We’ve entered full production now on the excitingly gruesome new injury mechanics and will be revealing them to you next week in a detailed blog post. For now, we give the word to our talented musicians to listen to and hear their thoughts on the most recent additions to the soundtrack of Battle Brothers.
The Might of Obrokk
Hi everybody, Patrick from Breakdown Epiphanies here. Over the course of the last weeks we added some new tracks to the Battle Brothers soundtrack, a few of which we would like to showcase in this week’s devblog.
So without further ado we’ll start with the latest piece in our musical arsenal, the third theme for battles against the notorious orcs that are haunting every late-game mercenary company’s dreams. We’ve started naming the tracks for the soundtrack inspired by names and places from the game now, so instead of the rather bland “Battle Track III”, we give you “The Might of Obrokk”.
At the start, our goal was to have two fairly long and varied themes for battles with each faction in the game. This third Orc track we did mostly for fun, although you can say that the Orcs pose a prevalent threat in the late game so more music that carries the weight of fighting these armored behemoths will be a welcome addition.
We’ve been listening to Howard Shore’s beautiful and brilliant soundtrack to the LOTR-movies a lot lately and we always loved Shore’s take on Tolkien’s world. So we had to have a go at an orchestration in his style while trying out some awesome new instruments we got our hands on. Like with all of the Orc music for Battle Brothers, we’re relying mostly on brass in our arrangement, accompanied by odd rhythm patterns that feature somber and tuned percussion, as well as hammering on all kinds of metal surfaces. All of this culminates in a more harmonic but still menacing ending with a big choir build-up. If at that point Obrokk has not wiped the floor with your puny mercenaries, and somehow you managed to survive, feel free to loot some juicy man-splitters off of those greenskin corpses, as the approaching reinforcements sound their war horns in the distance.
Traversing the Northern Clanlands
A few weeks earlier the guys from Overhype asked us for another track that could be played when travelling on the world map. Although we already wrote a bunch of music for this part of the game, some more variety was needed, given how much time players spend getting from town to town and looking for work for their company. Overhype have a lot of stuff planned that will incentivise exploring even further to make this part of gameplay stronger for the final release, so providing more music for the world map is also setting up for these improvements.
“Traversing the Northern Clanlands” starts out with a very mellow and soothing string arrangement that won’t get in the way when quickly hopping on to the world map screen and e.g. back to a city. After the first part though it transitions to a wide and epic theme that evokes (so we hope) a feeling of wandering and exploration (I’d say riding across the countryside but you all know that we are not very keen on horses around here ^^).
Rise and Fall of House Kaltenborn
Lastly we would like to present a piece that has been in the game for quite some time now but that many of you might not have encountered up until now because battling the forces of the various noble houses still needs a rather complicated setup at the moment. This will change when faction warfare becomes a thing, but until then, feel free to have a listen to the first Noble Houses Battle Track here.
All of the tracks related to the human faction in the game (bandit themes, town- and stronghold themes) feature acoustic guitars in some way and so does the music for battling the noble houses. Other than that, given the tone of Battle Brothers we could not help ourselves but think about Ramin Djawadi’s main theme for GOT and came up with a waltz in 6/8 (much like our “Stronghold Theme”) that uses a similar call-and-answer structure between a solo cello and the rest of the string section. Later, there are more strings, lots of brass and choir. We basically pulled out all the stops on this one, and its project in our audio workstation is a good contester for “most-notes-played per minute” in the soundtrack.
So what’s on the horizon? Next up is a second track for the beast faction that is already in the works. It will feature almost exclusively drums and percussion (those direwolves still having problems to play melody instruments with their clumsy paws) and will be a bit more up-tempo and dramatic than the first theme that was more about setting a dark and threatening atmosphere. After that we’ll tackle the second noble houses theme so we’ll have that ready for when faction warfare is being introduced. There might be some more new content that will need some musical accompaniment until the final release (like locations or events).
Anyhow, we will probably sit down and write a few more tracks in the meantime just because it’s a lot of fun, like we did with the latest orc song. Boy, are we lucky to work on this game ;)