For a number of years now the quality of music composed for video games franchises such as Halo, Call of Duty and Medal of Honor (and many others) has been improving steadily year-on-year until we have come to the point where full-sized orchestras are being used to record meaty scores and they are being composed by ever-more experienced game score composers and film composers. Although not a gamer myself, bringing up two small children has meant a certain level of exposure to video games, particularly video games for the Nintendo Wii gaming platform. de Blob is puzzle-type video game released by THQ in 2008 that is very child-friendly – and quite addictive for people of all ages. A large part of the game’s enjoyment is game developer Blue Tongue Entertainment’s in-house composer (and senior sound designer) John Guscott’s colourful and quirky score.
Guscott’s score for de Blob contains a wide variety of musical styles ranging from jazz and funk through to reggae. The game’s score benefits from a commitment early on in the game’s development to use live musicians for the music and members of the Australian jazz band The Bamboos play enthusiastically that adds life and energy to the gameplay. The score is based around a core group of instruments – drums, percussion, bass, electric guitar and keyboards (Hammond organ and electric piano) – with added “feature” instruments being added as and when they are required (e.g., flutes, clarinet, cuica). A 3-piece horn section is also extensively used. In all, over 20 musicians contributed to creating the various moods required for the various stages/levels in the game. Read the rest of this entry »