Monday, November 14, 2005

Troels Folmann on the Tomb Raider: Legend experience

Late this year a promotional DVD was released showcasing what Redwood City based studio Crystal Dynamics was up to during their re-branding of the Tomb Raider franchise, following the asset's departure from its original developer, Core Design. In the 11 minute compilation of interviews with key members of the team, Troels Folmann, composer for the 2006 release of Tomb Raider: Legend, speaks out about his current work at the time.

Watch the related excerpt from the Tomb Raider: Legend "First Look" documentary below, courtesy of Eidos Interactive Ltd. (© 2005):

Update: Folmann would later receive a BAFTA for the score that has set the bar for video game music production. Unfortunately, Legend's soundtrack has never seen a commercial release. However, Square Enix Europe acquired Eidos Interactive in 2009 and this could be subject to change in future. A selection of Folmann's work was released conjunctively with his follow up Tomb Raider: Anniversary in 2007, present on the Collector's Edition Bonus CD/DVD (region-dependent format).

Follow the jump for a full transcript of the video:

"One of the things we're trying to do here is to create an experience that goes a little above what you've seen in normal games. We're trying to create not an experience that's just action [or] adventure orientated but we're trying to create an experience that is almost emotionally orientated.

My name is Troels Folmann. I am the composer of Tomb Raider: Legend.

We are taking this very well established brand, 'Tomb Raider', and really trying to put it into the next generation. What we did is go back and do an analysis of the old games, the Core games; there's six Tomb Raider games that we went really deep into. We tried to understand what they did right and what they did wrong.

One of the things we did when we went back and analysed the old games was actually look at the story line of Lara. What we are trying to do in this game, without revealing too many details, is to go back in her past and try to understand how she became who she is. I think one of the common problems in games, normally, is you talk about the star and you have a very slim storyline that just goes through... but in this one we took a step deeper and tried to recreate the emotional experience.

I went back and looked at the soundtracks for the previous games and how they worked in the game; again, what they did right and what they did wrong. We went back to the two movies and tried to look at that soundtrack as well. And so we established a template for what we wanted to do in this game. In particular, we decided that all main characters should have their own theme. All destinations have their own themes as well. We're using what we call a signature instrument from that particular region of the world. There's a lot of different destinations in the game. We actually went out and did actual recordings of them.

What we tried to do here was actually go and discover a new dimension of how you can do game scoring. It's something that I call 'micro-scoring'. The idea is that if there's a slight change in the environment, lighting [or] camera movement - what happens with the music is that is actually changes or adapts to it. Let's say [Lara just] starts to walk normally; the music will be slow. Once she starts running the music will adapt to that. You'll have a pillar breaking with some stone's coming down on her - that's going to be scored as well. So the idea of micro-scoring is to take all the different small aspects of the game and compose for them. So we need to micro-score all the different things in this environment and actually make a full musical experience out of it." - Troels Brun Folmann

1 comment:

  1. I can't understand why he didn't release a complete OST for Legend, even he won a BAFTA. We got some cinematic music but incomplete (e.g: last cinematic in Bolivia).
    And, now, this Maestro is not working for the new Tomb Raider. That saddened me.


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