Composer Christopher Tin, who won the first Grammy for video game music with Civilization IV’s Baba Yetu, has spoken about his work on Mohawk Games’ Offworld Trading Company.
Mohawk Games’ Soren Johnson and Tin go back a long way, with the two attending Standard together and being roommates in Oxford for a study abroad program so it’s no surprise that Tin says he gave an “enthusiastic yes”.
In an interview on Mohawk Games’ website, Tin explained how he approached scoring the game.
“I think this project was different in that the game was highly playable from the get go, and a good part of me figuring out how to score the game also involved learning how to master playing the game itself,” he said. “So I would alternate composing, and then listening to the music I had just written while playing the game. That way I could test how the rhythms of my music felt, so to speak, against the rhythms of the gameplay.”
As Offworld, which revolves around the establishment of colonies on Mars, doesn’t have a protagonist or main overarching story, he added that there was greater freedom to be creative with his inspirations.
“‘Offworld Trading Company‘ evoked in my mind the Golden Age of Exploration… think back to the British East India Company or one of those other huge shipping corporations from the Spice Wars of the 16th-century,” he explained. “The game itself, though, is thoroughly futuristic. So I decided that the right approach would be a blend of these two concepts—both the historical, and the futuristic—and call it a retro-futuristic score.”
You can listen to ‘Red Planet Nocturne‘, the title track for Offworld Trading Company, through the link.