Smarter and Smarter

Re-imagining the entire score for Smartican from the start was something that was really hard to do. Primarily, this was because I had to go against the initial vision I had for the score for the game. It did not have anything to do with specifications or what was needed but rather what I felt about the score. I wanted it to be a little different from the previous revision. And there were pro's and con's to that train of thought.

For one, since I had made up my mind that the score was going to have lesser of electronic influences, I had to go back to the traditional sound, A more orchestral-oriented score which meant I had to put more stress on melody. Something I realised later on, though was orchestral scores can fit into a quizzical game, but it's probably better to keep things more electronic-influenced. Nonetheless, I had committed myself to getting out of the comfort zone and started working on the score.

I worked on the score for almost a month. It was a constant process of iterations and corrections. There were atleast twenty different ideas that were considered before arriving at the choices for the levels. There were a lot of levels in the game and every one needed to have a different track. Inspiration is very important when you're working on a score and I needed to think about the surroundings and the mood for every level. Doing that was just as important as working on the music itself.

There would be some times when how things panned out in my head about a certain mood and setting wouldn't exactly translate well onto the run-time environment. Things were much more dynamic and ideas were in constant flux. There came a certain point of time when I realised going back-and-forth between my home studio and the game studio was starting to become a daily habit. I decided to spend a couple of days at the game studio itself to work things out.

Once I decided to that, things did start to move a little faster. As the needs were constantly changing and so was the game and it was important for everyone to look at the same page at the same time, so we could collectively arrive at what would be the best set of sounds for the game. I had to make tons of changes to my tracks so that things better fit with the visual idea of the game.

While some times, I didn't like changing my work to fit the game, I slowly realised that even though it would feel weird in the beginning, while playing the game and looking at it as a whole, it would in fact make more sense. I broadened my horizons considerably and looked the other way to see what a game really requires not just in terms of sound and music, but also other things like graphics, promotions, visuals etc. as well. It was a great learning experience.

When I sit and think about it I realise we musicians are sometimes like little kids in a candy store. We always want one or the other, but somewhere in our heads we know having all of them at the same time is not logical. As we grow up and become more rational, we realise that there's more to life than just candy and we learn to start letting go of all that was, and we evolve. We get smarter and smarter, but the smarter we get the more we realise what being that kid in a little candy store means. To not have a worry in the world, to just imagine with a head full of ideas and the entire universe in front of you.

That feeling is all I live for.