MazeQuest 3 Original Soundtrack Cover

MazeQuest 3 Original Soundtrack

2020-04-24

 

Now this was an odd project. When we started off, the vision was to go full-on Western, complete with all the sounds and samples that go with it. We’d planned to draft themes in 8-bit, just like we had on MazeQuest 2, but then take each one (once proven) and fully develop them intro tracks with real life banjo, guitar, harmonica, whistles, chanting, the whole nine yards.

Then, during development, I couldn’t quite limit myself to the 8-bit sounds, because additional flavors were necessary to get certain ideas across. Thus, various hybrid pieces came together, mashing up the 8-bit and the orchestrated/Western pieces into something new and bizarre.

Then, some tracks were doodled entirely outside of the 8-bit soundscape, considering the tracks in mind were more sample-heavy than melodic.

Then... something else happened. I got the email from Orr Media (the developers of MazeQuest) that they had plugged in all of the music (in its current draft state) to the game in the works, and... it fit! Like, completely in its hybrid form! I guess they had been playing with the visual style and had gone more retro than originally planned, which kinda synced up with the soundtrack complete with all of the 8- and 9-bit elements. Gone was the next step that included rebuilding and orchestrating everything, I just needed to elongate a few pieces and mix/master the collection.

In the midst of this whole process I had reached out to my friend Waleed “zyko” Hawatky (you may remember him from various Bad Dudes projects, or my Angelhenge remix (Brutal Legend) from American Pixels), to see if he’d be down to play some guitar for the OST. (I really wanted to limit the amount of “fake” instruments used; I personally don’t care for fake fiddle, bad guitar samples or pre-recorded riffs, etc.) He said yes, and provided some excellent performances for the tracks, even working off of the chiptune-heavy draft material. I’ll admit it was a bit strange weaving some of his licks into fully produced instrumental pieces, and then others into 8-bit doodles, but after a lot of tinkering in ProTools, it all worked.

In a final twist so this whole experience, I turned in my final, produced tracks to the game developers and, well, they asked me to tone it down a bit. Apparently I’d gone too far with the production, and a lot of the elements were clashing when actually lined up with the game. But, I still really liked those versions. Thus, two versions were released: the in-game version, with everything sounding exactly like it will in the video game, and a “composer’s cut” (only available on Bandcamp), where the more aggressive and complicated versions of the tracks are housed, for your listening pleasure.

Special thanks to Jeremy “Geoffrey Taucer” Waters for some consultation regarding how to compose for banjo.

And thanks to my daughter, Isabella, for being an enthusiastic support during the composing process. Very early on in development she said “Daddy, you should make a track that goes boom boom boom, boom boom boom, boom boom boom!” So I did, and that riff became the basis for the Town theme.

Tracks from this Project

"Main Title"
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"Mountain Forest"
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"Riverboat"
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"Jonathan Potter"
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Project Press

MQ3 on Radio64 Video Game Music Remix Radio
2020-05-03
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The Main Title theme from MazeQuest 3's soundtrack has been featured, check it out!
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