World of Warcraft’s expansion pack shipped this week. You can play up to level 70 now. And there is new music, a lot of it.
The composer for previous World of Warcraft editions was Jason Hayes, but he left Blizzard, so the expansion pack was scored by Russell Brower, Derek Duke and Matt Uelmen (according to here).
All 3 are experienced – Matt U. did the music for Diablo II (very hard to find unless you resort to allofmp3 before it gets shut down). Dark, twisted ambient horror music, great stuff (Derek Duke also has some sound design credits on Diablo II).
Russell Brower wrote an article about the sound development process for Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, and was sound director for Typhoon Rising. Some clips from both are on the Novalogic site. Typhoon rising’s main clips are a little more contemporary, basically extremely heavy techno grooves with Indonesian gamelan instruments. Brower has an interview talking about the music and sound – scan about half way down the page here for info about the music for the game.
You apparently won’t be able to purchase the soundtrack for Burning Crusade until the WOW Collector’s edition comes out.
But in the meantime you can check out a couple of Jason Hayes’ WoW tracks free – very dramatic, very action movie.
So how did Jason Hayes get such a great gig? WoW is basically the biggest thing ever.
Well he didn’t know anyone at Blizzard, he just had a great demo reel. From an WoW Source interview:
I sent out a couple introductory letters to game companies via e-mail from my apartment in Lafayette, Louisiana (a southern state in the U.S., near the city of New Orleans). About two or three weeks later, someone from the corporate offices at Sierra On-Line in Seattle, WA wrote me back, saying they had forwarded my inquiry to the Oakhurst, CA division (right outside of Yosemite Valley), because they thought that team was looking for a composer. I couldn’t believe it! Soon after that, I got another e-mail from Human Resources in Oakhurst saying they had received my letter from their corporate headquarters and would like me to send in a demo. I was thrilled, and promptly sent in a CD of music representing a variety of styles.
Another 3 weeks went by, and I was starting to wonder if I’d ever hear from them again. Then all of a sudden came one more e-mail from HR, asking if I could send in another demo, this time focusing on orchestral music. I replied enthusiastically, assuring the representative that it would be in the mail right away. I then proceeded to panic because I didn’t have any more demo material to send in!
To make a long story short, I worked around the clock on a new demo, sent it in, and eventually was flown to Oakhurst to interview with Sierra On-Line. I was hired about a month later. I’m very grateful to them for giving me my start in the game industry!
How cool is that?