Ever since an early age, more specifically in 1995 when my dad purchased a copy of Fronter Elite II for the old 33mHz computer, I’ve been obsessed with space games. When I heard about this new game called X-Beyond The Frontier being heralded as the ‘modern day successor to the Elite series’ I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I can’t begin to count the hours spent playing this game when I was younger, along with regularly posting on the community forums and chat rooms. Fast forward a few years (and sequels) and along came a came called X3 Reunion which brought with it a whole host of new features and graphics. Needless to say I became obsessed with the series once more and ploughed endless hours into the game.
One day, during college summer holidays whilst bored, I decided to fire up my copy of Cubase and have a go at writing some background music just for fun and posting it on the forums. Shortly after I was approached by a member of the game development team and asked if I would like to come onboard and if I wanted to write some more music. Disbelief was my first response, followed by sheer excitement. I could hardly contain myself with the fact that the very same people who’d made the games that inspired my childhood were asking me to write the music for their next release, X3 Terran Conflict!
Obviously I couldn’t turn down a chance like this. Having never really undertaken any sort of project like this before, or on such a large scale, I poured myself into as much research as possible and discovered amazing electronic artists such as Brian Eno and Jon Hopkins who would go on to be massive inspirations. My first big break was writing the music for the very first teaser/trailer to be released for the game, as seen below.
After that, I was asked to provide the background music for a couple of further trailers but the main task that lay ahead was the composition of over an hour’s worth of background soundtrack for during gameplay. I think this is probably the defining moment of when I decided that this was the career that I wanted to take, especially after being thrown in at the deep end and learning so many new skills and techniques. It was a real eye opener and once all the music was completed and the game was released, the soundtrack received a hugely positive response which, to be honest, was extremely humbling. The fact that I could walk into any local game store and see a copy of my own work on the shelves was quite surreal too. During this time, Egosoft personally invited me to spend a few days at their offices in Germany to meet the team and take part in some outdoor activities (including awesome paintball in the middle of a forest in Aachen) which will stay with me as one of the most memorable experiences of my life.