A blast from the past: The Retro Game Music Bundle
Just how hard was it to get in touch with all the composers and rights holders to assemble the soundtracks for the bundle? Scarier for the team than it needed to be, apparently. Crawford says that they had to cold-email some of the contributors, including Myst’s Robyn Miller, to get their permission and support. Fortunately, the composers are easy to work with.
“It was a bit more work to convince some of the game publishers (Epic Games for Jazz Jackrabbit, for example) to participate, but thankfully we’ve streamlined our process through previous bundles — mostly because we realize that time is quite literally money to some of these composers and studios. The less time they have to take in dealing with us, the more likely they are to say yes.”
As for actually assembling the soundtracks, many of them were provided directly by the composers, while others had to be built from scratch. “We actually assembled an old PC here in the office,” Crawford told Game Front, “and recorded most of the Jazz Jackrabbit and 3D Realms stuff by loading the games up in DOS and hitting up the sound test mode or playing through them.
“One of the guys here played a LOT of ‘Wacky Wheels.’ One notable exception was the Duke Nukem 3D soundtrack, which was captured and mastered by the super-talented Chris and Dan of HyperDuck SoundWorks. We’re really good friends with them, and they worked around the clock to get the soundtrack sounding great in the 11th hour before the bundle launch.”
Unfortunately, they were not able to get everything they wanted into the bundle. Notable omissions are the Doom 1 and 2 soundtracks, which are tied up with a publisher that declined to participate in the bundle.
“We’re hoping they might change their minds for a future bundle. We also teased the main lineup prior to releasing the bundle and got some awesome guesses – things like Super Mario Bros., Castlevania, Commander Keen… We’ve definitely gotten a LOT of good suggestions!”
If you’d like to rekindle your love for game music, just head on over to the Retro Game Music Bundle website and pledge a few dollars before the deal ends on June 6. Here are a couple of examples of what you’ll have in store: