Posts tagged Unreal
A long time ago, in a galaxy still owned by Lucas….
The 2nd Death Star is destroyed, the Empire is crumbling (spoilers!). A couple of (no ordinary) mercenaries are sent to investigate a remote Imperial Remnant outpost. A menial task, at best… or is it?
Anyone who’s played Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (long title, huh?) remembers the story of the morally-grey, ex-Imperial Kyle Katarn, on his path to enlightenment (only because you can’t choose the dark side in this installment). What if some Australians took it upon themselves to bring the story to the big screens?
The group has disassembled the game’s assets and gave them a modern polish, using Unreal Engine 4 for the entirety of the project (shader, animation, dialogue, camera work etc.). Some assets (such as character animations) are lifted from the KOTOR games.
Apart from the new, modern look, the group has managed to create an “asset shuffler” of sorts, allowing for varied character outfits (Jedi Academy character creator-style).
It is currently not known when exactly the movie will be released, but, according to the team, “not this year”.
Such a fantastic game moment, the first time you come out of the crashed prison ship to discover an amazing planet on the soundtrack of a brilliant song by Alexander Brandon.
The song is composed by Peter “Skaven” Hajba. I associate it with so many great memories:
- studying it’s music as to the advanced it/fm tracker ways of composing music in those days of tech limitations for composers of game music
- awesome music atmosphere
- the revolutionizing tool that was Unreal Ed(itor)
- playing that adrenaline game as a challenge only (surprising for me as a story oriented player) and then as I took the grand decision to change from being right handed to left handed and my big step was replaying it with the left hand :P
- the whole awesome demoscene before 2k, both on the programming assembly side and the electronic tracker music composition side (I remember the day when with my brilliant musician friend Marius we celebrated our highschool graduation by managing to push out a wannabe song that was like 3-4kb and one minute in length with self made instruments out of mini loops), binaries which were supposed to be tiny… great nostalgia
- love the start of the song! even more impressed knowing how it was made from sample loops and how different columns of “notes” would be mixed to create even basic stuff like reverbs or choruses. I remember Impulse Tracker, Mod tracker was the cutting edge, but my old love remained for the old dos classic FT, Fast Tracker :D The beauty of midi with the (almost) sound quality of wavs… aaa… maaajiiik!
So I’ll leave you with another beautiful Unreal song, in it’s original composer form :D
Another song by Alexander Brandon. I’ve fallen asleep countless times on this one as I would have it playing all night (among other similar ones) it to inspire my dreams and hoping that my subconscious or some voodoo like that would pick up on this style of music. Why? For the same reason I had awesome dreams on it: this is music with a story, and it also helps that in my mind it directly connects to visual memories of places in the game.
I simply have no words enough or powerful enough to describe the impact this soundtrack (the original Unreal game soundtrack) has made on my life. I find it imensely powerful, and mixed with the moments when it appears in the game it simply makes my heart shiver. First time you get out of the opressive wreck fearing for your life and you see the alien sun, the openness, the discovery, seeing the Spire climbing to the sky, walking through the cloud city large streets, traversing caverns with shimmering crystals… all are fixed strongly in my mind due to the powerful emotions expressed through this music. For years afterwards i listened to it day and night, for many lights i’d leave it on while i sleep hoping that somehow it would burn into my brain and I would be able to myself create a fraction of the beauty that the guys at Straylight Productions put in there.
Later on I realized that several other soundtracks that I liked were made by the same people (Crusader, Jazz the Jackrabbit, Unreal Tournament…). Alexander Brandon, Michiel van den Bos, Andrew Sega (Necros) and Dan Gardopée will forever remain my musical heroes, to me more precious than most of the big band/singer names which everybody has heard of. I wish I could tell everybody at the top of my lungs of them and see the recognition in their eyes like they do for some well known bands.
I was all the more impressed by their magic after Marius showed me how they were actually modules, how they had managed to create such amazing music, trully high quality, and yet put it in a restrictive format that managed to have a low CPU footprint and with songs taking a fraction of even compressed audio like mp3. Mindblowing. Seeing all the channels that they used to create panning shifts or echoes & reverbs, loops and audio gradients… aaaamazing!
I have just discovered you can actually listen to (part of?) the soundtracks online… trully amazing! Meeting any of these guys even through a email or message board is a lifelong dream of mine… maybe someday…
As I’m writing this the music is running and even after so many years and so many hundreds of listenings I’m amazed how my eyes tremble on the virge of tears of joy and how my mind is alive with visual imagery & emotional snapshots of the moments they described in the games… WOW! And the way they can so seamlessly transition from meditational and contemplative to the adrenaline that makes one feel so alive with the need to respond urgently… WOOOOW.
Some of my favorite songs (though it’s so hard to name) would have to be “All hallows sunset”, “Chizra”, “Dusk Horizon”, “Surfacing”, “Isotoxin”, “Vortex rikers”… sorry… i may find myself naming them all. The Unreal Tournament soundtrack I also found very fit for the adrenaline gameplay, though I can’t say it moved me quite so much. Still, it had some songs like “Razorback” which really rock my world and made me feel amazingly alive, and they were all pretty much what kept you going when you had reached the repetition and familiarity…
Big biiiig shout out for Straylight Productions and all their friends!!!
I used to go through hundreds of user maps in Doom 2, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Unreal, Heretic… I kinda miss that. Tried to do some humble stuff too. It was like exploring an exciting new universe of creativity. You never knew what was around the corner. I was super excited and impressed with maps such as a one way system in Duke, a escher unreal map and a kid’s room from a tiny scale, a Doom 2 NiN feeling/music map… superb stuff. So you can imagine how happy I am at the thought of this kind of richness happening in UT3.
PS: Is that Emerson, Lake & Palmer that I’m hearing?!?