse when you pounce a guy, which fades after just the right amount of time. And the tinny muzak in the elevators is hilarious.
A really stylish old-school take, gorgeous upright bass. There’s a huge upkick when you’ve completed your objectives – it might be too dramatic for some levels, but it’s a really cool idea to give the player a “Let’s get out of here!” vibe without actually imposing a hard time limit. It’d also be great for when a gun goes off – at which point there really is a time limit.
This is just one track at the moment, but I love the mood of it, and the way it can turn from an anticipatory, suspenseful tone to an exciting action one smoothly.
John Robert Matz
John also made a video, but it’s the full version of this song he wrote for the menus that I want to highlight. It’s a gorgeous, lonely piece of brass, the kind of sad, sinister track you’d hear in one of LA Confidential’s darker moments. If this started playing when you died, I’d probably sit and listen to it before reloading.
As Ben says himself this piece isn’t really a soundtrack, I’m just including it here because wow, what a great track.
Apologies if I haven’t mentioned yours – it doesn’t mean it wasn’t awesome, because that list would be very long. Thanks again for all your hard work, and sorry if you asked for a reply and I haven’t sent one – my backlog is so huge that I may just have to come to terms with seeming rude to some people. I’ll try to keep up with posts like these to give as much feedback and detail as I can.