Nick here with a few more screenshots from Me and My Dinosaur 2! Strange people in lab coats? Ancient temple ruins? Dark alleys? Yup, M&MD2 has it all!
Sorry for the delay on this update. We’ll try to be on time next week :)
M&MD2: Introducing the Soundtrack
I’m David Saulesco, a freelance composer, arranger and songwriter from Northern Sweden and I’m in charge of the soundtrack for “Me And My Dinosaur 2”. I’ve been hard at work for almost four months, and now I can finally see the finish line on the horizon! My involvement in the project started out small, but before I knew it, I ended up as the lead composer for the game. Now that I’m almost done, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about the process, as well as give you a sneak preview of what the music sounds like!
Comparing this game to its predecessor is, in my opinion, unfair in every respect. The developers are putting a huge amount of attention and tender, loving care into making the game as good as it can possibly be and I’ve grown into the same mindset myself. More than just throwing together a run-of-the-mill set of unobtrusive background music, I’ve started to care more and more about the music, the themes and the overall narrative of the soundtrack itself.
What’s been a lot of fun about scoring M&MD2 is that the game has great diversity in its locations. Lots of video game staples are here; dense forests, icy caves, bustling cities and rivers of lava, each one bringing their own musical clichés. In many cases, the developers knew in advance what kind of music they wanted and it’s been my job to either grant their wishes or prove to them that I have something better in mind. (Both have happened.) This also encourages my using a rich palette of instrumentation, musical styles and thematic variation.
Here is a montage of one theme being used in several places in the game, in various contexts, with different instrumentation to fit the intended mood. The melody is hinted at discretely at first, but only later on does it introduce itself entirely. After that, it reappears several times in different guises; sometimes changed slightly, but always recognizable.
The soundtrack to M&MD2 is full of melodies, some of them recurring themes that help tell a cohesive story while playing the game or listening to the music separately. I view the soundtrack as its own separate narrative as well as connected to the events in the game. Therefore, the small events just like the overarching plot should be reflected in the music itself. Musical themes may be hinted at early on, before they’re actually used, just like foreshadowing in a film where the camera suggestively pans across a knife on a table only to have that knife reappear later sticking out of some unfortunate character’s back.
Within each individual area of the game, I’ve also been very conscious of how the music is used, to maintain a consistency within each set of tracks belonging to, for instance, the cave area. To further the impression that with each level you’re going deeper underground, the music starts out in a moderately fast tempo with mainly high-pitched instruments, but as you progress the music becomes more bass-heavy and starts to sound distant. At the bottom the music is slower, almost meditative, and sounds muffled, like you hear it from a great distance.
I grew up playing games on 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. Back then, you could only dream of the bombastic, overproduced stuff you hear in games like “Call of Duty” or “Splinter Cell”, the orchestral grandeur and swelling romanticism of “Uncharted” or “The Elder Scrolls” or the now-predictably titanic scope of Final Fantasy and other (usually Asian) role-playing games. Back then, what really mattered was strong, catchy melodies.
For me, good game music is (still) about strong melodies. Just like any well-crafted pop chorus, hook or riff, a melody that conveys the appropriate emotion and at the same time sticks in your head as soon as you let it - just because it’s damn good - is something I really love.
I’m literally counting the days now until the soundtrack is finished. I know from experience it’s going to feel quite strange seeing it out there in the wild, but still incredibly satisfying. The original soundtrack will be released along with the game sometime soon. If you have any more questions or comments about this post, or anything else for that matter, feel free to leave a comment below! Feedback is always appreciated.
M&MD2: A Bad Case of the Vertical Ascension
Hello, Nick here again with a new item from Me and My Dinosaur 2!
Ever had one of those moments where you encountered one of those dastardly lofty ledges or expansive gaps and there were no bouncy springs around? You reach out with your tiny arms with all your might but there’s no hope. The walls and gaps laugh at you as you curl up on the ground, subjected to gravity’s merciless, iron-fisted grasp.
Well, no more!
The special properties and high protein levels of the mystical Jumping Bean swim through your digestive system like a bullet train. After just a few seconds, when the Jumping Beans do their beany magic, you’ll soar through the air like never before, leaving those gnarly obstacles in the putrid, green, bean-scented dust!
M&MD2: Hero Time!
Nick here again!
And time to start introducing something special - the characters!
Here’s Hunter, our main hero! He’s a quiet boy, about the age of 13, and has a hard time making friends in his neighborhood - until he meets the best friend he could ever ask for. A particularly giant, green, and prehistoric type of friend.
You’ll primarily play as Hunter throughout M&MD2, escorting your special friend around the many beautiful and yet dangerous worlds.
M&MD2: Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Beebird
Hello again, Nick here!
Now it’s time to introduce another enemy from Me and My Dinosaur 2: the Beebird! An aerial enemy that flies back and forth on a specific path, often becoming an obstacle in the middle of tricky or difficult jumps.
It has one eye that pierces your soul as it stares you down without a single blink. It enjoys the sweet taste of honey, insects, and seeing things fall victim to gravity.