Polkritude

Composer and Sound Designer

Kasey Polk is a freelance composer, performer, and sound designer. His focus is to create music and sound design for film,video games, sonic branding, and commercials.  

Composer Quest 16 "I Barely Survived That Game Jam"

As i've gotten older I find myself watching less and less television (probably because I haven't owned cable in about 4 years) and listening to more and more podcasts. Since I've started following my dream of composing music for games, one podcast that is at the top of my list is "Composer Quest" hosted by Charlie McCarron. Composer Quest is a songwriting and music composition podcast that features composers, scientists, producers, and songwriters. If you have a chance to check it out please do! It's great!

One thing that Composer Quest also does is well, have composition quests! The Composer Quest's range from writing an original score for film or game, to trying a new writing style, or even arranging music for a small ensemble. For some reason I always seem to miss them, but not this time!!!! I decided to sign up for Composer Quest 16, which was an entry into a game jam(Getting pretty familiar with these!) This game jam was called the GRJam or Gamer's Rhapsody Game Jam. The winners of the game jam will win a few tickets to Gamer's Rhapsody, a concert/convention focused on game music,  in Minnesota. One concern with this quest was because it was a game jam and was hosted by Composer Quest, that there were going to be too many composers and not enough game developers. That quickly ended up being the case, so Charlie came up with the idea to have the remaining composers all write music for a game that he was making based off of pixel screens from Untied Games. 

Music

I chose to write music for this specific scene of the game!

For this particular piece, I took a few days to look try and put myself within the scene and hear what the music would sound like. From the shaping of the hill/grass I found myself wanting to compose in a 6/8 time signature. So with a little creativity and a nice glass of chocolate milk, I began to play with a few melodies that could "float" through this scene. I ended up coming out with a higher pitched melodic line based on a two chord pattern. I ended the song with a solo section to represent the communication I see within this picture. Feel free to listen to the tune and comment on this blog post!

Sound Effects

Along with composing music for the game Charlie was working on, Charlie asked if I could help do SFX for another team. Of course I said yes and I joined a team with two other mates. For their game I needed to create some ambiences to set the environment of the gameplay. I needed to create cave, snow storm, and tech lair ambiences.

Cave Ambience

For the cave ambience, my main focus was thinking about dripping water.  I went and filled up a bucket of water, filled up a water bottle, and made some slow dripping drip sounds. That with a little bit of reverb and some low pitches, I was able to create a cave dwelling that functioned as ambience and background music.

Tech Lair

For the tech lair, I busted out some of my tools and kitchen appliances and made what I perceived to be a room full of electronic gadgets and such. 

Snow Storm

For the snow storm, I already had some raw sound clips from my trip to Gibson Park of wind blowing through trees. I used that as my starting layer and added quite a bit of fluctuating noise to give the appearance of snow blowing through the forest. 

Unfortunately after all of the teams work, the team did not end up finishing the project and did not get a chance to enter any of the work that I helped with. Even though it can be a slight bummer, at the end of the day, I gained some more experience in sound design and I also made some new acquaintances. So it really still comes out being a win, and I can still use the sounds I created somewhere else down the line if needed! 

Conclusion

The Gamer's Rhapsody Game Jam will be voted upon Tim Turi of Game Informer and Emily Reese(previous host of Top Score). The results for the winning team/game will be on November 13th, so I will make sure to make another post then or update this one. 


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