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Henriquejr spotted development update #7 for Alaloth: Champions of The Four Kingdoms:
More information.Development Update #7 - Sound Design and Music Creation
Forging the Soundtrack of a High Fantasy World
In our previous Development Updates, we've had the chance to talk about many different topics such as animation, VFX, narrative, and more, explaining our approach to Alaloth's development so far. Now it's time to talk about music and sound design! A variety of epic games and movies inspired us in many different ways so we wanted to share how our audio team approached the challenge of bringing our huge RPG world to life.
The Blessed Kingdom of Edherest
To create the loops for areas in Edherest, we found inspiration from the lore description of each city, their aspects and inhabitants, as well as from other great video game soundtracks. We started with the main theme, improvising a melody with the idea that this was for the 'capital city'. Then, we added some basic harmony, following the root key. What came next was the tricky part. In fact, it was not easy to create six different variations (based on the city lore and appearance) because it could be easy to fall into repetitions resulting in the tracks being a bit boring. Therefore, while staying faithful to the theme, we decided to use different rhythms and changed instruments' timbre to get around the problem.
- Goldport [Main Theme]: Solemn and epic music, with a dark and medieval melody. All variations must follow the melody. It starts with theme presentation (string section only), and goes through to the climax with percussion and brass sections.
- Winterleaf: A very dark track with only a string section and viola. The first part of the theme is with a cello; the second part is with the string section.
- Baystone: Creates a shady and mysterious mood using only a dulcimer. Very rhythmic with bass; melody goes "crescendo".
- Coldwood: Similar to the main theme. The brass section introduces the melody, then percussion and string sections in "crescendo".
- Mayfalls: A soft mood, due to the presence of nature sounds and the presence of a waterfall. String and expressive flute.
- Westwall: A "military" mood, ready for war. Great importance to the brass and percussion sections.
Whitewind: Similar to the mood of Winterleaf. String section and two cellos that overlap each other.
The Republic of Larastir
In composing the main theme of Larastir and its variation cycles, we mostly read the description of the introductory lore for inspiration, trying to understand what kind of melody, harmony, and mood could fit its stories. The main external reference and inspiration came from The Lord of the Rings and elven music in general, although in this case, we preferred to improvise more. This led us to experience some challenges, especially with creating the variations, but by changing timbres, rhythm, and mood, we were able to come up with something we were pleased with.
- Thilaris [Main Theme]: Solemn music but creating a very magical atmosphere: horn and string sections and an emphasis on the choir, which fills the background. The string section dominates in the first part while the horn section dominates in the second
- Lindorwin: A sad and melancholy mood, but still solemn. Rhythm and harmony with the string section, while the melody is carried by the horn section. A choir in the background maintains a magical mood.
Edhenen: A darker mood. The harp and horn section carry the melody with the "magic" choir in the background.
- Tirothas: Very rhythmic due to the connection between the elvish and dwarven races. Short violins and the horn section carry the melody with the ever-present choir in the background .
Val'Rhain: An expressive flute and horn section symbolize a bow and arrow. Rhythm is carried by the string section and choir.
- Forlariath: A battle-ready mood, supported by the horn section. The string section and choir fill the background.
- Nir-Lathias: A secret and mysterious mood, with the harp and string section carrying the rhythm, and the choir singing a sort of melody.