with Paul Weir
got the chance to interview Paul Weir from Earcom, who is
responsible for all the music, speech recording and sound
effects that will appear in Ghost Master.
worked alongside Gregg Barnett from Sick Puppies, the
development team of the game.
the past he has produced the music and sound effects for games
such as Warrior Kings Battle and the Discworld adventure games.
of all, how many
different tracks did you come up with altogether?
is a big fan of pastiche, his Discworld games are a good
example of this, we definitely wanted the game to have a
recognisably B-Movie soundtrack feel to it.
we properly started work on the game, I wrote lots of
different horror film parodies. So we had a Halloween parody, we had an I Know What You Did Last Summer parody, and that was fine but the problem with that was it
was all kind of, you do 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and that's
it. In this game you can stay for quite some time on a
level, so we decided the only way around that was to build
an interactive music system, which we've now got. It
actually works remarkably well.
mentioned the orchestra. Have you focussed on electronic
music, or is it mainly live instruments?
a bit of live stuff in there but there’s rarely the
budget unfortunately to do large scale orchestral
recordings. This is a shame as I do work quite a lot with
live musicians, I have written a fair amount of
‘classical’ music and music theatre pieces.
it a solo project? How many people worked on the music
one is. I've got a couple of people who do stuff for me on
a part time basis but I was kind of over protective about
this project. It's because it was so interesting, and had
many different elements which needed fitting together. As
to how wise it was to do it alone, I’m not so sure.
seem to have a big control over the game. Did Empire give
you a specific goal or is it you that's mainly in control
as to what the music should sound like?
very, very good at music - he's probably one of the best
producers I work with, because he's got a very clear idea
of what he wants, and he's a very good listener.
worked together for quite a few years now and once the
style has been established, he’ll leave me largely to
Empire have seemed really happy with the work so far which
is obviously nice, and they've been pretty hands-off - as
long as they get the stuff on time, they're happy.
well as the music, I've heard you did the speech recording
for the game?
did everything, all of the sound stuff apart from the
actual coding, so that's the sound effects and the speech
recording, all of which has been equally complicated.
you tell us more about this?
we did with the speech is the mortal characters have
different emotional bands, depending on what they're
feeling. I've written kind of "gibberish" - a
bit like what you get in The Sims - which is dependent on
how they're feeling.
example, they might be scared, they might have a scared
question, or they might have a friendly statement, or they
might laugh, and so forth.
wrote and recorded that with over a dozen different
actors. We’ve also got the ghosts who speak regular
English and a really great guy doing the narrator’s
voice. We've used a lot of Americans because we know
going to be a very important market. There's nothing worse
than having an accent which is not authentic.
are your views on the game itself?
Paul: I have
to say, and no offence to all the other great games that
I’ve worked on, but this probably is the best game
I’ve ever worked on, it’s got such a strong design
thanks to both Gregg and Chris from iHobo.
it looks fantastic. It's been compared to The Sims, but
I'm sure there's much more to it than that...
it's kind of a level based version of The Sims, so you
have an objective, which is more or less to keep the
people scared whilst managing your ghosts. I think the
only difficulty it's going to have is that because it is
so original it may be hard to market.
Sims had exactly the same problem when it came out and EA
nearly canned The Sims. It took about seven years to make,
and almost got cancelled three or four times.
can people find out more information on Ghost
Master, and the music that is in the game?
the Earcom web site and I stick stuff up there
every now and again. Obviously I'm a bit
restricted as to how much I can do before the game
When the game is released I'll probably put a load
more stuff on. If people want it, I'm quite happy
to put stuff up. I've just done a game called
Warrior Kings Battles and there were a few people
on the forums who said that they had enjoyed the
music so that was great and we stuck a bit more on
my site - I'm happy to do that, as long as Empire
think publicity is beginning to start up properly.
This very evening I'm finishing off the intro
movie which again is probably the most impressive
movie I've ever seen for a computer game. It's
just absolutely gorgeous and once that's done
that's going to be sent out for publicity
more information on the Ghost Master music, sound
effects and in-game speech, visit the Earcom
where you will also be able to hear sound samples.
is also an in-depth interview with Paul at Music4Games.