This is the second of four Dev Diaries in which we discuss the new additions and improvements in Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut, a standalone release of our critically-acclaimed Dragonfall campaign which first premiered as a major expansion for Shadowrun Returns. (Note: Backers and existing Dragonfall owners will receive the Director’s Cut for free!) Stay tuned each Thursday for another Dev Diary, leading up to the game’s release on September 18, 2014.
Trailer // FAQ // Dev Diary #1: New Missions & Content
Hi, I’m Jon Everist, Composer for Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut. Today, I’m going to talk a bit about the music of Shadowrun, and what to expect in the upcoming Director’s Cut. I’ll also give you a sneak preview into a few of these new tracks.
First off, let me say that the SNES Shadowrun was incredibly influential to me as a kid, so needless to say, I was thrilled when I was asked to work on this project. My first contribution to the Shadowrun world came from the launch trailer music I wrote for Shadowrun Returns. By the time I had joined, Marshall Parker and Sam Powell (who scored the original SNES game), had already filled the world with some amazing music that really set the tone for the score. For Dragonfall, I was first asked to do the trailer music and to write a few pieces that were scene specific, namely the final battle music “Dragonfall” and the Kreuzbasar music “The Haven,” with ten more pieces being added to the Director’s Cut. The team provided an advanced copy of the game and I was blown away by the writing and care that went into it. I hadn’t felt this invested in a group of characters in ages. It’s one of those rare games that quiets the world around you and takes control of your soul for a while.
I have a classical background and enjoy scoring full orchestral music, but I also have a deep love and history with electronic music and have been in electronic bands as a producer since I was a kid. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work within such a rich and diverse fiction. It’s one of those worlds where, as a composer, you start salivating at the possibilities and creative freedom you have. At one moment I could be writing for a 60 piece orchestra and the next moment I’m recording gypsy guitar with some grimey synth pulsating in the background over a distorted breakbeat. It really is a dream come true creatively. Cyberpunk, to me, is this dystopian absence of musical rules, like some near future when all genres of music have kind of coalesced into some savage construct that defies logic, and is totally rad.
So, as I said earlier, I’ve composed 10 more pieces of music for this Director’s Cut that I’m really excited about and I can’t wait for you all to hear. A big part of this new expanded score is the music for the companion missions, which will give players the chance to play character specific missions with some heavy story content. As I mentioned before, I really enjoyed getting to know each character in the game, so writing for them was a huge pleasure. My approach for each piece was to respect the game world and existing score while trying to introduce my own take on these characters’ complex lives and backgrounds. One of my all time favorite scores is the one Vangelis did for Blade Runner, which captured the smokey neo-noir dystopian future perfectly. I really wanted to mix live instruments and synthetic ones, which I think mirrors a lot of the story and universe of Shadowrun as a whole. Here we have complex characters (many of which are a synthesis of tech and organics) who are feeling real emotions and classic dilemmas against an extreme, synthetic and supernatural backdrop.