Local video game music producer Jeremy Belcher, whose artist name is F1NG3RS, recently produced the soundtrack for the indie game “Sankofa.”
Belcher said he was contacted in January 2016 by the three lead creators of the project: Stevie Cole, Emma Roseburgh and James Feakins. The project creators said they were fans of Belcher’s music as F1NG3RS, and offered him the job of creating the soundtrack for the game.
“This is the total opposite of what I usually do,” Belcher said. “I usually do the high-energy thing. I had to hold myself back.”
In “Sankofa” the player controls a fox on a journey through the world to reclaim its memories and is available for free online.
“We were trading sounds and comments back and forth for about a month,” Belcher said. “I thought ‘If I was playing this game, what would I want to hear?”
Belcher said there are twin challenges to making the soundtrack for a videogame like “Sankofa.”
If the soundtrack is too boring or repetitive the player could get annoyed, or even turn the music off, but if the music is too complicated the player could get distracted from the actual experience of the game itself, he said.
Belcher said he drew inspiration from the sound design in the temples in the Legend of Zelda and the particular way each temple was able to evoke a certain feeling.
“I was experimenting with a lot different textures,” Belcher said. “It’s really ambient. A tribal feel with a lot of acoustic and woodwinds.”
Belcher said he was having trouble with the sixth track, “Salt Flats,” and reached out to local electronic music artist and organizer Steve Owen, who is credited on the game as Santa Kilmagik.
“It brought a tear to my eye hearing my music on a game,” Belcher said. “Video games have always been a big part of my life. Having my name on the credits at the end, it’s huge to me.”
“Sankofa” can be downloaded for free at: https://punchabove.itch.io/sankofa
Jesse is a junior print journalism major and Arabic and Middle Eastern culture minor. He has walked in the valley with no water and bitten the heads off of snakes.