Archive for Music

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!


Clones – Tomkorp Computer Solutions!

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , , , on January 15, 2010 by Kenley

Hey all!

NDB is happy to say that we’ve worked on a home-grown, independent puzzle game called “Clones,” by Tomkorp Computer Solutions! Jeremy covered all of the sound effects, while Kenley composed half of the music (with other half independently-composed by Eric Nordquist, of the VGM cover band “Mode 7,” a band of which everyone should become a fan on facebook!

Clones is a game that is similar to Lemmings (for PC/Mac/SNES… well, almost every console after 1983), but has a boss battle and awesome multiplayer functionality.  The artwork is great, the animations are clean, the programming is slick and yeah, the sound is pretty epic too! It’s a really fun game, and I mean that it’s presented in this really bubbly, cute and colourful way.  I love it because it’s not a game that it takes itself too seriously – you never feel emotionally drained after, but you always feel lighter and happier when you’re done.

They’ve put a lot of work into level design and puzzle setup, so that the game is never impossible, but it’s always challenging, which is key.

Just so you get a sense of all of these different aspects, take a look at one of the trailers and you’ll see exactly what I mean!

For more information, check out!