my dream is to have a list on this site of games i wrote music for
i'm going through a bit of a tough time right now, but when i'm active, i like to make longform reviews of video games for babies.
3.5 is my cutoff point for "i unreservedly enjoyed this", but i'm glad i played everything on my list.
i play a lot of platformers, but i've been trying to branch out recently.
(my top 5 are limited to 1 per series)
Personal Ratings


GOTY '22

Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event


Gained 750+ total review likes


Voted for at least 3 features on the roadmap


Created 10+ public lists

Best Friends

Become mutual friends with at least 3 others

Gone Gold

Received 5+ likes on a review while featured on the front page


Liked 50+ reviews / lists

Busy Day

Journaled 5+ games in a single day

3 Years of Service

Being part of the Backloggd community for 3 years

GOTY '21

Participated in the 2021 Game of the Year Event


Gained 100+ followers


Gained 300+ total review likes

Trend Setter

Gained 50+ followers

Well Written

Gained 10+ likes on a single review


Gained 100+ total review likes


Played 250+ games


Gained 15+ followers

GOTY '20

Participated in the 2020 Game of the Year Event

On Schedule

Journaled games once a day for a week straight


Gained 10+ total review likes


Played 100+ games


Gained 3+ followers

Favorite Games

Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X
Kirby Super Star Ultra
Kirby Super Star Ultra
Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


