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The year of great change, part 2

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

It's been a hot minute since the last post, eh?

I previously wrote about personal projects I've been working on. Now, I'd like to talk about where my first three quarters of a year as a video game composer and session musician have led me.

Title screen of the game Revita. The image uses shades of blue a lot. On the left is a child looking to the right side of the screen from the outside of what looks like a train station. On the right is a tower surrounded by train tracks, in front of a huge, bright moon surrounded by clouds. The title text, "Revita," is in the top middle of the screen.
This is the title screen to Revita, which was released for Steam and Nintendo Switch in April 2022!

Right out the door, almost as soon as I was given the right to remain -- and I am deeply aware that this was a lucky gig to have -- I was approached by Christoph Jakob, who scored Revita. He asked me if I could take on the role of the final boss of this game, "Mother." That entailed singing vocals on the final boss and credits themes, as well as voice acting her lines. I gladly obliged. The video below is from Christoph's channel, and it is of the final boss theme, "Regret":

A month after the release of Revita, I took part in the 2022 Otome Jam. I was scouted by SmokeMirrorStudios, who had previously worked with a friend and powerful voice for marginalised genders in game audio, Eliana Zebro. Eliana and I had previously done a game jam together in December of 2021, and they have since been active in casting voice talent, writing #AudioIndustryGame -- a compilation of several accounts of abuse faced by minorities in the game audio and wider music industries -- and working on a number of visual novels and audio dramas.

Smoke enlisted my help and the help of another musician friend, Marrow, making us a two-musician team for our entry. There was quite a sizeable team of developers, artists, voice actors behind this, and that team would eventually become Heartmoor Studios, the team by which our entry, Mythic Meetup, and any spin-off games related to it, would be released.

This is a promo image for Mythic Meetup. The image has a simple gold border and a background gradient of blue and gold, with gold glittery flecks on it. In the foreground are the four love interests: Watcher, BestestBB, Professor X, and OffKey. The text "Mythic Meetup" is below, in its own section, in a more brilliant gold, and the background around it is a duller gold.
The promotional image for Mythic Meetup, depicting the four possible love interests in the game.

Now, any of you who know Otome Jam know another legendary entry to a previous Otome Jam called Blooming Panic. That entry garnered the thousands of views and downloads, which was no small feat for a jam entry of its kind. The musician for Blooming Panic, Sodiummetal, was our audio lead: he was responsible for sound effects, and for mastering Marrow's and my own music tracks to make them sound consistent.

I don't know quite what contributed to the rousing success of Mythic Meetup, but it got the most views, plays, comments, and downloads of this year's Otome Jam, with a significant proportion of comments remarking on how it reminded them of Blooming Panic. We were floored by the reception this game got, since the basis behind Mythic Meetup was to demonstrate, through characters based on mythical creatures, how people can be on the margins of society for who they are, and how we can help them come out of their shells by affirming and loving them.

A spinoff game has since been released as part of the Only One of Any Asset Jam, called Nature's Lament.

A visualiser based on the assets of the game Nature's Lament. The title text, which is purple and green, is in the centre, with a green butterfly on top, a green branch with leaves in the middle and a purple butterfly at the bottom. Around it are thin purple visualiser bars. The background is a bus stop by night-time, surrounded by trees, bushes, and old lamp-posts. There are some particle effects that resemble stars all around the image, too.
This image is a visualiser I did with the assets of Nature's Lament: the title text and the only background used in that game.

This time I was the only musician on the game, doing two quickly improvised pieces on the piano. I was -- and still am -- going through a rough emotional patch; I poured out what I felt on the piano based on the emotional prompts given to me by the folks at Heartmoor.

I believe that at some point, Heartmoor Studios plans to release a full version of Mythic Meetup; when that will be, I do not yet know. Either way, I have felt great joy from being involved in this project, as the games and their characters resonate deeply with me, and with many others besides.

Currently, I am scoring a casual puzzle game for Android, title TBD, and I routinely open myself up for session vocal and drum work, as well as art commissions on the side. I also play the pipe organ professionally -- a longer post on this is forthcoming -- and I am a drummer for two bands. The first is The Just Numbers, which I have been part of since 2017. The other is The Accused, a party band that has been around for decades and which has served Preston and the surrounding areas.

I don't know what the future will bring me, near or distant. But until it brings me something, I can only move forward with what I've got going now.

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