Journalist Paul Dean recently interviewed Skyrim composer Jeremy Soule for Eurogamer. Paul posted some additional quotes from his conversation with Jeremy on his blog, and I read something that left me sitting here in silence. Thinking.
When discussing his Skyrim score, Jeremy spoke of wanting the music to be a friend. A companion to the player. He said, “I wanted people who play this game to really not feel alone, to feel like there’s meaning to what they’re doing.”
I’ve always wondered what it is about the Skyrim soundtrack that moves me so, even now that I’m not playing the game regularly.
The music was an incredible companion through it all. Like a good friend, it was soothing at times, encouraging during others… It was lively on occasion, often pensive, threatening only when necessary, yet it never showed one hint of dispair.
This music and I spent hours in Skyrim. And now, whenever I hear it, it feels like running into a childhood friend or a college roommate years after you’ve parted ways.
The moment you see them, all the memories come back.
Whenever I hear the Skyrim score, I remember. The landscapes, the wonder, the story, the snow, the towns, the darned bears, the first giant I ran into, the dragons, the vendors who never seemed to have money when I was carrying too many dragon bones… catching butterflies, eating them, killing Lydia with fireballs without meaning to… reloading a previous save because I felt too guilty to move on without her… and that amazing long walk downhill…
It’s one mini lifetime that I shared with no one but the music.
Hope is present in every single note of this score, and during the time I played Skyrim, this hope stayed with me when I went back to reality. It became a companion in my real life.
The moment I hear it, I remember.Read More
I’ve always felt the Halo games are pretty noble for people like me who aren’t naturally pro when it comes to FPS’s. The difficulty settings allowed me to enjoy the games at different stages of my n00bness.
I used to play on Easy. I was terrified of online multiplayer for this reason. I got destroyed. Even though it was a bit mortifying at first, I’m glad I kept playing online because I feel that’s what eventually helped me improve my aim. Once I could actually shoot enemies deliberately, I was able to plan strategies on how to deal with them. With this, I was able to raise the difficulty. Multiplayer also taught me to WAIT… and let… my shield… regenerate. haha! I was like Rambo before. All “AAAAHHHHH!!!!!” and careless.
The multiplayer mode that helped me improve my aim the most is SWAT. See… before, I used to shoot enemies in the chest. In the heart, right? haha! And no matter how many times people told me to aim for the head, I couldn’t. SWAT forced me to think on these terms since all it takes is a single headshot to kill or be killed. So now, when I play the game I keep my head (and aim) up.
I finished Halo 4 or Normal when it was released. A few days ago, I finally completed soloing the campaign on Legendary. I must have died ten hundred thousand times, but I made it somehow. And I feel awesome. I used to play on Easy, and I thought this would never change. I may never be pro, but I surpassed my own expectations. Whether it’s for a hobby or a job… it’s a great, great feeling.
Ever since I played the ending of Halo 3, I’ve been haunted by the thought of Cortana all alone on the ship for many years. When Halo 4 trailers revealed that this was a difficult time for her because of the rampancy AI’s experience after a certain time in service, I really wanted to make a tribute song about that time. She is one of my favorite characters in video games. :)
Originally, I had wanted to do a Halo 4 cover that focused fully on this new game. However, once I finished the campaign, I realized that my love for the music in previous Halo titles stood strong. Since a lot of us have heard those melodies composed by Marty O’Donnell for years, it’s the music that’s easier to associate with Cortana and Master Chief. Those themes… So beautiful. So right.
I hope you enjoy this tribute song! Thank you so much for listening.
Earlier in the year, I had a chance to work with Gavin, aka Miracle of Sound on a Skyrim song he wrote called Legends of the Frost. You guys introduced us via comments on our videos recommending we work together. :) Thank you for that.
Working with Gavin was great and we have stayed in touch since then. Playing online with him is always awesome.
Recently, he talked me into trying Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. I’m terrified of those games. Intimidated.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. We played a couple of private matches so I could try out the controls and classes. Gavin made fun of me because I kept “Halo Jumping” everywhere… haha! Since Halo is the only multiplayer I’ve played often, I’m used to moving around like that. I realize now that in other games, jumping everywhere looks ridiculous. ;P
And then… we joined an online match.
It was awkward.
Haha! I was nervous but it was hilarious. We talked about how much we love this moment in games… when you’re so new it’s not about trying to compete, but just having fun with it while you figure it out. Once you start improving, it can sometimes become more about judging how you did and feeling frustrated you didn’t do better.
Well… Gavin was recording this very first time I played COD. Poor guy, he was such a good sport putting up with my freak outs, and his laughter makes me laugh. You can’t see what I’m playing… but you sure as heck can hear me.Read More
I recently packed up my Xbox 360 for a Halo 4 LAN with some of my best friends. The plan was to go to a cabin in the mountains and spend the day surrounded by nature and pizza.
The drive was beautiful. Misty and cold. We had to drive very slowly because of the fog, and it was a nice change from the usual frantic feel of life in general.
Once we got to the cabin, the view was amazing.
We set up two consoles. One on a TV, the other on a projector.
And then we played the whole day, shouting [respectful] obscenities and taking breaks to enjoy the fresh air.
We always say we’re going to do this more often, but it ends up being once or twice a year at most.
It made me realize how many plans get pushed back. Not just LANs with these guys… but dinner with friends I haven’t seen in a long time. Phone calls I’ve been wanting to make to stay in touch with people that I love that are far away. It’s easy to say, “Some other time”… and then I rememebered a moment in the Halo 4 campaign where it is said that time is no longer our ally.
Time is not on our side. Friends are. Keep them. Call them. Treasure them. And whenever possible, kick their asses in multiplayer. ;)
Call a friend this week. I dare ya.
I spoke to my friend Jack (drummer on All of the Above) and it put me in such a good mood. I’m happy we were able to catch up! :D
I was under the impression that I wasn’t a big fan of stealth games. For the longest time, I couldn’t understand why so many of my friends chose to play Skyrim as thieves. I felt I’d be too impatient… preferring to rush attack enemies rather than sneaking around slowly all over the place. Dishonored made me see why this can be pretty darn awesome.
There is something very spooky about stealth. A constant nervousness with adrenaline at bay ready to kick in. The pace of the game may be slower, but oddly enough, it makes my heart beat faster, so crouching in a corner waiting for a patrol to walk by is still oddly dynamic.
Dishonored felt like an open world in small doses… if that makes any sense. :) It was fun being able to approach situations in various ways, yet the choices never felt overwhelming. About 4 hours into it, I was already planning how I would play it the next time around.
For powers, I used Dark Vision, Blink, and Bend Time. I also upgraded Vitality, Agility and a bit of Shadow Kill. I tried to keep chaos low, so I left the remaining more aggressive powers for a future playthrough. :)
And holy crap. The final mission had me saving every two feet. haha!
The best part about loving this game from start to finish, is that it now opens up an entire genre of games that I mistakenly thought were not right for me. Splinter Cell, Deus Ex, Assassin’s Creed… See you soon!
Do you guys dig Stealth games? If you played Dishonored, what did you think of it?