Total Games Played


Played in 2023


Games Backloggd

Recently Played See More

Hive Spy Remi: Mind Control Madness
Hive Spy Remi: Mind Control Madness

Oct 31

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

Oct 03

Rodea the Sky Soldier
Rodea the Sky Soldier

Oct 03

Feather Park
Feather Park

Sep 23


Sep 21

Recently Reviewed See More

Listen to the soundtrack here!
With the release of Feather Park, the first real game I'd composed for, I'd talked about my raison d'etre, why I do what I do. It would be a bit redundant to go with that same topic of "I've wanted to make music for video games all my life!", so I want to try and offer a different angle to the idea of "Why do I do what I do?" - why do I make the musical choices I do, and how am I brought towards them?
As much as music is my calling, the language of art I feel the most comfortable in, it's also one of the more abstract ones when it comes to representing ideas.
I'd written in my retrospective of Feather Park that I feel that "there aren't any real answers when it comes to sound design, I think - just personal opinions and justifications on how you think your opinions will impact others' experiences."
What I hadn't mentioned there was that music isn't all that different, honestly. Compared to how two people might draw a bee spy or a cozy barn full of friends, two composers may approach each of those ideas completely differently. Sure, there are musical tropes, cliches and associations that a lot of us may choose to draw upon, but that's just that - associations.
Hive Spy Remi brought to me two challenges in that regard: How do I musically represent that this is a game about a bee, and how do I represent that it's a game about stealth?
Regarding the former, I had a discussion with Naughty Monkey - the sound designer and audio implementation wizard on the game - about what to do. I started off by bringing forward some 90's stealth games like Metal Gear Solid, Goldeneye 64 and Tomb Raider (probably stealth? I've never actually played it), and agreeing that we should soften its tone up to fit the whimsy of the characters, I found additional sources like Rayman 2 and Looney Tunes' Sheep Raider.
Those last two probably ended up being most important, informing the choices I made with both the percussion and DnB loops used in the main themes, which ended up driving the music in a way! Metal Gear Solid informed additional rhythmic sensibilities (There's a part that just takes the rhythm from MGS2's Twilight Sniping wholesale) and additional context as to what the 90's consoles were capable of when playing sequenced - and not streamed - audio.
This is in pretty stark contrast to my approach for Feather Park, where my direction very naturally found itself without explicitly relying on any reference material. (I did listen to a lot of Animal Crossing, though. I wonder if it shows at all?)
I'd remarked to myself countless times during production that I felt in over my head. Since stealth is a genre I never really partook in - neither for study nor for personal enjoyment - its musical language and the way it conveyed tension was actually quite unfamiliar to me!
Drawing so heavily from existing material makes me feel a little insecure about myself, honestly. I wonder if it's how artists may feel about heavily basing a work off of something else (albeit not tracing it wholesale). Sure, Igor Stravinsky- the composer of The Rite of Spring - has been attributed to saying that "a good composer does not imitate; he she steals,” but it sure doesn't make me feel good, you know?
Representing the bee side of the game was equally challenging, in no small part because I couldn't find anything that I felt musically represented bees besides... Flight of the Bumblebees, which is clearly not something I was interested in drawing from. (Somehow, neither I nor anyone I'd spoken to brought up Buck Bumble, though I don't think that really hits the mark either?)
I'd initially started by thinking about the buzzing of bees, and trying to represent that with flutter-tongued muted trumpet, but it quickly proved that in a stealth setting, the sound was nowhere near subtle enough anywhere but far in the background, where I simulated it using a regular muted trumpet sound with a volume filter.
From that turned into "what if I had tremolo violins for a similar but less brash effect?", which I ended up using at the very end for the title sting. Eventually, I landed on the idea of the BACH motif - embedding a name or word within a melody through the letters of its notes - which B - E - E lent itself to very easily. That was actually what it took for me to finally start writing a melody, at which point the song started taking shape.
With all this in mind, I get the impression that composing music for video games ends up as a bit of a problem-solving exercise where you're brought to consider what you need to represent through music, and you have to consider all sorts of creative ideas that sometimes will fit, and sometimes you'll just have to look for a different idea instead, but one will find you as long as you're willing to consider a wide variety of ideas and learn on the job.
That last point - "you learn on the job" - is something I've been told countless times about any position, and that's fair enough, I suppose. We can't all be completely perfectly equipped to solve any problem that's thrown at you from the get-go; no one is, and that's why it's all the more valuable that we find it in ourselves to adapt to these situations. But I can't help but worry about whether it takes me too long to accomplish that, you know? Not even just in music, but in life, there's always a part deep inside me that ruminates over "what if you're taking too long to get started; you're taking too long to learn how to get started?"
I'll have to take solace in the fact that I've gotten started, and I've put out art worth enjoying. Finishing my work on the game was still a really satisfying moment - it was the happiest I'd felt in the two weeks since I'd started working on it - and... well, at the end of the day, it's just another example of how composing music is my drive, the battery that fuels me to move forward no matter what.
So... see you on the third game!

