Well, this is my first test since starting Chiptune Chaos: the first thing I’ve actually written. It was a lot of fun, but definitely took a while! I think I’d like to come back to it and extend it at some point; the ending is kind of abrupt, but that’s what happens when you’re trying to write a whole track in not a lot of time and you sort of run out of ideas after a point.
Anyway, here it is. It’s called Your First Real Test. I figured it made sense: it’s my own first test, as well as the theme that I think the first boss fight of my imaginary game would use.
For those who didn’t check out the post explaining what I wanted to do with this series, see here. Basically, I’ve set myself the task of writing a game soundtrack. I’m not planning to create a whole game, just the music, but I’ll have to imagine what sort of game it might be so that I know what kind of music to write. I think this is probably an RPG, maybe with some faster-paced platforming elements.
At any rate, the player character will at some point encounter the first of what I’m sure will be very many epic boss battles, and this is the tune that will play. It starts out with a peaceful-ish synthesiser chord, but that’s very rudely interrupted by a piano chord made up of the notes F, A flat, B flat, C sharp and D. So a weird chord. I figured that would be the moment that the innocent-looking scene was ripped apart by the terrifying boss monster revealing itself, at which point things rapidly take a turn for the worse.
The tune gets quick after that, so quick that it’s actually really difficult to make out the notes. There’s a steady rhythm to keep the whole thing on track, but trying to make out any sort of melody will probably just result in your ears getting quite confused as they try to follow the piano notes. There are two non-percussion instruments – piano and synthesiser – and the two sounds blend together and make it hard to tell what’s going on. It’s chaos, basically. I was going for a sort of ‘oh shit I’m not prepared for this’ feel, and although I’m not totally happy with the tune I think it does at least bring on that chaotic sort of feeling.
Adding to that confused flurry is the fact that I was trying to write this in D minor (my favourite key for fighting, since One-Winged Angel’s piano version is in D minor) but accidentally did at least half of the main melody bit in G minor. As a result, there are some very peculiar accidentals, which aren’t entirely deliberate. I mean, put it this way: I would never choose to listen to a track like this just to listen. It’s not particularly pleasant to listen to. But hey, it’s a first attempt and I can imagine getting pretty worked up trying to defeat a boss as this played, so I’m happy with that.
There’s a bit of a breakdown where the piano drops out and the synth and drums take over, and I actually really like that bit. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep it going for anywhere near long enough; it only lasts about six or eight bars. It’s much harder to tell, when you’re writing music as opposed to listening to it, what a good length for a particular section is going to be. I mean, it probably took half an hour just to write those few bars, which last maybe ten seconds, so I was just thinking ‘let’s move on’ at that point.
Finally, there’s a stompy piano bit and a very sudden end. Again, I think I’d like to go back some time and extend it so that the end isn’t quite as abrupt, but I’m leaving it as is for now because all I really want to do is get some basics down. The idea of this series is really just to get me back into writing music, so with any luck each track will be better and more developed than the last.
Tune in next time for a song that will undoubtedly be no better than this one. Hurray!