Last week we asked Victor Sola, our sound lead, to walk us through the process of making soundtracks for our games. In this three-part interview, Victor sheds some light on how and where to find inspiration; and who in this space inspires him most.
What kind of games are easy or difficult to compose music for and why ?
Every game you compose for comes with its challenges. Games that have a “surreal” element or are based in a more “imaginary” setting obviously don’t come with ready-made references. So the challenge is to discharge your own creativity and dig deep to find the musical expression that delivers the best result.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I try to get inspiration from everything and everywhere – whether it’s a film, a record, or even a book! It’s about emotion and the expression of that emotion. Books can deliver strong sensations which can be translated into music. A book I found particularly inspirational for instance, is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card because it transports you to a unique place where your imagination can roam.
(SNEAK PEAK: A quick demo of music composed by Victor for a new Social Point game scheduled for release later this year.)
Are games composers different to other composers?
No, I don’t think there’s any difference. I think that composers increasingly use technology to compose for a variety of media, songs or pieces of music or gaming. I don’t see much difference. It might be arguable that pure sound designers – the guys that just make the noises for a game – are more “geekie” than regular composers (laughs).
How did you get into this career?
After I finished my studies in audio engineering, I did several years of musical apprenticeship here in Spain. I was a drummer for five years. I’m also a big gamer – I have played games all my life. I got a lucky break when I joined a young company of 10 people where I could combine these two passions. Three years later I am still here at Social Point – and still loving it.
Is there a video game whose music you really admire? Or a composer or student that you particularly respect?
There are tons of games I really love with awesome music. In terms of composers, I’d probably have to single out the Austrian composer Tomás Dvorák, who composed music for Machinarium, Samorost and other casual games. His stuff is just really very different to other people’s work. I love the way he mixed traditional instruments with electronic to create sounds that transmit a lot and really draw you in. I’m also a real fan of Amon Tobin who wrote the music for Infamous. His stuff has an incredibly personal style – it’s experimental and again, really not like anything else I have heard.