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Update #14: The Music of Project Eternity

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We hit our stretch goal of $2.2 million which adds a new faction, a new companion, and French, German, and Spanish translations!


We’ve gotten many requests for more details about the game's music, so in this update we'll discuss our current plans for that. There's also a surprise buried deep within the update for all you music lovers out there, so read on to find out what it is!

Music with Soul


Souls, the supernatural, a fantasy setting, mature themes... These are just a few of the big ideas behind Project Eternity's story and world. As with any great CRPG story, music plays an important role in communicating those ideas. This was true for the Infinity Engine games as well. Looking back they all had one thing in common with regards to music: all are known for having strong and memorable soundtracks that drew you in as a listener and set fire to your imagination. That's exactly what we're aiming for with the music for Project Eternity.


So what will the music sound like? Great question! Describing music with words alone can be a tricky thing to do because so much of that is subjective and wide open for interpretation. Even still it's important to have some sort of plan in place before writing a single note. You need an idea that will guide you towards creating an effective score. To help paint that picture more clearly, here are three words that we believe best describe what the score will ultimately sound like:








Now you might be wondering, out of all the possible descriptive words, why these three? The answer to that goes right back to those big ideas mentioned above.


We chose mystical because of the importance of souls and the supernatural in Project Eternity's world. Ancient because we want the music to be grounded and appropriate to the setting. Emotive because the role of music in any game is first and foremost to provide dramatic and emotional context for the player. At the end of the day, that's what we want out of Project Eternity's score. We want you to be swept away by the music and the imagery it evokes. By keeping these three descriptive pillars in mind while developing the score, we’ll be able to support and enhance the narrative goals of our game.


Of course these three words are not all the music will ultimately be. It'll also be adventurous, ethereal, and wondrous when appropriate. Ominous, dark, and mysterious when called for. Scary and horrifying at just the right moments. And yes, driving, bold, and colossal when absolutely necessary.

Along with defining what we do want the score to sound like, there are also some things we know we don't want it to sound like. It won't be overly heavy or oppressive, nor will it be bombastic and grandiose from beginning to end. We want the score to be as dynamic and nuanced as the story it serves, and the last thing we want to do is weigh that story down with leaden music.


As you can see Project Eternity's music will be many things when all is said and done. But perhaps most importantly, its music will have a unique and original voice that we hope will leave a lasting impression, the same way the music of those awesome Infinity Engine games did in the past.


The Road to Eternity


Making the Project Eternity campaign video was the result of an inspiring collaborative effort here at Obsidian. Adam Brennecke, Dimitri Berman, and I worked on it day and night for nearly a month; doing what we could to make the strongest first impression possible. To help accomplish that, I knew I wanted the music to make a powerful statement right out of the gate. I wanted it to grab your attention and keep you mesmerized until the final seconds of the video.


Suffice it to say that when I wrote this music, I never could have imagined the overwhelmingly positive reception it has since received. The support you all have shown Project Eternity and Obsidian has been a stunning, and deeply humbling experience.


Music in the Clouds


And now for the surprise. Since we launched our campaign we've gotten many requests to make the trailer music publicly available. As a huge "thank you" to all of our amazing fans and supporters, we're happy to announce today that the music from the trailer is now available on Sound Cloud for your downloading and listening pleasure. Prelude and Dirge are directly from the video, and Road is an outtake that is partly used in the video. We hope you enjoy it…




Look for an update about class design from Josh Sawyer tomorrow, and we are about 1,800 backers away from adding another level to The Endless Paths dungeon!


Update by Justin Bell

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Follow me on twitter - @adam_brennecke

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Loving the music so far. Thanks a lot. Although I have to admit...if you guys are hoping that our expectations are not super high, your descriptions and this small sample of music is only making matters worse for y'all.

