Wingless Workload (or her majesty dies) - Retrospective (VimJam 2 - Boss [8 Bits to Infinity])
Music: Bandcamp, Soundcloud, YouTube
Gameplay: Game link
This was actually the first game jam project that I had begun working on but due to the extended community voting period and judging phase, I've only just got around to posting the tracks and writing about my experiences as I didn't want to jump the gun or overstep any boundaries! I'm so glad to finally write about the process as it was incredibly positive overall and by far the best outcome to date.
After once again reaching out on the official Discord server to advertise that I'm looking for a team to write the music for, I was contacted promptly about potentially writing the music for Wingless Workload or her majesty dies, a tile-based arcade platformer by @PotomaxDev. After looking at a few of the already incredibly polished screenshots, in that classic pixel art GameBoy style, I happily obliged! I could already tell that it was going to be a great opportunity due to the brief exchange we'd had, the tone and enthusiasm in the conversation was infectious. When I see and talk to other game developers who are truly passionate about their craft, I can't help but get swept along for the ride as well!
Contact between us both was smooth throughout the entire jam. I was constantly fed with game updates, screenshots and feedback which really helps the compositional process and creating a sountrack that would truly hit the brief and the overall game feel. I got some valuable feedback about my work which helped me to completely restructure and rewrite the first track for Spring Fields. The second pass of that really benefited the overall sound, especially as it was the music to the first level - first impressions are everything!
Being told what works for someone and what's more of a "miss", as we call it, is invaluable and it's great that people are willing to express what they do and don't like in my presence. Critical feedback has always been at the top of my agenda when it comes to the overall feedback loop.
A web build was shared with me (for the first time!), allowing me to experience some gameplay to get a feel for each of the levels. It's nice to be able to play a game with some base level mechanics so that you can start bouncing ideas around in your head whilst also being immersed in the game environment itself.
I didn't have to worry about any sound effects as they were already being handled, so I could focus fully on the compositional aspects. A bonus as my SFX skills are almost non-existant but it's something I'm absolutely willing to explore in future projects!
The project was submitted with a day or two to spare so that it was far less stressful on both ends and gave me a (sort of) hard date to work backwards from. The last thing that I'd want to do would be to serve up my compositions with only a few hours to go! With real-life obligations and timezone differences in the balance, it's only fair that I didn't leave things until the last possible moment.
Kudos for getting the game prepared well with an incredible level of polish with some time to spare! Don't forget, this game jam was only ten days long! I couldn't be happier with a project that was submitted on time and in a extremely playable state and made things a lot easier for myself.
Overall, I'm happy with the tracks that I produced. I think that Buzzing Clouds and Empty Hive are the tracks that work best for me alongside the gameplay. We eventually decided to use my first version of the Spring Fields track for the title theme but if I'd had the time, I think I could have produced a far more fitting alternative but you can't have it all!
Where it falls a little flat, in my opinion, is my interpretation of the pacing of each track. I went for a far more minimalist feel to each track as to not overpower any sound effects or make it too overbearing but I could have "bumped" things up a bit in that department. A little more active percussion and some variety to the lead instrumentation would have benefited the overall feel hugely. On the second loop, I think things get slightly stale.
More experience under my belt and putting a bit more time into it would bring things to light more! Still, five tracks (not including the alternate for Sombre Woods) in a short period of time is no mean feat.
Thanks again to @PotomaxDev for allowing me to work with them and their enthusiasm. It was an incredibly smooth and enjoyable experience and would gladly (and hope to!) maybe work together again in the future on another jam.
For myself, I've already finished off two tracks for the MechJam II which I'll be releasing very soon and writing about my experiences once again!
After that, I've already found a team for the Godot Fire Charity Jam 1 where I'll be tackling something a bit more electronic & synth-based for a change of pace so exciting times ahead!Tagged as: retrospective
Published on: Tuesday 05 October, 2021