Since you’re reading this, chances are you could name at least three video game soundtracks that you are in love with…or at least would take out on a nice dinner, and then go back to your place.
This could be because the game itself means something to you, you just really enjoyed the music even if the game wasn’t anything special, or more likely it’s a marriage of the two. That’s because many truly great games are just that, a marriage of a multitude of aspects. Theses could be the gameplay, the user interface, the mechanics, the sounds design, the soundtrack, and so forth. But if we accept that a certain game is one we would like and it’s built well and polished, then I believe it is the soundtrack to a game that can really take hold of us and draw us in.
…3, 2, 1 Let’s jam to the music!
There are certain game soundtracks for me that will always be at the top of my list. Final Fantasy VII-X, Red Dead Redemption, Skyrim, The Last of Us, Transistor, and even World of Warcraft to name a few. These are games to me where the soundtrack is far more than just music playing in the background. If that weren’t the case then I wouldn’t personally own nearly all of those soundtracks digitally, and in some cases even on vinyl. The music in those games is far deeper than even just conveying a mood; they can tell a story if you let them. The Last of Us in particular, with its very ambient, but simple music truly pushed the story telling over the edge and made you feel like you were there with Joel and Ellie. The way they used it in how it wasn’t always there, but when it was, you felt something; that was just as powerful as the music itself. Whether that’s the way Hello Games and 65daysofstatic are going about it, we won’t find that out until we play the game ourselves. I will say that with a game of this size and such large ambition, both the studio and the band will have their hands full. So what DO we know about the collaboration of the two?
That’s a long time to listen to static…
65daysofstatic, once they were in talks with Sean Murray about No Man’s Sky, actually asked him to let them write all the music for the game. Personally I find that huge. That means that this isn’t just a job, or something to do to make a quick buck for them. That tells me they are excited for this experience just as much as Sean Murray is; after all 65daysofstatic is one of his favorite bands. In the words of one of the band members, “…like the past ten years had sort of led us to this project …”. It seems very much as if this game and this band were meant for each other as Sean says he even listened to their music while in the early stages of No Man’s Sky. To my understanding this will be one of the first truly procedurally generated soundtracks to date. Meaning that while yes, they are creating a full length album for the game, parts of the tracks and even just sounds during a song will be broken up to create what we finally hear while playing. Whether it’s locations, actions we take as the player, or events happening around us, 65daysofstatic’s music will most likely go through algorithms just as the visuals of the game have to create something wholly new in and of itself.
I had never heard of 65daysofstatic before No Man’s Sky. I must say that is a damn shame too because since discovering them for myself I have bought two of their albums and plan on getting more soon. I urge you to go listen to them, whether you buy or just go and have a listen on YouTube. The band’s post-rock style won’t be for everyone; I get that. But after listening myself, (which I have been while writing this entire piece) I have to say I believe that No Man’s Sky and 65daysofstatic will truly be a marriage made in Heaven.
For Those new to 65daysofstatic here is some of there older work found on Spotify: