Soundtrack, Musicians, and Compositions
A little while ago, we gave you a little insight into the music of The Guild 3, and this week we’ll delve a little deeper into the sound world of the game.
The style of our soundtrack can be best described as “medieval-orchestral”, where a Middle Ages feel is very much in evidence and played on mediaeval and classical instruments. The sound of the Middle Ages will predominate in some songs, while there are more classical influences in others. Then again, in other tracks the two styles are equally represented.
Enjoy the musical teaser we promised you, the track “At The Gates”:
In the game, you climb the social ladder and rise up from a lowly commoner, you then become a citizen and finally enter the ranks of the aristocracy. Your ascent is also reflected in the soundtrack, because as a commoner most of the music will sound quite humble, but the same pieces will sound very different and more grandiose when you become a citizen. The music gets even more sumptuous when you’re a member of the nobility.
The soundtrack to The Guild 3 is composed by “Audinity”. The founders of the studio, Yannick and Robin, are long-standing fans of the The Guild series and already contributed to the soundtrack of The Guild 2: Renaissance. This short interview with Yannick and Robin by Heinrich, producer of The Guild 3, will explain why they’re putting their heart and soul into the project:
Heinrich– How did you initially get into music for video games?
Yannick– I’ve loved film and video game music since I was a kid and played my favourite soundtracks day and night on the piano. The Guild was one of my top favourites, so I was really active in the community and made some good friends there. I began writing music for several The Guild 2 fan mods, mostly covers of original music from the series. A team comprising former developers and some fans finally came together and started with The Guild 2: Renaissance, and I was part of it. This project was my first major collaboration with Robin.
Heinrich– Yeah, I remember that really well, because we brought you into our team for TG2Ren. It was a great, but incredibly stressful time back then. So what’s your story, Robin?
Robin– I’ve been playing video games since I was five years old, and was very interested in classical music back then, too. So I was aware of the artistic approach in video games early on. I took piano and organ lessons, and even when I was still at school, I started writing music for some of my favourite video games for various community projects. I met Yannick on one of these projects in 2009. We then worked together on a fan mod for another famous German video game and collaborated again on The Guild 2: Renaissance. Audinity is the studio we founded together a while ago, and now we’re working on The Guild 3. It doesn’t get better than that.
Heinrich– Let’s not forget you remastered six tracks for our latest patch for TG2Ren. But which projects has Audinity worked on since then?
Yannick– We founded Audinity in 2012, and since then we have written music for video games like Europa Universalis IV and Ultimate General: Gettysburg.
Heinrich– As a small team, how do you work on such big projects?
Robin– We always work together on our projects. This way, we combine our creativity, strengths and work output, and we’re much more flexible as we get near the delivery deadlines.
Heinrich– How do you think the work on the soundtrack for The Guild 3 compares to The Guild 2: Renaissance?
Yannick– For The Guild 2: Renaissance we wrote additional music for the existing soundtrack of the main game, so we had to adapt to the existing musical style and couldn’t be so creative in terms of the style. Bastian Kieslinger had already established the style for The Guild 3 [note: more on this later], but even so, we still had enough freedom to create a unique musical language which stood out from the previous titles.
Heinrich– You’re in close contact with Bastian, and the musical style is set down, but not set in stone; how do you write the soundtrack?
Robin– Creating a soundtrack from scratch involves a lot of brainstorming with the producer or the development team and within our team. You want the music to enhance the gameplay, capture the atmosphere and convey the mood of the entire game. The Guild 3 is less “colourful” than The Guild 2, which as a fan I find really cool. The game’s naturalistic colour tones require a more historical-mediaeval sound, while still retaining the features and accents of The Guild series. I would say the soundtrack contains influences from The Guild 1 and The Guild 2. The soundscape moves between Middle Ages and classic elements, and creates an atmosphere, which is in harmony with what’s happening in the game. We think this is the right way of enhancing the gameplay of this unique title.
Heinrich– What inspired you when composing the music for The Guild 3?
Yannick– We listened to lots of ancient pieces of music from the Middle Ages. I love authentic music from the Middle Ages; it’s very expressive with a particular mood, so my research was a great pleasure! I also read a lot of old manuscripts, of melodies and songs, and in some tracks we re-worked entire melodies or sections of melodies.
Robin– I was really surprised at how atmospheric the authentic songs from the Middle Ages actually are. We could have incorporated many of the tunes directly into the game, and they would have fitted in wonderfully with the game events. We have so much fun weaving these old melodies into the music of The Guild 3; it is so cool that you and GolemLabs support and encourage that!
Heinrich– Yannick, Robin, thanks for talking to me.
Several other tracks were composed by another musician, Bastian Kieslinger. Some time ago, before we had Audinity on board, we asked Bastian if he could help us find the musical style for The Guild 3. Bastian has a lot of experience with music for computer games and was happy to collaborate with us. So the first three tracks, two of which we have already revealed as a teaser, were penned by him.
Heinrich– What was your reaction when we asked you if you could help us find the musical style for The Guild 3?
Bastian– As a long-standing fan of The Guild I was thrilled and also honoured. I started on the same day and experimented, collected ideas and prepared the first drafts. I immediately had dozens of tunes in my head.
Heinrich– Can you briefly describe how you go about finding a style of music for a video game?
Bastian– You basically start with doing some research. You listen to the music in similar games or, if they’re available, to the soundtrack of any previous titles, you unpick them and try to define their distinctive features. The particular aim with The Guild 3 was to combine the features of orchestral “film music” with mediaeval elements to create a more authentic atmosphere than in the previous titles in the series. But, of course, you also try to infuse a particular mood into the game through the music. The choice of instruments is crucial in this respect; traditional mediaeval like the gemshorn, crumhorn or bagpipes produce an idiosyncratic sound and create an interesting mix when played with a classical orchestra. When you bring the instruments together, it often helps to adopt a playful approach, whereby the first ideas are implemented with combinations of different instruments, and you gradually work towards the final style.
Heinrich– Your efforts have definitely paid off, as the fans could witness from the two teasers we have released so far. You are currently composing the full soundtrack and designing the ambient sound in SpellForce 3. What other projects have you also been involved in?
Bastian– Besides SpellForce 3 and The Guild 3, I have previously worked on projects like Dungeons and Chaos Chronicles.
Heinrich– You have already defined the musical style for The Guild 3, and are even contributing on three pieces for the soundtrack (that were initially only anticipated for our tests). To what extent are you still in contact with Audinity regarding the soundtrack?
Bastian– First, I must say that I have an incredible relationship with Yannick and Robin; they both know what they’re doing. We speak from time to time and exchange ideas about the soundtrack. Next, we actually want to meet in person; maybe you could come along, too?
Heinrich– That’s a tempting offer! I would like to thank you once again for your work on the soundtrack for The Guild 3 and for taking the time for this short interview, Bastian.