Airport CEO with Sinephony – PA132

We’re joined once again by Swedish audio production team Sinephony, this time listening to the mellow jams from the 2017 game Airport CEO. The game is a tycoon and management sim from Swedish game developer Apoapsis Studios where you act as CEO of your own airport, in the tradition of games like Transport Tycoon and Sim Coaster. Airport CEO is currently available on Windows and Mac.

Sinephony is a multi-talented production team consisting of Daniel Rosenqvist and Anton Dromberg. They’ve worked on games like 198X, Planet Coaster, Elite Dangerous Horizons, commercials and even a few anime projects. Between the two of them, Anton and Daniel have a wealth of experience in audio production, composition and arrangement, and live performance. Anton has been a member of the Swedish Jazz scene for years and has toured all over the world. Daniel studied composition under former Konami and Square Enix composer Kenichiro Fukui, and also has experience with field recording, sound effects and mixing.

The music of Airport CEO is a stunning collection of breezy and jazzy tunes. It’s full of amazing live performances including Anton on keys & synth and Daniel on bass & synth, and we hope you enjoy the music.

Show notes and track list

198X with Sinephony – PA131

Today we’re joined by Swedish audio production studio Sinephony to talk about the 2019 indie game 198X from Swedish game developer Hi-Bit Studios. The game is a love letter to gaming in the 80s where you play through 5 different games (beat-em-up, shmup, racing, action platformer, and RPG) merged with cinematic storytelling. It started as a Kickstarter project and is now available for Windows, Mac, Switch and PS4.

Sinephony is a multi-talented production team consisting of Daniel Rosenqvist and Anton Dromberg. They’ve worked on games like Planet Coaster, Elite Dangerous Horizons, commercials and even a few anime projects. Between the two of them, Anton and Daniel have a wealth of experience in audio production, composition and arrangement, live performance. Anton has been a member of the Swedish Jazz scene for years and has toured all over the world. Daniel studied composition under former Konami and Square Enix composer Kenichiro Fukui, and also has experience with field recording, sound effects and mixing.

The music of 198X is an exploration of the era and shows off Sinephony’s versatility as a composition team; from atmospheric synth music, to over the top 80s indulgence, melded with some of the best parts of Eastern and Western VGM tradition. There’s even a few tracks from VGM legend Yuzo Koshiro in the game! There are also several tracks contributed by composer U.F.L.

We hope you enjoy the music as much as we have, and stay tuned for our next episode where we bring back Sinephony to cover the laid back music of Airport CEO

Show notes and track list

Expansion Pack XXVI: 6 Years – PA130

Pixelated Audio is 6 years old! A lot has changed over that time, but the one constant is our love for game music of all kinds. Our theme today is a bit silly; games that are the 6th in a series (or at least have the number 6 in the title). We stretch the theme pretty far and come up with some fun tunes that we hope you’ll enjoy.

Thanks to all of our listeners. We hope to keep doing what we love, listening to and sharing great game music.

Show notes and track list

KGB / Conspiracy – PA129

KGB or Conspiracy is a 1992 game developed by Cryo Interactive Entertainment and published by Virgin Games for DOS and Amiga. KGB is a 1st person point and click adventure where you play as Maksim Rukov, an agent transferred to Department P and ordered to investigate possible corruption in the KGB after a former agent turns up dead.  It’s a challenging race against time that takes places in the gloomy final days of the Soviet Union.

The core soundtrack for DOS was composed by Stéphane Picq, with an original track and porting to Amiga handled by Alexandre Ekian. The music is a mix of moody electronic ambience and energetic melodic flourishes and features some of the best use of the Adlib (OPL2) soundchip from that era thanks to the custom HERAD music system by programmer and Cryo co-founder Remi Herbulot.

Stéphane Picq worked a number of other titles, including the incredible 1992 Dune soundtrack, MegaRace, Lost Eden and Riverworld but left the industry around 1998. Alexandre Ekian worked on the Amiga port of Dune, and wrote the music for Super Burnout on the Atari Jaguar, but unfortunately we found little else about him. In any case, sit back and enjoy these long but excellent tunes.

Show notes and track list

Psycho World – PA128

Today we’re covering Psycho World, released for the MSX in 1988 and localized as Psychic World for the Sega Master System and Game Gear in 1991. The original MSX release was developed and published by Hertz, a short-lived Japanese game developer that also worked on number of ports with their final game being Vay for the Mega CD. The SMS and Game Gear ports of Psychic World were done through a partnership with SIMS and published by Sega.

Psycho World is an action platformer with a unique if somewhat unusual sprinting mechanic, that takes design cues from contemporary games like Metroid, Mega Man and Phantasy Star. The original MSX game features 8 lengthy stages, with the SMS and Game Gear getting scaled down ports with fewer stages, although each version has its merits.

The short and catchy MSX soundtrack was composed by Kenji Yamazaki and Yuko Yamazaki, who despite being listed by name in the credits have very little other info available. Kenji Yamazaki’s other sole music credit was Hertz’s RPG Sword of Legend Lenam. We couldn’t find any other music credits for Yuko Yamazaki. The Game Gear and Master System port were handled by Izuho Takeuchi aka “Ippo“, a Sega veteran that also composed music for Phantasy Star III on the Mega Drive.

We focus mostly on the FM version of the soundtrack, with a few departures and comparisons to the other two. Join us as we listen and chat about the game in this lighthearted show.

Show notes and track list

Early Game Music with They Create Worlds – PA127


We once again return to the earliest days of game sound and music and trace the evolution from 1977 through 1984 in this historically focused episode. We go from the arcade boom, to early home consoles and computers, to the video game crash, and end just before the rise of the NES. The show is a much deeper dive on historical context, although we cover a lot more music in the second half.

We were very pleased to collaborate with special guests Alex Smith and Jeff Daum of They Create Worlds, a podcast, blog and book that focuses on getting nuanced and often untold stories from the game industry, with an emphasis on the lesser talked about business side of things. Their show does a fantastic job of capturing engaging context on everything from game genres, mega hits like Space Invaders and Tetris, to the founding of individual companies.

Our teams chose this specific time frame to both coincide with the first volume of Alex’s recently released historical chronicle on gaming, and as a chance to explore music from a period that doesn’t often get talked about. We also wanted to give a special thanks to another video game historian Ethan Johnson for connecting us with Alex and Jeff of They Create Worlds.

 

If you’d like more information on They Create Worlds, they can be found at:

theycreateworlds.com, on Twitter @tcwpodcast, or podcast.theycreateworlds.com

The book: “They Create Worlds: The Story of the People and Companies That Shaped the Video Game Industry, Vol. I: 1971-1982”

For even more, Alex’s older blog covers several more topics not discussed in the podcast videogamehistorian.wordpress.com

Show notes and track list