Interviewing Music Composer of Shattered Planet - Ryan Roth
I love listening to music from the games I play, it helps create a connection. Whether it is taking a few minutes to soak in the atmosphere of Elwynn Forest in World of Warcraft, the goosebumps inducing orchestral music from any Halo game, or smiling when I hear the "denim denim" music from Mario. Heck, even Beautiful Stranger by Madonna... reminds me of Civilisation II on the PlayStation. Do. Not. Ask.
Ryan Roth is a Canadian born composer, releasing his first work in 2009, he has gone on to compose for over ten titles thus far. He has worked on indie classics such as The Yawhg and Sokobond. So far in 2014 he has three titles under his belt. So, who is this memory creator?
For our readers who aren’t aware of your work, who is Ryan Roth and what do you do?
Well, I go by the alias of Dualryan on the internet, and I'm a composer/sound designer/sound implementer for games.
Who or what was your inspiration to get in the world of composing?
I started when I was probably six years old, I had a 2600 and my dad had just bought me a Gameboy with Kirby and some other platformers. I was enrolled in piano classes, so I essentially just played a bunch of the music that I heard in the games, and improvised with the chord progressions and melodic material instead of actually practicing my piano scores. So I guess ever since then, I've been playing and composing on my own.
What has been your favourite video game to compose?
I had a good time doing Starseed Pilgrim because of the implementation stuff, it kind of allowed me to figure out an interesting dynamic system for using different samples diatonically. I guess Sokobond worked similarly too, so I'd have to say either of those two.
What do you consider your best work?
Haha, I don't know! I really think that anything I've done that uses dynamic audio to be the best. I'm always trying new ideas out though to make cool sonic experiences for the player.
Can you share anything you are currently working on?
I'm currently working with Alan Hazelden again on another Sokobond-like game. I'm also working with Jon Remedios on a project called “Sync.” I'm also working on a very interesting minimalist game with the creators of “Westerado.” Oh, and I will be starting work with Willy Chyr on a very cool project called “Relativity” later this summer.
Given the opportunity would you compose for other mediums? If so, what medium would you love to branch-out into and why?
I've done a bit of work for film and TV. Wasn't big on it. I doubt I would have much interest in doing anything else other than games. Maybe some installation/interactive stuff.
Do you play the games you compose for? If so, what was your favourite?
I do play the games I do sound for! In fact, I prefer this to actually being given an asset list. It's more engaging for me to see the mechanics of the game rather than just being a passive “hired gun” with no input.
Do you ever hear your work in passing and point it out to others by saying “I made that” and smiling?
Not usually, but I do think it's interesting when players are interacting with the games I've done and are enjoying listening to the dynamic music they are making as they are playing/learning the mechanics of the game.
How do you feel about remixes? Have you heard any of your work mixed and sent the mixer a message?
I've heard some Starseed remixes! The most notable being Ryan Henwood (Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime), who's done a bunch of stuff with me actually. We've just released a collaborative album together called “Primal.” (May 16th).
And would you allow someone to remix your work to use on their YouTube/Twitch etc?
I would like to thank Ryan for taking the time to do this interview, and I can't wait to hear more of his work in the future!