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Pirates Ahoy!

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2010 by ndbstudios

Good morning, everyone!

NDB is pumped to have worked on the music for Complex Games‘ release of Pirates Ahoy, for the Facebook platform! It’s a social/casual, so you get to play with people, but you don’t have to devote 10 weeks of your life to get through it – you start when you want and you end when you want.

But, that’s not to say that you can’t devote a lot of time.  I (Kenley) love customizing and outfitting – I know, it’s a weakness, but I want to pick my captain (name/picture/all that fun stuff), then hire out my crew, pick my ship, set up all of its weapons and colours and make it exactly the way that I want.  You can do that in Pirates Ahoy, and that makes me happy.

There be swabbin' on this deck... some killer artwork by Jonas van Niekerk

I do want to talk about Complex Games for a little bit too.  They’re a Winnipeg-based game developer that has been on the scene for quite some time.  They’ve worked on (and are working on) multiple titles for multiple platforms, be they PC, Mac, Wii or iPhone.  The CEO of the company, Noah Decter-Jackson is the head of Winnipeg’s chapter of the International Game Developers’ Association (IGDA) and has been instrumental in Winnipeg’s growing New Media industry.  We’ve done a lot of work for them and, like all the developer’s we work with, we want to help them get their project off of the ground as much as possible, including blogging about it, sharing the final copy with our friends and other colleagues, sharing media on facebook – it’s all about collaboration.

Wait for that post, that’s going to be a good one – I want an entire post to be on the awesomeness of collaboration.

In which case, if you want to check out Pirates Ahoy on facebook, then click the link here to have a go at it.  Also, make sure that you become a fan of them on facebook and follow up on what’s happening with the game!

I bet you want to hear some music too – okay, you win.

This is the music playing from the Volcano Level of the game, where there are lots of deep browns/blacks and reds.  The music should a “slave ship”-type, with big drums and sleighbells driving home the beat, while a mournful and haunting melody sails overtop of the ostinato with Irish tin whistle and solo violin.  Then, as we move into the A Section for the second time, the bagpipes come in with a deep drone and take over the melody, while the strings break into harmony and fill in that harmonic blanket, deepening the sound into a lamenting, yet persistent feel…

The next music is a short loop when you’re in your home port and customizing your ship (a task which in which I relish!).  It’s very reminiscent of “home”, but not just in geography, but more the feelings that are associated with the idea of “home:” Comfort, Security, Happiness and really, the notion of “everything being as it should be.”

I tried to accomplish this with keeping in the Irish-style of writing, with an Irish whistle holding the melody and a really warm blanket of strings and a resonant harp underneath.  The bodhran (pronounced “BEAU-ron,” with “beau” like the front of a ship) keeps the compound meter running and the music, while relaxing and peaceful, always has a sense of forward momentum.

It’s just… home.

Stay posted for updates on Pirates Ahoy!