Tag Archives: “Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?!”

“Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?!” and “ikenie” have been Greenlit!

HUGE NEWS! Both Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?! and ikenie have just been Greenlit on Steam! We are in the process now of finalizing the games to get them ready to be purchased and played. I want to thank everyone for their support throughout this process (which was excruciatingly long – but, hey, that’s the life of small indie teams, I guess). Since ikenie has been on sale on itch.io for a while now, the ikenie Original Soundtrack has already been available on Bandcamp, but now I’ll finally be able to release the Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?!  Original Soundtrack as well. As readers of this blog will know, that was the very first game soundtrack that I composed. The fact that the game and the soundtrack are finally about to be released is such a huge moment for me. It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work and love for composing music. I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a composer since I wrote the six pieces of music on that soundtrack, but they remain special to me since it was the first time I actually wrote music that was to be used in an actual video game. I really hope you enjoy both of these games and their music!

Ikenie and Magic Forest Greenlit

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Interview in AJET Connect magazine!

I’m excited to announce that I was interviewed in this month’s special art issue of AJET Connect Magazine. The interview starts on page 22!

AJET Connect Magazine

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“Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?!” is on Steam Greenlight!

A couple of weeks ago, the very first game that I wrote the soundtrack for (I started working on it in the summer of 2013) is finally up on Steam Greenlight. About three years in the making, the game is 95% complete and we’re finally ready to show it to the world. After an awesome showing at Tokyo Game Show 2015, it’s exciting to get the game out there to the rest of you.

We need ‘YES’ votes on Steam Greenlight in order for the game to be made available for purchase on Steam. So, if you’re reading this, we’d really appreciate if you could check out the game’s page and give us a vote. The link to the game’s page is below.

“Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?!” on Steam Greenlight

The soundtrack to the game is also available now for pre-order on Bandcamp. I will release the soundtrack as soon as the game is available for sale, so the release date is just a place holder. It could be sooner or later than what is written depending on how quickly the game gets Greenlit. If you pre-order the soundtrack, you’ll get an immediate download of “The Forest Edge” to hold you over.

“Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?!” Original Soundtrack



Lastly, the first review for the game is out. The winner of the Golden Reviewer Award in last year’s Indie Game Maker Contest, Jtrev23, played an early release version and posted a review on his site. Check it out!

Jtrev23’s review of “Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?!”


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“Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?!” will be at Tokyo Game Show 2015!

I’m thrilled to announce that Michael Brandse and I will be at this year’s Tokyo Game Show to showcase our game “Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?!”. We have a booth in the Indie Game Area for two days, September 19th and 20th. We’ll have a five level demo, both English and Japanese versions, for you to play. If you have plans to go to TGS this year, be sure to stop by our booth and try it out.

To celebrate, I’d like to share an array of artwork and screenshots, including a first look at the front and back cover of the soundtrack that will be released the same day the game goes on sale (date still to be determined).

I will be sure to take lots of pictures at TGS and share those here later.

Special shout out to Robert Brown (http://www.rbsounddesign.com) who made all of the sound effects for the game and unfortunately won’t be able to be at the show with us.

Cover_2100x2100 Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest Original Soundtrack Back Cover MF_28072015_C MF_28072015_B MF_28072015_A MF_28072014_F  MF_28072014_D MF_28072014_C MF_28072014_B Magic-Forest_2

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“Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest!?” Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about “Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest!?”. Rest assured, the game is still being worked on and is getting very close to completion. Michael has been busy finalizing all of the animations for both Max (the main character) as well as the various enemies. There’s also a brand new stage select map that looks really great.

Some really big news is that we hired someone to create all of the sound effects for the game. Michael and I spoke with quite a few people and listened to a variety of demos, but in the end we ended up going with a guy named Robert Brown from Edinburgh, UK. Robert is just finishing up a graduate degree in sound design and has an outstanding portfolio of some work he did while in school. Here’s a link to his website: http://www.rbsounddesign.com/#welcome.

The two sound replacement videos he shared with us greatly informed our decision. One is a trailer for Little Big Planet that Robert replaced all of the sounds for, including re-recording the music track. The other is another sound replacement for a gameplay clip from Alien: Isolation. Again, all of the SFX in the video were made by Robert. Both projects are of exceptional quality and, if one didn’t know otherwise, could easily be mistaken for having been done by the professional teams who actually worked on the games.

