I don’t know how it is where you are, but over here the Christmas tunes have already started creeping out of the tinsel-covered woodwork! In light of this, I thought I’d share some of the things in the world of indie game music that have brought holiday cheer to me recently. It really feels like it’s been a stand-out year for indie game composers, who are doing some amazing things in this community. Have a listen!
Plants vs. Zombies OST – One and half years after the release of Plants vs. Zombies, composer Laura Shigihara has been given permission to put out the game’s soundtrack, which includes both English and Japanese versions of her hit song “Zombies on my Lawn”. Laura is also working on Melolune, an RPG based around the concept of collecting song fragments.
[This is a guest post by ChevyRay.]
The Indie Music Cancer Drive has announced March 1st, 2010 as the release date for Songs for the Cure ’10. A new website has been launched for the campaign at www.cancerdrive.org, where you can already pre-order the CD.
With the drive’s past success (it has raised over $6000 since it began in 2008) organizer Josh Whelchel has gotten even more ambitious this year, setting a $10000 goal, of which all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society! While this seems quite high, a glance at the CD itself shows that Whelchel is dead serious. This year’s album features over THIRTY talented indie artists, all who have contributed music exclusive to the CD, and includes a wide range of music ranging from “…Pop, Jazz, Instrumental, Orchestral, Fusion, Alternative, Rock, Chiptunes, Musique ConcrÃ¨te, and even video-game-arrangements.”
Some names you might recognize that will be appearing on the album:
Last year, Josh “TwiTerror” Whelchel and the independent game community raised over $800 for Relay for Life, a program sponsored by the American Cancer Society to help patients with cancer and to honor those who have died. Josh did this by selling copies of the very excellent Spirit Engine 2 soundtrack for $5.
For this year’s Relay for Life he’s hoping to raise even more by giving donors (of at least $10) a digital soundtrack that will contain music from a variety of talented musicians, including Kyle Gabler (World of Goo), Alec Holowka (Aquaria, Paper Moon), and my good buddy David Saulesco (Eternal Daughter). If you donate $25 or more, you’ll receive the soundtrack on disc. Not only that, but Josh will throw in a free copy of his upcoming album for anyone who donates $10+!
It’s a fantastic deal by itself. The fact that you get to beat up cancer at the same time makes it a must-have! Let’s try to blow Josh’s $1500 goal out of the water!
Josh “TwiTerror” Whelchel has just released The Spirit Engine 2 – Selections for free (as torrent or direct download). “Selections” contains 22 songs from the massive 101 song soundtrack of TSE2 (which is available for $16). You can read a highly favorable review of the latter on RPGFan.
There’s also this great live recording of a 28-track TSE2 arrangement, for those interested. Thanks, Josh!
Mark Pay’s long-awaited sequel to his classic RPG, The Spirit Engine, is finally here! The Spirit Engine 2 is available for sale at a very reasonable $18. You can also download the ~64 MB demo (the saves are compatible with the full version).
Having played through most of the demo, I’m happy to say that TSE2 already improves on the original in almost every way (though Mark claims the first two chapters are the weakest!). The production values, storyline, and combat are all to high standards. I’m incredibly impressed by the fact that, with so much dialogue in the game, you can pick from 9 different characters, each with their own backstory and personality. There’s no small amount of detail put into every aspect of the game (love how the title screen changes depending on your party!).
The combat, in particular, feels much better than the first game. It’s been awhile since I’ve played TSE1, but battles seem faster-paced in this game. With all the numbers on the screen, it can still be difficult to figure out exactly what is going on, but it’s a minor quibble. Overall, the battles feel epic but not tiresome.
As is to be expected from Josh “TwiTerror” Whelchel, the music does not disappoint, either. You can get the full soundtrack (101 songs!) for $16 or a selection of the 22 “best” songs for $8. Head over to Josh’s site for more details.
It’s been, what, 5 years since the first game came out? That’s dedication… and the final product does not disappoint. 18 bucks well spent! Congratulations, Mark and Josh!
Josh Whelchel wrote to inform me that you guys helped raise over $800 for his cancer drive. That’s wonderful news!
And there’s more: The Spirit Engine 2, the long-waited sequel to Mark Pay’s much-loved RPG, is slated for a July 30th release, as revealed by the teaser above. There are also two older videos (1|2) that demonstrate the game’s combat system.
TSE2 will not be freeware, like its predecessor, but the final price is unknown. For more info, head to the official website.
Josh Whelchel, aka “TwiTerror,” the musician behind such classic games as Bonesaw and The Spirit Engine, is currently raising money for the American Cancer Society, in a program called Relay for Life. Josh is offering free, digital copies of The Spirit Engine 2 Soundtrack (when it’s done) to anyone who donates over $5 to him for Relay for Life. Donors will also be listed in the credits of the soundtrack, and possibly the game (which is hopefully coming out soon).
All the money is going to the ACS, it’s a good cause, and you get some great music (and karma) for your kindness!