FFO: Tropico 6, Frostpunk and Age of Wonders: Planetfall
Favourite Track : Water That Gives Life
I asked Zofia about the Timberborn OST as well as her work on the upcoming strategy /city builder Scortchlands. Here's what she had to say!
Q1: A lot of your catalogue consists of Strategy and City Builder games.
Are these genres you grew up playing or discovered later?
A1: I remember playing Sim City a lot as a kid and I loved it! The reason why I have worked on mostly strategy games though is probably that one of my first game music commissions was for a strategy game Worlds of Magic. I think it started from there – developers looking for composers saw someone who scored strategy games before and heard the music that suited this genre and I imagine that’s why more projects of that kind followed.
Q2: The soundtrack features performances by the Auditus Quartet.
Did you compose the pieces with a quartet in mind?
A2: I composed the music for samples at first, thinking the string quartet would suit the game vibe as it seemed a perfect ensemble capable of conveying the feeling of hardship and everyday struggle. Not all music pieces in Timberborn soundtrack feature a string quartet though, but all of them include either a solo string instrument or at least a section that we layered with quartet/solo during the recording session. After reaching the point of starting the preparations for live recordings I started looking for recommendations for string quartets and I was lucky enough to end up collaborating with Auditus Quartet, which is an ensemble based in my hometown, Lodz.
Q3: Do you give your input on the performance of the pieces during the recording process?
A3: Yes – it can be remarks concerning for example the balance between the instruments, the dynamics or articulations. Notating the desired articulations and dynamics in detail helps, but the live performance can sound a little bit different than I had it in my head while writing the score / putting together the mockup or simply putting in the dynamic/articulations markings. You might want some parts to be played louder or less loud than the players performed it, or maybe there is a melody played by one instrument that should be more prominent in the ensemble recording or want more accent on some notes etc.
Q4: What can people expect for the upcoming Scorchlands OST?
A4: The soundtrack was designed and produced having in mind in what way we can support the player’s efforts and experience in the game. The key characteristics that the developer wanted to convey through music was focus and relaxation. The game requires the player to think strategically, but it also has a calm, cosmic vibe and we wanted the players to feel it.
The upcoming Scorchlands OST will be a set of music pieces of 2 different characters. The first one will be a sound collage featuring organic ambients made of sample-based instruments as well as processed sounds that I recorded myself such as outdoor nature sounds, voice and minimalistic phrases performed on acoustic instruments like ukulele and guitar.
The second set will be more dynamic, featuring both electronic and acoustic instruments, enhancing the city-building moments, but not losing the chill vibe that we wanted to maintain throughout the whole game.
Find more of their music below: