Transistor: Darren Korb's Contribution to Supergiant's Soul

Supergiant is noted for well crafted games. We talk to Darren Korb about the musical element of that craftsmanship.

The concept of soul is important to me. It isn't a purely religious construction, but a manner to describe something that has a core of being that is more than just an outward appearance. A company's soul, a work of art's soul, a game's soul is its ability to not just be something that is viewed, but something that has meaning.

Music, Hooks & Soul

I have always had a love for music. I am fascinated by the ability of multiple people to work together to create a single sound with multiple layers, a vocalist to be both percussive like an instrument and distinct as vocals are often expected to be and the ability of certain music to evoke a feeling... to have a soul.

In pop music there is a concept of a hook.  A hook catches your ear often with a bit of musical sugar. In great music, there is what I call a "tug". A tug is a sound or riff, for me it is often a vocal styling, that tugs at your soul. A tug is not musical sugar like a hook--a tug is high quality goodness that connects you deeply to the music.

Supergiant, a Game Studio with Soul

If you've played Bastion from Supergiant Games then you know that there is something a bit deeper than just the fun of a solid action game with a great voice over. Bastion has a tug. Often it is the much revered voice-over, but the tug is also in the craftsmanship of the whole game. Bastion is clearly the work of a group of very talented people who have done more than work hard, they have given a soul to their creation. The final product has a form distinct from the composite parts.

Transistor looks Incredible

Now, let's talk about Transistor. Though I've only played the game for a bit, only seen trailers, and watched our interview with Darren Korb, I am getting the sense that Transistor has a soul both overtly in the story and inside it. Supergiant has clearly created another game with a tug.

When I made the video above, I wanted to juxtapose the Transistor trailer with Darren Korb's discussion of his goals for the music with the trailer itself. Darren says he has to consider:

"what's going to fit the tone of this game that we want to achieve, how am I going to be able to express that musically"

Then we hear this great lead in and fantastic voice that tugs on my soul when she says "silence" and "defiance". It makes me shiver. Incredibly powerful stuff.

Transistor is scheduled for release in 2014, and I can't wait to see what Supergiant has in store for us.


Stephen is the founder of and A life-long gamer who enjoys RTSs, MMOs, RPGs, City Builders, 4x games and FPSs on easy mode. He also enjoys introducing his children to the wonderful world of gaming.

Games Transistor Genres ActionAdventureArcadeRPG Platforms PC
Published Mar. 29th 2013
  • Christina Virginia
    Featured Contributor
    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you've written! I'm so excited to play Transistor. Everyone at Supergiant was so wonderful, and it was awesome to hear more in-depth about the creative forces behind the games. I may have been actively swallowing the urge to let some big happy tears roll out during the Transistor demo...
    It's like you say: there's a tug. That swell of emotion you feel when you experience something -really great-.
  • Jeremy
    Oh god, I loved Bastion so much. And this looks amazing. I hope the music is as good as Bastions.

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