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  • Joshua Wise and Sean Esperance

August Studio Update

Greetings everyone! Time for another monthly report! We'll be including the Musical Arts segment again this month as it wasn't ready until about the time of this posting.

Art moved along with development continuing on Lord Astoch and Lady Akane's sign.

To the left is a small teaser of work progressing. This is a working concept so final design will change.

At this point, the focus is getting Akane positioned and laying the ground work for the remainder of the sign which should feature the food cart's name and a menu.

You can see how that is getting worked in as Beckah is planning how to address the needs of this art piece.

The next step after completion will be to also import this sign into the appropriate background and do the final touches on it.

Akane's sign is just one example of some of our secondary art assets. Our primaries consist of backgrounds and character models. Secondaries consist of pop up images. Generally they won't be as complex as the others.

On the complexity level they can consist of images like Akane's sign, to just simple every day tool images or even doors opening. They aren't necessary for a test build but, they will be needed for a final build.

As we move into September with the majority of the primary assets either in production or finished, we'll be shifting some work to developing out some of the more necessary secondaries.

Also coming in September will be another game build which will be including new assets which have come online. Writing will be working on this along with more edits where necessary.

Now without further adieu, lets bring on the music segment!

Hello again everybody! Thank you for checking out the studio update above. As we come to a close from this summer season, it’s time to unveil more themes from our beloved characters.

This is a revisiting of the very first theme created for Dust and Air, Gwynevere's. Why we revisited it was because as time has passed and, more of the game got fleshed out, we realized we needed to work on this more. Many of the early themes were written during a different time in development and need to be updated.

Gwynevere’s Theme is another theme originally written by Finbarr. He adapted and orchestrated it to accentuate Gwynevere Wrenfell’s character. There is a depth to Finbarr’s theme for Gwyn and we agreed we wanted to keep as much of it in tact as we can. We open up with a G minor chord, followed by a Eb major chord, and this twofold progression repeats. Simple, yet deep with emotion.

Gwynevere's story displays much sadness and hope. The original rendition by Finbarr, nailed the sadness perfectly. However, we wanted to try to bring in another level which we could use later. Thus you'll now find her theme tinkering between sadness and wonder.

Next up is Calle's theme. Now this is a completely brand new theme. Finbarr had developed some designs for Calle however, her theme was still very much up in the air. There was nothing that really stood out and said: "This is her, this is Calle Haldora!"

When introduced to Calle, there is always more to her than meets the eye. She is surrounded by secrets and veiled in shadows. Yet we also don't want to forget that later she'll become something more as those secrets are revealed and those shadows disappear.

I open with harp to play the main motif. Harp is an integral part of the orchestrations for In Dust and Air. It adds color to any adventure and fantasy story! We then move into a full string orchestra that is rich with emotion. This gives the impression of moving forward and increasing drama. Something which speaks greatly of Calle's story to come.

Finally, the last teaser this month is Powder's theme.

For my fellow musicians out there; I think we all have been asked this question: “What’s your secret to songwriting? How do you know what notes to write down and make is work together?”

Speaking from my experience, the answer to those questions is not all that apparent to me. Powder’s Theme is an example of taking a simple melodic line from my head and fleshing it out to make a symphonic movement. It literally just came to me as I was driving home from work. However, it was only that opening line. The rest was choosing chords that made sense in theory to what was in my head. The harmonic structure has gone through some revisions in the theme’s initial stages. Listening to music you like also helps you in the composition and songwriting process.

Powder is a character who was originally written as an inside joke for the Guns of Icarus community. However, as the project progressed, her character became very important in the supporting cast. It's surprising to find out that in the original scripts for the first story, she didn't even appear. Nor was their any mention of her. Her character made such an impression over time that the original story was revised numerous times to bring her in sooner.

Development of her theme wasn't all that different. It was feel, theory, and influence that led to the making of Powder’s Theme before I even knew that it would be Powder’s Theme! It was like she forced her way into the theme and claimed it as her own!

Right away, Josh knew upon hearing the first rough draft of the tune that it would bolster Powder’s tale. Powder has a special place in Will’s life, marked by tragedy, heartbreak, and vulnerability. The theme speaks greatly of who she is and who she will become.

This teaser includes the piano section only. The orchestral section will have to wait until another time! For more information about my musical influences, please leave a comment!

With that we bring this post to a close. Thank you for checking out this monthly blog update! See you in the skies!!

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