Summer is coming up mighty fast here in Maine (although it did just snow in Presque Isle a few days ago. True story.). The thing of it is…as we start to have warmer and warmer weather, I find myself craving the need to work on my Night Time, Dotted Line sequel. Night Time, Dotted Line was a comedic novel I wrote a couple years ago involving two very different and complete strangers who embarked on a cross-country road trip together. It’s a novel of friendship and through the strange situations that these characters find themselves in, they ultimately learn that dealing with their own issues alone is causing more pain and that they need to open up and trust others. Wow. That doesn’t sound very comedic at all. But believe me, it is. When I finished the book, I knew that their story hadn’t been told completely; there needed to be one more book. And so, over the last couple years, I’ve been developing the story or how I’d like the story to go. Music is a HUGE inspiration for this. Recently, I played a wonderful game by Tim Schafer called “Broken Age”. Not only was I blown away by the art direction and story, but the music, composed by Peter McConnell, especially called to me. It reminded me of my characters and of the journey they still need to take.
Broken Age revolves around two different characters with an unusual connection. Vella, a rebellious baker who is not about to be sacrificed (as per traditional ritual) to the colossal Mog Chothra in order to save her town, Sugar Bunting. Shay, on the other hand, is a bored and adventure-seeking young man living on the spaceship Bassanostra under the watchful eye of his mother and father. Swept up in a “rescue mission” by a mysterious stowaway, Shay soon discovers that his world isn’t all as it appears. The same goes for Vella. The game features several imaginative dreamscapes including a city in the clouds, talking trees, and a spaceship with lots and lots of secrets. The music does a fabulous job grounding certain scenes and also allowing the player to feel immersed in the fantastical atmosphere of certain areas. I’ve selected a few songs to share with you today as well as a short paragraph about what I see when I listen to each one. Enjoy!
Vella Wakes: The slow ascent from a sleepy embrace into a sunlit room. She takes a moment to stare at the den of safety she’s come to live in, a place marked with memories of happy times, a place she once thought would never be hers. This was home now and all she wanted to do was stay curled up in a dream inside of it, just for a little longer before the day crawled ahead and she along with it.
March in the Clouds: The water sounded crisp and with the roar of warm wind, it felt as though she was standing on a precipice rather than at the water’s edge. Something about this place struck her, a place to burrow and sift through all of the thoughts she’d racked up over the past few hours. The clouds above were like whipped vanilla and as she closed her eyes to relax, she could almost imagine flying through their cottony tufts, along cool air currents toward a place closer to the sun.
Time to Get Up, Little Spaceman: She opened the box of photos, a box left in the back corner of the linen closet, a box coated in dust, and filled with things she hadn’t dared to remember. Because with the photos, there came a fusion of bliss, of serenity, and also that realization that things had changed. Would they ever be the same as they once were? That innocence and beauty seemed far from her grasp now.
Welcome to Meriloft: Along the sun-soaked back alleys of the afternoon, she lost herself in a cluster of buildings. Amidst facades of formidable height and principle, and the tiny tucked stone keeps where people hid and reminisced on times before with fervency, she soon began to wander in circles. One of these places, these unmarked and somewhat darkened corridors, led to the home of a man she hadn’t seen in nearly two decades. She wasn’t entirely sure she was ready to find it yet.
Was that East or West?: It had only been a few months, but already she’d fallen in love with the forests here. They reminded her of where she’d come from and that familiarity sometimes brought her back from the brink, when she started to miss everything she’d left behind. The pine boughs cut the glare from the setting sun and sprinkled shadows over her as she walked. Sometimes, getting lost among these tall and ancient giants was cathartic and necessary.
Interested in owning the Broken Age Soundtrack for yourself? Hop on over to the official bandcamp page for the game’s developer, Double Fine Studios, and download your copy! You won’t be disappointed!
Until next time!