Into Blue Valley (and beyond)
A few days ago, my brother's first major indie game was released on Steam. The game is called Into Blue Valley and is a first person exploration game drawing upon themes of mystery and curiosity. It's available on Steam now! I had the pleasure of writing the soundtrack.
We wanted to be as ambitious as we could with the scale and feel of the game whilst still giving the player a polished and enjoyable hour-long experience grounded in the indie roots it came from. We also had no dedicated in-game artist (which is where the wonderful Unity asset store came in helpful) and just my brother on the programming/development side – he certainly had his work cut out for him!
In August 2014, We put together a Steam Greenlight application together with a video of a (very) early build of the game. Around this time, following the advice of some friendly indies at one of the London Clapham meetups, we also decided to add Oculus Rift support to the game given the immersive/exploratory feel we were going for. To our amazement (given this was our first ever foray into Greenlight), Into Blue Valley was successfully greenlit in around 3 weeks. We were understandably thrilled with the news and it was a huge confidence boost for us.
The music for Into Blue Valley was written over the span of a few months. The soundtrack is predominantly piano based peppered with ambient sounds, choirs and strings. I actively avoided quantising the notes and instead opted for a more natural sound (recorded on my keyboard live where possible). The soundtrack is available to listen to on bandcamp here. Music aside, the sound effect production was more or less a brand new experience for me and I had a great time experimenting with different methods of Foley. If anybody ever feels that the wind is actually little more than me emphatically blowing out invisible candles, then you wouldn’t be too far off!
We want the people who bought Into Blue Valley to enjoy themselves playing and experiencing it but regardless of the commercial or critical success it receives, I am really proud of the game and especially super proud of what my brother was able to achieve on the actual development side in such a relatively short space of time. Though it was in many ways a team effort (as we all had our parts to play), this is really his crowning achievement given he was the solo programmer/game designer/developer and worked solidly on this for a substantial amount of time. I had a great time working on it and looking forward to us working on our next title!