Nick B




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I guess it's safe to say that death metal will not be in the repertoire? :skull:


Love a well-done music track; it can really put the game over the top. Can't wait to hear it.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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I'm not crazy about the first track which sounds a bit too... "epic fantasy" for my taste, though it's most certainly not bad.


The second track is probably the one that is the most evocative to me, and really seems to feel "unique" to this project. It certainly vibes with both "ancient" and "mystical" and seems to speak of distant lands. I also really, really love the soundscape with the bells and blowing winds.

I would love if that track became the guideline of what to aim for with the music for PE. It's subtle, yet beautiful and evocative.

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Listen to my home-made recordings (some original songs, some not): http://www.youtube.c...low=grid&view=0

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You know, I've gotten lazy and disorganized over the years. I joined the kickstarter sight unseen and I follow the updates and whatnot, but I didn't even realize that there was a video. I guess because it was there when I first went to the kickstarter and I'd already decided to pledge before I saw the page in the first place. I had this notion in the back of my mind that there was a video, but I thought it was just a sales pitch talking about project goals and funding.


So, the music has been there for a while and now I hear it fresh and... I'm glad. I'm glad I got to hear the music away from the hype of the original video, heard for its own sake and outside the excitement of the initial 24 hours of the kickstarter.


Stronger vocals than I expected, but I like them. The first two files were good and I enjoyed them. The last file, though, was what I liked best. I suspect that it's the most... I dunno... 'commercial?' of the three, but I found a certain quality to it that reminded me of some of the great gaming moments in the past. It aspires to and approaches some of the Planescape moments, and I mean every word of that as a compliment. Since games don't come with a smell (at least good ones don't) sound will probably be the biggest memory trigger. If the score can draw something out of the listener, then it can actually smooth over some of the trickier areas of design. This is true also of television in shows where the writing can be quite good, but solid music can make the scene great.


I've gone on a bit much, I guess, but I'm so damned happy to get some of the music and I'll be wearing it out while I wait for more. As exciting as some of the concept art can be, the music is even better. After all, we can't look at the artwork while we work on other stuff, but we can listen to the music while we do just about anything else. Thanks guys!

Fionavar's Holliday Wishes to all members of our online community:  Happy Holidays


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Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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Really like the Music so far though I hope there won't be a massive use of choirs in every song because I think that's a trend for scores lately. I'd like to have some brass heavy stuff with horns... maybe in a part where it's not all about souls because I think they give a warm, down to earth tune ^^


...oh and just for fun some good old (ancient) midi tunes :D

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I'm not crazy about the first track which sounds a bit too... "epic fantasy" for my taste, though it's most certainly not bad.


The second track is probably the one that is the most evocative to me, and really seems to feel "unique" to this project. It certainly vibes with both "ancient" and "mystical" and seems to speak of distant lands. I also really, really love the soundscape with the bells and blowing winds.

I would love if that track became the guideline of what to aim for with the music for PE. It's subtle, yet beautiful and evocative.

Completely agree.

I would add, since Justin is a sound designer, I would expect some unusual sounds and instruments, which would give more character to the music. Using some real instruments is also a must!


Anyway, have a good time composing Justin! ;)

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I did like the tick tock rhythm playing throughout the "road to eternity" track, lent it a very ethereal air.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.


Tea for the teapot!

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I kinda hope the score will be a bit more creative and "experimental" (within the confines of the context of the game, of course, not going crazy with it) than what I heard in the tracks. The music is not bad (not at all), but it does sound a tad generic and "evenly thick" to my ear. A little more "playful", "mysterious" and perhaps (for the lack of better words) less "predictable" touch that would stray a bit from the conventions of regular fantasy musical thematics would be a welcomed touch in my opinion.


Anyhow, I appreciate the attention the music is given and I do believe I'll be satisfied with the end result. Here's waiting for examples somewhere in the future.

Edited by Undecaf

Perkele, tiädäksää tuanoini!

"It's easier to tolerate idiots if you do not consider them as stupid people, but exceptionally gifted monkeys."

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