As the Indie game soundtrack composer of Rats Time is running out, I’ve stumble to the task of equally represent the arcade mood (think Pac-Man, Gauntlet), the suspense, the comic style and the fast pace of the game in development. So I start to think of a concept while I was watching all sort of old bank robbery movies and playing lot of classic arcade style game. I know that I wanted to use 8-bit and 16-bit synth mix with real instrument and fast drum programing (drum and bass). I have to keep in mind that the game is based on time. Everything cost you some time and you have a limited amount of time to complete the robbery.
At that time I had ingredients but didn’t had the recipe to do my cooking. I experienced with all the information collected about the kind of soundtrack I wanted. I finally got my recipe and it goes like that:
1/3 cup of blue note from all the old black and white movies about bank robbery.
1/2 cup of electric guitar in a twang amp
1 teaspoon of 8-bit synth
1 pound of mixed continuous fast tempo beat and his train effect (I’m gonna explain this later)
1 teaspoon of suspense chord progression.
1/2 teaspoon of a orchestral instrumentation like in the Roadrunner TV show.
1/3 of low frequency horn punch
Direction: Put all that in your head and in your DAW after that play, record, program and the most important test your music on the game.
You can download all free vsti in this article by clicking on the image!
In introduction theme you can ear the blend between Jazz blue note and 8-bit synth jam over the guitar.
In this theme who appear in the beginning of the game I slow down a little bit the tempo to be right on the sweet spot for the difficulty of the level. I push up the tempo as the game became harder and faster. For the arcade feel of this theme I just double my bassline with this free synth: tb_peach.
I tried to stick with a simple bass line in the way of oldschool chiptune song.