Monthly Archives: June 2013

June 27th, 2013 – Kenshi – The First Step…

There’s so much to do & to think about, so where to begin?  First & foremost I like to plan everything out on paper before touching an instrument or microphone.  I ask myself (and Chris) plenty of questions so I can gather the information necessary for “blueprinting” an effective Audio system for “Kenshi.”  As of right now I’ve finished composing those preliminary documents & we’re reviewing them internally.  This work has led me to the next step…

Determining what audio to work on first (but not necessarily the first to be implemented in-game).  For me, it’s essential to define the overall tone first as it overlaps into other areas of audio; and nothing “gets me there” quicker than designing/composing the Ambient music.  I have a unique strategy for composing the Ambient music that I’ve never tried before, but am quite excited to explore.  I’m still not 100% sure if it’ll actually sound “good” or just looks nice on paper, so all I can say at this moment is that I’m “collecting” little audio pieces from a variety of instruments that could define “Kenshi.”  One of them is pictured below & you may have heard it before if you saw the Audio Demo video…

NylonGtr

Thanks for reading!

-Kole Hicks

My EverQuest Story…

I believe it was early 2000, and having failed to find enough friends interested in playing D&D, I went searching for a game that wouldn’t have the same issue.  In rolled EverQuest…

One of the most memorable moments & my favorite story from EQ was in fact my very first experience with the game.  It took a while to install the game on my computer and after finally connecting I was able to make my first character… “Sezrial” the Wood Elf Ranger on the Zebuxoruk server.  After pressing the button to enter “Sezrial” into the world of EQ & waiting on the “Loading” screen for a while, I finally “awoke” to a pure black screen.  I was absolutely confused… did my computer crash?  Is this a bug?

Then I heard the background ambience of Greater Faydark… the “bone chattering” of a skeleton, grunt of an orc pawn, buzz of a giant bee… all of which I of course couldn’t see because it was night time!  I was too scared to move my character, so I slowly increased the brightness on my monitor until I could at least partially make out the shapes of objects in front of me.  My 13 year old self had never experienced this amount of immersion in a game before, so I was searching for any kind of “hint” on what to do and feel.  After finally mustering the courage to move “Sezrial” around, I found that thing to hold on to…

It started softly with angelic arpeggios on a harp and as I looked up I caught a glimpse of a city in the trees… My city, Sezrial’s home, Kelethin.

I loved all of the music from EQ, but especially this song/moment as it was a pivotal point that ultimately led to my current career in Game Audio.  In fact, just this last December over the Holidays I arranged my version of the “Kelethin” theme.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6ChgBSZuio

Who knows, I may make it a yearly thing.  All of the good times I had and many, many… many… frustrations are fondly remembered now.  Thanks EQ!

June 25th, 2013 – Kenshi Updates

Hello everyone!  I mentioned in my last blog post that I was hired on as the Audio Designer for “Kenshi” and now it’s official!  I’m very excited to work with Chris & the rest of the team; and am looking forward to creating all kinds of unique sounds/music pieces for “Kenshi.”

In an effort to update this blog more regularly, I’ll be providing a “behind the scenes” look at creating the Audio for “Kenshi.”  This may include everything from pictures of session musicians in the studio to my random ramblings on what makes a good “THWACK!” impact sound.  For longer more in depth posts, I’ll be using this blog; however I’ll be using Twitter for quick updates.  This is ME on Twitter.

Last but not least, if you’ve never heard of the game then check it out HERE!   It’s already a fantastically fun game & I’d recommend giving it a try.  You can even purchase it through the website or Steam.   If you haven’t seen it yet, then you can watch a video on my Audio ‘vision’ for “Kenshi” HERE.