Multi award-winning, BAFTA and Ivor Novello-nominated composer Richard Jacques metaphorically dusted off his Walkman to get in the right mindset for his latest project: scoring Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game, which melds ‘80s pop and rock masterpieces with gameplay to create an innovative interactive gaming mechanic called the Huddle. He explains how three distinct musical styles were tied together in the soundtrack: an epic orchestral score, an all-star mixtape of licensed ‘80s tracks, and an original rock album created just for the game.
Music is intrinsic to the Guardians’ franchise; how did you ensure it was a key part of the gameplay experience?
When we first started looking at how we were going to score the game, myself and Steve Szczepkowski were discussing what we needed from the score, because we knew that we would be using some licenced music tracks and that they were gonna marry up together. Music is a very big part of the Guardians’ DNA, from the movies and comics and animated series, so right from the get-go, we knew we wanted to create a very epic orchestral, grandiose, intergalactic symphony to accompany the Guardians and the player across the galaxy in this very strong, story-driven game.
Right from the beginning, we wanted to use very strong themes, both for the Guardians themselves and for some of the other characters that you’ll meet along the way, specifically for some of the villains as well. But we didn’t want to put too many themes in, because in my opinion as a composer, if you put too many in, you dilute what’s there. So we stuck to about four main themes, and there’s a couple of motifs that pop up every now and again for specific bits of the game.