Pine is an action adventure game in which an intricate game ecology adapts to your actions, inactions and choices.
For Pines soundtrack we wanted to see what vibe fit the game the best, something comical, like the Fable score does for example, or perhaps something more grand and serious? We found what we where looking for when we first heard Ralph Vaughan Williams 2nd Symphony. It wasn't only the folky influence that you could hear throughout the whole score, but also the way the music was able to blend with the game when you played it. The beautiful reverb and mix on that specific recording of the symphony was perfect for the game, everything sounded very lush and warm and also made it sound less direct than most other orchestral scores. We then spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find a reverb that could somehow come close to what we could hear in Vaughan William's master piece.
As the game is called Pine, we wanted to let wooden instruments be dominant throughout the whole score. We browsed tons of second hand stores and flea marktes to search for some cool flutes or weird wooden instruments that we could use to complement our virtual orchestra. Then, when we had the general idea down we started working coming up with a sound for each of the species that could become more dominant if that species gained in power throughout the game.
The sound of Pine has to match the beautiful visuals and landscapes created by the team. This means specifically we got to go and record a bunch of ambience and nature sounds that we could populate the world with. Luckily we bring our field recorders everywhere we go and now have quite a library to draw from. Pretty much all waterfalls and rivers in the game were recorded on a trip to Norway for example. The ocean is from Bulgaria and most of our forests are German or Dutch, although sadly it was hard to find ones where you can't hear the highway or 'autobahn' in the background.
The next fun challenge were the species. While they clearly draw inspiration from existing animals, they are distinctly more developed and human and we wanted to reflect that in the sound design. To achieve this we blended sounds of animals with our own voices, to create a unique 'language' for each species.
Lastly, we also let wooden sounds drive the creation of the UI sounds in the game. We're using wood blocks, pan flutes, shakers and just hitting trees as the core for all of Pine's UI and player feedback sound effects. Combined with some sweeteners this really drives home the theme of the game and fit's the graphics and art style nicely.