Level 192: Phill Boucher (HEROish, Fortnite)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbrgZuUvm7A

Composer Phill Boucher wrote a fantastic score for HEROish, a new castle defense game on Apple Arcade. It’s an amalgamation of Celtic instruments, a full-orchestra and some hardcore metal guitar. He calls it “Celtic metal plus” and the description is appropriate. Definitely take a few moments to check out this score video if you want…

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Level 191: Nainita Desai (Immortality, Telling Lies, 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible,The Reason I Jump)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTA7ckxl4e4

Composer Nainita Desai is all over my playlist these days, whether it’s her game music or film music. Most recently, it’s for Sam Barlow’s new interactive film/game called Immortality. In Immortality, the player sifts through footage of 3 unreleased feature films, trying to solve the mystery of missing (fictional) film star, Marissa Marcel. As a…

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Level 190: Ben Hanson, Kyle Hilliard (MinnMax, GameSpot)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA8xECOzRsw

Ben Hanson and Kyle Hilliard are serious content creators in the world of video game media. They have a media empire of sorts here in Minneapolis at MinnMax, with weekly podcasts and videos, a vibrant Discord and a variety of events. They met years ago as colleagues at Game Informer magazine (published here in Mpls)…

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Level 189: Alina Matson (Fitment, Glossbird)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUYPCVfIE3w

Alina Matson is the founder of Glossbird, a Minneapolis-based game developer making a game called Fitment. Alina and her company are making a social micro-fitness game, described as Animal Crossing meets Duolingo for exercise. It isn’t out yet, although it will be hitting early-access soon! Fitment’s release is expected in 2023, and now you can…

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Level 187: Zac Tiessen (StarCraft 2 UED: First Light)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-I2Uw3dRRA

I loved talking with Zac Tiessen. He’s a phenomenal guitar player (look him up on YouTube for sure). He’s just composed the soundtrack for a StarCraft II mod called UED: First Light, a prequel to the StarCraft universe. Zac’s music matches the epic expanse of the cosmos he scored, with an epic orchestral style and…

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Level 186: Kristofer Eng (It Takes Two, Elias Software)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9PILZTGvWE

Composer Kristofer Eng‘s music for It Takes Two is fantastic. For the most part, it’s cinematically orchestral, with other styles heard depending on the level in the game. The game is a 2-player puzzle/adventure platformer, where you play as the parents to a girl named Rose. Her parents are planning to divorce, and Rose doesn’t…

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Level 185: Meena Shamaly (Old World, Game Show)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uywbnbNrCs

Meena Shamaly is a singer, an instrumentalist, a composer, a radio host and a performance poet. While not a definitive list of his artistic talents, it’s a list relevant to our conversation we had at the end of July. So, we talk about how he sang, played oud and served as an Arabic music and…

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Level 184: Will Savino (Souldiers)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9zFUsRcJbs

Composer Will Savino talks about his music for Souldiers, a metroidvania platform puzzler with RPG elements, pixel art and a retro-ish soundtrack. So much music in this game! It was fun to talk about it with Will! Also, Will composes loads of music for tabletop gaming, a topic I haven’t explored very much, and was…

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Level 183: George Sanger (Wing Commander, The 7th Guest)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhND4LqkE1M

A few things about my conversation with George Sanger. It’s the longest single-interview episode in my 11 years as a podcaster, and the interview itself flew by. I felt like each question could’ve been its own episode. I kept wanting to turn the page and discover more. Alas, we barely scrape the surface of this…

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Level 182: Joel Schoch (Far: Changing Tides, Far: Lone Sails)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp0kTr8lRog

Joel Schoch‘s music for the Far series of games is truly wonderful (Far: Changing Tides from 2022 and Far: Lone Sails from 2018). I can’t recommend it highly enough. Joel does a laudable job scoring the open, watery worlds in both games. An abundance of live instruments but with respect for the, well, “simplicity” that…

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Level 181: Jeff and Angela van Dyck (Unpacking)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snkQUSbDleM

There are 14,000 sound effects (aka “Foley”) in the game Unpacking. That’s a handful. And what a charming game, no dialog, just art and sound. You learn the story as you unpack the belongings of a young girl as she grows up, goes to college, moves in with friends, then experiences different relationships in adult…

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Level 180: Jose Varon (Imp of the Sun)

Imp of the Sun is a gorgeous 2D platformer from Sunwolf Entertainment, a company co-created by the game’s composer, Jose Varon. The game was inspired by the landscape, history, culture, art and music of Peru, where the developers live. Jose got the chance to record instruments in a museum, some of which were 6,000 years…

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Level 179: Wobblersound (Loot River)

The music for Loot River was composed by two brothers in Vienna, Austria – Markus and David Zahradnicek. Markus and David, who go by Wobblersound, are a full-service audio package, so for Loot River, they supplied not only the music, but the sound design and implementation. You can find a playlist and support Level with…

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Level 178: Chase Bethea (Questlike Pocket)

Chase Bethea talks about his music for Questlike: Pocket, a mobile monster-hunter RPG with a rhythmic component to battle. Chase wrote four battle tracks for the game, all in the same time signature of 5/4, and all at 60 beats per minute to match battle tempo throughout the game. In addition to the four battle…

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