May 26 2024

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Inside The Music And Sounds of Star Trek: Dark Remnant

4 min read

Several weeks ago, TrekToday reported on the release of the Star Trek: Dark Remnant VR game, available at Dave & Busters. That article can be found here.

Star Trek: Dark Remnant puts the player in control of the U.S.S. Galileo, Starfleet’s latest and most advanced stellar research vessel, accompanying the U.S.S. Enterprise on a routine mission to evacuate a stellar observatory located in the middle of the Klingon Neutral Zone and learn more about the decaying neutron star it orbits. When the neutron star collapses prematurely it leaves the Enterprise incapacitated. It’s now up to the player to protect her from stellar debris – and the unwelcome arrival of a Klingon ship out for vengeance.”

A new interview by Dan Moore with Star Trek: Dark Remnant‘s composer, Matthew Carl Earl, and the Hexany Audio sound effects team, who together brought the iconic legacy sounds into Star Trek: Dark Remnant, answers questions about everything from using the iconic legacy sounds to how Earl incorporated Michael Giacchino‘s themes into his own music.”

Moore: “I know that some of Michael Giacchino’s score is incorporated in the game, did he give you any input or advice when first approaching the project?”

Earl: “I didn’t receive any guidance from him personally, but it was a huge honor to be able to take the wonderful themes he’s developed over the years and incorporate them into my own music for the project.

“Having these already established melodies and ideas to draw from is really inspirational when writing new music for the franchise.”

Moore: “How would you describe your musical contribution to the game?”

Earl: “Simply writing custom music for the experience while incorporating the iconic Star Trek themes into the score where needed. But because of the interactive nature of this experience with the different endings, there was also a bit of combined brain power between our Audio Programmer, Nick Tomassetti and myself on how exactly the files in the game should play back technically.”

Moore: “Were you using a virtual reality simulator when you were scoring the game to get the full effect of the player? How did that work with the creative process?”

Earl: “Luckily at our studio we have full access to the game engine and used our own HTC Vive rig to play-test the game and also capture screen recordings that I later use while scoring the experience.

“Honestly, I think it’s pretty important for any composer or creative to play the game themselves, especially with VR. That way you are experiencing the exact same situations the player will face and you can bring that knowledge back to your desk when thinking of musical ideas while looking at a screen recording of what you just played.”

Moore: “I know you probably can’t give too much away, but we know the game includes randomized player characteristics. Did you create specific character themes or was it more general atmospheric pieces? If so, what was your favorite character to score?”

Earl: “When playing through the experience I first looked at a couple of the moments I wanted to hit with themes, and then furthermore which moments I wanted to use with some of Giacchino’s iconic themes such as the first time you encounter the Enterprise. I don’t want to say too much detail, but at some point you encounter a familiar enemy…The following sequences I thought were extremely fun to write!”

Moore: “Let’s say you are a Trek fan but not that into gaming. Is this for them?”

Hexany Audio: “Absolutely! It’s such a great experience to be on the bridge of a ship in the Star Trek universe. Anyone that has ever imagined what that would be like should check it out.”

Moore: “You worked with the actual sound effects from the movie for this game. Can you go into more detail about what those actually were?”

Hexany Audio: “We were lucky enough to have access to a lot of legacy sounds from the franchise. It’s always great to be able to incorporate those into what we’re doing and breathe new life into such iconic sounds.”

Moore: “At what point of the development process were you brought in?”

Hexany Audio: “We were brought in early in the production process by VRstudios; they produced the title in collaboration with the studio Strange Reptile and Dave & Busters, and have produced other titles for this custom simulator ride, so they knew it would be great if we could start to conceptualize what this experience should be from an audio perspective early on. Any time that you’re dealing with such a storied franchise you want to take extra care and make sure you’re living up to the expectations of the fans.”

Moore: “When beginning work on the game did you research any games similar to this? If so, which ones?”

Hexany Audio: “We spent a lot of time researching the various TV shows, movies, and games. Most of the inspiration came from the film/TV side of things, as that has been the root of many of the most iconic sounds and music. It was really interesting to see the progression of sound throughout the years and we’re quite honored to be entrusted with bringing it to life in this VR experience!”

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