In my opinion, Robert is a true professional and we are very happy to have him on our team. “Magic Forest” is getting very close to being done and Robert’s talent will help it become an even better experience for everyone who plays it.

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“Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?!” PART 2

(This is part 2. Please read part 1 first.)

I mentioned at the end of my last post how I finished composing the five tracks for “Magic Forest” over the summer of 2013. I exported two versions of each, one that ends exactly at the loop point so that it can be used in the game, and another one that repeats twice and fades out for use in a future soundtrack release. I sent the tracks to Michael (the game’s creator, in case you forgot) and I was ready to call it done.

I listened to my finished tracks over and over, partly for enjoyment, partly because I wanted to make sure I was completely happy with them. The game was still not finished at that point (and as of my writing this it still isn’t, actually), so I had plenty of time to torture myself over every little detail in the compositions. Sometimes I’d find a single note that I didn’t like, or an artifact left over during the mixing phase when I let a track clip. Any number of things. So I went back into the tracks many times, fixing them, changing them, adding to them, taking away. Eventually, I really did settle on them for a long time. I moved on to other personal projects, just writing music for the sake of writing music as Michael continued to work on the game.

I wrote a number of tracks, stepping out of my comfort zones in terms of instruments and styles. I felt like I was increasing my skills more and more with each track that I completed. Not only was I getting better at composing, but I was also learning a lot about mixing. It seemed like each piece that I finished felt more polished than the last.

During the winter holidays of 2013 I treated myself to a major upgrade for my modest home studio. I bought a bunch of new, professional quality virtual instruments and mixing plugins, and a 2TB external USB 3.0 hard drive to house them. I started writing new pieces using these instruments and was blown away at how good the samples sounded.

Likewise, I now had a plethora of new mixing tools that I had never used before now at my disposal. As I started to get a feel for how best to utilize them, my mixes started to really come alive: they were clearer, roomier, louder, and more dynamic.

All it took was for me to listen to my old “finished” tracks for “Magic Forest” to know what I had to do. The game still wasn’t done, which meant that I had plenty of time to revisit each track, and improve upon them with the tools I’d acquired and the skills I’d developed over the previous few months. I did the absolutely crazy thing and decided to rework to large extent every single track that I had finished.

I started with the shortest track of the five, the main menu music. The first thing I did was switch out the old string samples that I had used for the new professional quality instruments that I had bought. Turns out that it’s not so simple though. The previous string library I had used was quite nice, but it was a rather simple instrument without much in terms of changing articulations or dynamics and such. By simply switching the instrument, the performance of the MIDI notes was no longer correct. So I went back into the part and meticulously sculpted every note, providing different articulations for the legato transitions, and dynamic and other performance changes throughout.

After I was happy with the composition and performance aspect of the piece, it was time to bounce the MIDI to brand new audio files and start from a completely fresh mix. Each instrument received its own separate audio track, bounced completely dry (no reverb) and with no panning. With all the different parts before me, I started to mix. I started off by adjusting the relative volumes of the instruments so that they were approximately where I wanted them. Then I panned them to the left, right, and center to my taste. Next came EQ. I learned over the previous few months that less is more, so I adjusted each instruments EQ just enough to make the parts stand out, both in the mix, and from the other parts without being overpowering. Then I added individual reverb to each instrument, dialing in the amount of wet and dry in order for it all to work good together. Lastly, I added compression to a few of the instruments that still seemed to be a little too buried in the mix, mainly the percussion.

After bouncing all of the audio tracks to a new one, I still had a little bit of headroom so I added a limiter and bumped it up just enough to give the overall volume a little extra push, but not so much that every single part of the track sounded the same. I wanted the track to remain dynamic and interesting, not exhausting.

After finishing the new mix for the main menu music and comparing it to the old mix, I knew that I had to do the same treatment to the other tracks. I did the same for the music for stages 11-20 the following weekend, again getting very good results by switching the strings, and applying my improved mixing skills to the track.

Just this past Saturday (February 1st, 2014), I had a marathon mixing day. I worked from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM mixing the remaining three pieces. I started with the music for stages 1 through 10, then moved on to the “boss” music, then finished with the longest one, the music for stages 21-30.


After all that, you’d think I’d be done, right?
Stick around for Part 3 and see why I was pretty much forced to go back and do one final rewrite.

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