If a review is a reflection of one's experience with a game, then it only makes sense that my review of Feather Park is a retrospective of my role on it as the sole composer and sound designer.
Since 2012, my raison d'etre was "I want to write music for video games!", and despite hanging around hobbyist circles around it for years, I never really had a real finished game to my name. I could name multiple factors - mental health, poor family life, most likely undiagnosed conditions, so on - but I've watched friends, acquaintances and strangers start from the same sort of place I began at and move on to do the very gigs I would have dreamed to score.
It always crushed me, and I'd be lying if I said I've overcome it for good with this one game. Still, the fact that I can say with complete integrity that "I wrote music for a game!" means a lot to me, as does the fact that Feather Park was the first thing to really break me out of my shell, my mental blockade of not being able to write and complete original music since my last gig, one October ago.
I'll get the gameplay out of the way first. It's a simple game jam game made in two weeks for the 2022 Cozy Autumn Game Jam - you explore a simple overworld (about eight screens), control this hat-wearing bird around to meet other animals, play their minigames or solve miscellaneous tasks to cheer them up and make friends with them. There's no text, and everything's conveyed through audiovisual context, meaning that my role as sound designer was probably a tiny bit more important than usual.
The rock-paper-scissors minigame, for example: you're supposed to figure out which the other animal is going to choose, then deliberately lose to them and give them the win.
With the deadline looming ahead of me (I'd put off sound effects for the most part until the last day of the jam) and reusing sound effects across multiple contexts being the only seemingly viable way to get everything done, maybe it was a little ham-fisted that I gave a stereotypical "incorrect" sound effect for when you, the player, win the game of rock-paper-scissors. Or maybe it's not, and maybe it was helpful that I laid it on thick that actually, winning against this creature is a bad thing.
There aren't any real answers when it comes to sound design, I think - just personal opinions and justifications on how you think your opinions will impact others' experiences. That open-endedness definitely stumped me for a lot of the more abstract sound effects: how do you represent a heart icon popping up, for example?
Music being my primary avenue, not sound, I ended up representing most of the abstract sound effects with musical elements - a jingle on mallet percussions for the heart icon, a guitar slide for question mark popups, and so on. I tend to do this kind of psuedo-Mickey Mousing a lot (my original plan was to have the main character's footsteps sync in time with the music to play a little xylophone sound, but it was too complicated), and it worked out for a silly, cozy cartoony game like this, but I wonder how I'll fare for a game that needs less of that and more synthesized, sci-fi sounds.
Getting to implement the sound effects myself within the game engine definitely helped, though, and it was a learning experience I value a lot. The developer, Jon Topielski, was happy to get me set up with the engine he was using so that I could go into the project myself in order to implement, test and tweak the sounds without going through a game of telephone. (He's a swell guy, really! I can't thank him enough for how everything turned out in the end!)
Not only did this save a lot of time avoiding said telephone game, but it meant I got to be a lot more hands-on in deciding how exactly these sounds were going to play. I felt like a real part of the game development experience, and - if I could do it once, I definitely can and would love to do it again!
Being able to say "I can do sound effects and implementation for your game" is bound to be an asset.
I guess that leaves the music. Following some mental health crises between September and March, and burnout both as a person and as a musician that had accumulated since all the way back in 2018, I spent most of the past year not really directly working on music. Most of what I did do was small experiments, tiny transcriptions and arrangements, mainly to justify the questionable amounts of money I was putting into music creation software as a means of coping with my ennui and anxiety.
It relieves me that just about every single purchase went a long way into helping this soundtrack come to life. Besides some stock percussion, and my live instruments, every single instrument in the soundtrack was from a purchase within the past year: the alto flutes in the main theme; the brush drums in both overworld and minigame themes; the jazz guitar whose sheer character lent itself so obviously to interesting chords that ended up being the backbone to the main theme; the horns on the minigame theme that I still think was the best possible value for something of its quality; even notation software I chose to write the ending theme on instead of on Logic to save myself from writing an entire grand staff piece solely on a piano roll; all of it.
It contextualizes my purchases as an investment, something I've committed to so that I can now just focus on getting the music written the way I want to instead of coveting over tiny, negligible upgrades because I'd chosen to cheap out on my equipment. As long as music's being made with them, I think I'll be alright - and especially as long as I'm writing music for video games with them just like I have here.
I guess I could tell my ten-years-ago self now:
"Hey! You know how you've always wanted to write music for a game? I've done it!"
"It took you so long? And it's just a non-commercial game jam game?"
"I know. I fear I might have taken too long to get here all the time. But I've gotten at least to where I have so far, so from here, I might as well appreciate what progress I've made and promise to myself to go further, as far as I can, and be proud of where I get."
In April 2013, my nine-years-ago self recorded a record scratch sample. I don't remember where I recorded it from, but I know that I could dig for a higher-quality version of the same sample in one of my virtual synths. On September 22th, I briefly considered doing that - but it would take too much time to look for when a version of the sample was right there in my hands already.
Was this a present I made to myself nine years ago, like a time capsule? A little something to make my life just a tiny bit easier down the road? Who knows. I had no idea where my life was going to be in nine years, and I definitely couldn't imagine it would be where it is now.
"Thanks, Can of Nothing," I said to myself, and inserted "KorgRecordScratch.wav" into the FailedMinigame node.
"I won't let your efforts go to waste. I'll write for more games, I promise."