*I am not paid to endorse, nor have any affiliation with any of the companies, products, or organizations described in this post. However, I do own, legally, the album pictured on this post.
Something that has become a phenomenon in and of itself over the last few decades is soundtracks. It seems, at least to me, that the soundtrack has not just become an important aspect of a game, but a crucial component. Not only that, soundtracks have, in some cases, transcended the games that were composed for and taken on lives of their own.
A couple of items I considered when writing this podcast by Gnome Stew. During the discussion, they talk about music, musically-oriented characters, and related ideas. This got me wondering what might count as a soundtrack for a game.
Often, I use music while working through solo games to set a mood. Playing fantasy? There’s a whole mountain of dungeon synth out there, perfect for creating that throwback mood.
I’ve played in games where whoever is running the game uses songs off of their phone to create the soundtrack. Entering combat? There’s probably an audio file for that! Roll for initiative… bum buh bum buh buummm!
In fact, music has really become its own presence in gaming. A soundtrack can make or break a video game. What’s more, some video game soundtracks have become iconic in their own right. Just look at the symphonic arrangements by organizations like Distant Worlds for games like Final Fantasy.
There are even companies, such as Syrinscape, that exist purely for the sake of creating soundtracks and audio effects for gaming. The mere existence of a business like this demonstrates the growing importance of gaming soundtracks, not to mention the overall growth of gaming overall. Even better, there are other businesses around that produce the same kinds of products as Syrinscape.
Clearly, this is a huge subject and one that deserves more attention. This post is more of an introduction to the scope of gaming soundtracks because incredibly, this is actually a thing. I won’t lie, I’ve collected a fair amount of this kind of music, and find that it really does scratch a very particular itch. Over time I’d like to explore this subject more because it’s a fantastic evolution of gaming as a hobby.