Original MONACO music composed by Austin Wintory, composer of fl0w and Journey
Yay! New video! I just put up footage of the network play as well as the game's main theme from Monaco's new composer, Austin Wintory.
Creativity flourishes within constraint. If you're trying to come up with something new, it usually helps to know the boundaries within which you can explore.
In Monaco, one of those constraints has always been the music. I started off designing the feel and pace of the game around old-timey ragtime music, like the kind you'd hear while a villain is tieing a woman to the railroad tracks. The music was royalty free, which was great, because that has the word free in it, but that also means that the same music would show up all over the place.
When it came time for me to start searching for a new composer, one of the names recommended to me was Austin Wintory, best known in gaming circles for his work in thatgamecompany's fl0w and Journey as well as movies like A Little Help and Captain Abu Raeb.
Our process has been evolving, but the first thing we did was to discuss the style and the mood. With regards to the style, I wanted to stick with the idea of solo piano music, with that old ragtimey, barroom/saloon feel. And with regards to the mood, the one word that served as our touchpoint was:
After that, Austin threw together a piece that would serve as the theme for the game. While this piece (in its full form) may never appear in the game itself, this is the piece from which all the other pieces are derived. In the same way that each piece in the Star Wars soundtrack calls back to the main theme, each piece in the Monaco music will contain bits and pieces of this one.
So that's it! If you happen to be going to GDC this year, Austin is giving a talk about the process of creating music for Monaco and Journey, and Jenova Chen and I will be there to provide additional input at the end of the talk.
Let me know what you think of the music in the comments!