We're lucky that, in the present age of technology, visual storytelling mediums of every sort have become more powerful in terms of special effects, abilities, and production value. With the current TV renessaince brought about by streaming services like Netlfix and Hulu, as a fan of all sorts of storytelling it's important not to overlook what's going on the in the video gaming realm. Ever since the relese of Grand Theft Auto 5 (which, by some estimations, has made over $2 BILLION dollars for developers Rockstar Games so far), it seems like production value in games has been blown off the hinges, with writing and performances that rival some Hollywood films in terms of quality.
For a perfect example of this production value, look no further than 2014's Outlast and it's sequel (released today!!), Outlast 2, which are considered as some of the scariest and most satisfying horror video games of all time. I was lucky enough to receive an exclusive new behind-the-scenes video from the game courtesy of Samuel Laflamme, the Montreal-based composer of both the original Outlast and its sequel.
What can you tell us about the behind the scenes of creating this video? Who is featured...is that your music team?
It was an original idea coming from the two journalists from Multijoueur, an indie web site focussing on indie video games projects here in Montreal. It was supposed to be an introduction to their french interview with me. And finally, we found this video to be so cool that I asked them to cut the intro as a teaser for the soundtrack album. The basic idea was to reproduce the Outlast game play feeling while joining me at my studio. This video shows the “Redneck Bass” as well as some other live instruments we used for the score.
Can you tell us more about some of those custom instruments you used in your score?
Yeah I recorded a lot of differnet things that can emulate percussion, and I basically tweaked guitars and basses by playing them with a bow. Basically, I tried to find a cinematic arrangement using those tools. I didn’t want a rock score -- I needed to maintain the Outlast brand and the depth that first game had. But at some point, it was like we did everything we were able with those instruments, so the idea came of trying to create a simple instrument: something like a piece of wood with metal string, and by using a contact microphone to capture every little sound made of this thing, we got some great stuff! You can see it in the video. It looks like a big bow, and the pitch is simply tuned by the tension put on the string.
It allowed us to extend the range of scary sounds we were able to get from the guits and basses, while staying in the same sort of "sound palette".
The Outlast 2 OST is officially available on iTunes, you can download the album here! Outlast 2 is available now, but be warned -- play it with the lights off, and you might never be the same again.