Welcome! I’m video game composer Winifred Phillips, and I’m glad you’ve joined us for this continuation of our discussion of the dynamic music system in the video game Spyder! As you may recall from our previous discussion, Spyder is a spy thriller set in a retro world that’s vibrant with the famously over-the-top music and aesthetic of the late 1960s to early 1970s. The game was developed by Sumo Digital for the popular Apple Arcade gaming platform. The protagonist is an intelligent gadget resembling a tiny robotic spider. This device, named “Agent 8,” was created by an elite British spy organization. As the hero of the game, Agent 8 undertakes high-stakes espionage in order to defeat a sprawling evil organization known as S.I.N.! Sumo Digital recently released a developer diary video about the making of the music of SPYDER, so let’s check that out:
As you could see from the video, the Spyder video game features a dynamic music system designed to convey the iconic 1960s style of a classic spy thriller. In this two-part article series, we’ve been exploring how that system was created.
Hello there! I’m video game composer Winifred Phillips, and I’m excited to announce the release of my most recent video game project – Spyder, developed by Sumo Digital for the popular Apple Arcade gaming platform. I loved working with the amazing audio team at Sumo Digital, and composing the music of Spyder was an absolute blast! As a retro spy thriller with a really iconic visual aesthetic, Spyder gave me the chance to delve into the musical styles of the late sixties and early seventies. Big band jazz of the 50s had evolved over time into a groovy psychedelic circus of 1960s musical fun. Mix this with the beginnings of 70s funk – and early synthetic sounds such as the famous Minimoog – and you end up with a potent cocktail of musical influences and attitudes. All of this retro goodness is reflected in the old-school movie-style poster created by the Sumo Digital team to announce the Spyder video game (pictured right).
The historical research into style, technique and instrumentation posed a significant challenge for me as a game music composer. In the course of preparing to compose the music for Spyder, I sank an enormous amount of time into this research, listening to what felt like every single spy movie soundtrack from the late sixties and early seventies. I also listened to tons of straight action movie soundtracks from the same era, as well as a great assortment of comedies, all while taking copious notes. Lending a strong sense of authenticity to the era was a crucial responsibility of the game music that would give Spyder its evocative character.