Wurm Online, the MMO from OneTooFree AB has officially released the first phase of its new sound scape. The mix of sounds and music designed and composed by Joss Sanglier of Dancing Bear has been created to drag players deeper into the Wurmiverse that is the lands of Wurm, making them feel part of this world.
The sound track is noticeably noisy in an attempt to mimic a land stuffed filled with animals and birds and unspoilt by modern man. Players may find it quite a surprise! The sounds include night time and day time versions and variations to reduce the feel of looping that can so easily plague MMO games. The sound will be further developed to add more specifics to the atmospheres as time goes on and sounds will be occasionally replaced to keep things fresh.
To accompany this first stage, Rolf Jannson commissioned Joss to compose numerous music tracks, though Wurm Online has avoided the constant looped music method which many other games use as this seems to make no sense in a medieval world of blacksmiths, carpenters, farmers, and hunters.
Instead, Joss Sanglier has recorded specific short tracks that accompany particular events like praying, dying, founding settlements and so on. He has also recorded some longer tracks (including songs) that are faded into the game on very rare occasions, just to add something a little different. Joss has composed the music under the name of his one-man-band, 21st Century Blues.
The music style has been designed to reflect the game, rather than the MMO genre, players very varied personal tastes, or to just try and be trendy somehow. Although some orchestral arrangements have been used (most notably with the Anthems that were release last year), much of the instrumentation is acoustic lead, with just the odd electric guitar, giving the idea that it could have been played by a group of characters in the game - well, more or less.
"I have been composing music and working as a recording engineer for thirty years," says Joss. "Much of that time has been working in fields like film, television, radio drama, commercials, as well as some game voice-over production. It was important to me to bring to the game the lessons learned from those very well established areas of the creative world, as well as embracing the newer interactive systems offered through games. This is still a work in progress. Like the rest of Wurm, I hope we never get to the position where we say ‘oh, it is finished.’ That would mean we have nothing more to offer, and that is very far from reality. There will be much more to come, both with the sound and in amazing developments from Rolf for the game as a whole - watch this space!"
So what about voices? In the next phase, the team will be starting to enhance and expand the spot effects in the game, working on systems where there is more variety of sounds to address to any one action, and also replacing the male voice that currently causes much amusement amongst the players, especially the female players.
"I will be working on new voices for the next release," says Joss. "And I promise to make them lighter, more realistic and have a female set for the female players."
What about the famous animals in the games? The Scorpions and Spiders?
"Ah, that is a secret for later."