Sometimes I wonder if my best game memories are because of the background music. I’ll admit it, I really do love video game music. I am one of those fans that sometimes remembers the music more than the gameplay. You know those anthems that are fused into your mind during hours of experience building and puzzle solving. The importance of the soundtrack in a game experience can not be understated and I believe that every game has the basic duty to provide, in the very least, a soundtrack that does not distract, annoy or infuriate the player (unless that’s the point). The tunes we play during all the sword swinging and brick punching are as integral as the action itself. So aiming only to hit those minimum requirements is probably not the best route to your players hearts.
Considering this basic belief when it came to developing StretchBot we devoted a lot of attention to the music design of the game. It took some care and planning but we are finally ready to release a 13 song epic soundtrack on the M5 Games Bandcamp. All of these tracks were composed and recorded by a fantastic musician and friend of the studio Mike Labelle. Mike is an incredible composer and we could not be happier with the job he has done and we hope you like it too! For those who are curious and would like a little more insight into how and why we designed the soundtrack that you can hear today please continue reading but not until after you’ve pressed play!
StretchBot is a classic action platformer at heart so when planning the soundtrack we knew we were going to need plenty of groovy adventuring tracks to add pace to our levels. This is best epitomized by the bass heavy rock found in “Junkyard funk” which is featured in the very first level of the game. A catchy background theme for bot smashing is one thing, but we also wanted the music to give tone to the story. Since StetchBot is a platformer which infuses some RPG aesthetic and elements into the game play, it was important for us to build a game universe with some depth. We didn’t want to bog down the player with too much text and an overly complex plot so using music was our best method to adding feeling and emotion to Stretch’s world. Here Mike created tracks like “In the valley of the crystals” and “the hacker shuffle”. Songs like these allowed the game to break free from the typical platformer mold, games which often don’t have or need much depth, and gave the world, where Stretch and the programmers live, layers of atmosphere. As designers we strived for a contained and interesting game universe and Mike’s beautiful soundtrack has done it’s fair share in helping to make that a reality.
During the making of StretchBot we played the various levels for countless hours while we developed, tested and perfected each one..With the soundtrack ever playing. It was the ultimate test and it is what makes me confident that this is a collection of music worth sharing. So please check out the Bandcamp to get a preview of the songs that will soon be streaming from your various mobile devices when the game is released later this year. If you want your own full digital copy for your personal listening pleasure then we have got you covered! The whole soundtrack is downloadable for the ridiculous low cost of $2! (that’s only 15 cents a song!). With a sliding scale if you would like to contribute more. Every little bit helps. So thanks for listening and go on my steam brother and sisters and let your life be filled with music!