Broken Ranks is not only graphics, animations, storyline, or a unique (for an MMORPG) combat system. It’s also the environmental sounds and a soundtrack that perfectly fits the situation on your screen and puts all the other elements together, making them a complete whole. Actually… you’ve even said so yourselves.
Music is one of the most subtle forms of communication and every sound, every track in Broken Ranks tells a different story, helping you immerse yourselves in the game. Even at the very beginning of the Open Beta tests, when you were taking your first steps on the Taernian soil, you gave us a lot of positive feedback about the music in our game.
We’re happy that you appreciate our soundtrack. That’s why we’d like to tell you more about how it was created and, at least partially, answer your requests about making it publicly available.
How was the music of Broken Ranks created and who’s responsible for it?
The composer responsible for the music of both The Pride of Taern and Broken Ranks is Kamil Orman-Janowski (official Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/KamilOrmanJanowski). As a side note, we’d like to mention that they aren’t the only games he’s working on - his day-to-day work is composing music for the well-known action RPG Path of Exile. Rich Aitken, the person behind the mastering of music for the Horizon series, is also responsible for the mix and mastering of our music.
We’re happy we could make use of their work and talent once again. It was definitely the right call.
As for the process of creation of the soundtrack for both our games, let’s listen to what Kamil himself has to say:
"The very first question was how much the music for Broken Ranks will be influenced by the legacy of the over-ten-years-old soundtrack from The Pride of Taern.
I remember when I finished my work on The Pride of Taern, I was completely new to the video game industry. In fact, that was my first commercial gig.
We had a good chemistry with the Whitemoon team from the beginning. They also gave me a lot of freedom for shaping the direction of music, which I would describe as fusion of orchestra and various influences from folk, tribal, and sometimes a pinch of sfx, electronic, and, in general, something darker.
The music in Broken Ranks follows the same pattern except its qualities reflect the evolution of the game and it's new visual form. There are also a few returning themes, although in completely new shape, complementing the brand new content.
The perspective in the new music is different, everything sounds more distant and spacious, depicting a larger screen full of beautiful environments and buildings.
The variety of landscapes, dungeons, caves, and so on was very inspiring for creating a full spectrum of moods represented by organic sounds like slavic, nordic, and, generally speaking, medieval ethnic instruments, but also creating proper soundscape with effects like echo and distortion to add space and grittiness.
Another big influence was the story where major fractions/locations like the Utorian ship or Haligard have their own very distinctive themes, which might be heard in other tracks as subtle foreshadowing".
Below is a small sample of four full tracks. We’re thinking of making the whole soundtrack publicly available in the future and we’ll let you know when this happens. Have fun listening to it - from now on, you’ll be able to feel the unique atmosphere of the world of Broken Ranks wherever you go.