Child of Light: A pleasant surprise!

Image from Child of Light

I am not normally a fan of turn-based video games. Well, that’s saying it in a very politically sensitive fashion. Unless the game has X-COM in it’s name, I loathe turn-based games. I’m even less fond of platformers. When I saw that Ubisoft made it, I cursed them for not making the something to rival Mass Effect, Deus Ex, or Gears of War. (I could never get into Assassins Creed. Sorry. Great idea, though. Keep trying.)

Child of Light surprised me.

Because my brain was fried from too many hours editing Starcrossed in a desperate attempt to get it out the door in April 2015, I sat down in front of the Xbox One. Which was my first mistake, because nobody has made a game for the Xbox One that I really want to play since Tomb Raider (which incidentally has something in common with Child of Light). I should’ve just turned it off until Battlefront ships in December, but… I was fried.

Child of Light is a family-friendly, adorable, and unexpectedly (to me) fun game. I love the elemental soundtrack the most. Off to buy that next!

In a desperate need for mindless diversion, I picked up Child of Light while it was free for Xbox Live Gold members and unexpectedly fell in love with it. Damn you, Ubisoft! Knowing what I know now, I’d’ve paid full price for it. (I actually did that with Tomb Raider. I got it for free on the Xbox 360 with XBL Gold fully expecting to hate it, finished the game. Then promptly bought it on the Xbox One and finished it again, and then some.)

The game’s watercolor art style isn’t something I would normally be attracted to, even less its mode of play, but the silly-serious writing and the characters drew me in and hooked me. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the world and its story, especially the way that Aurora grows and matures during the story. [I even forgave Ubisoft the annoying JRPG-style press A to read every damn line of dialog. After about level 25.]

Yes, I have all of the achievements. No, I don’t have 100% completion of all the collectibles. Yet. I have to go back to editing Starcrossed first.

Soundtracks for your Modernity game.

I’ve had an ear out for amazing soundtracks that are just instrumentals for use in tabletop roleplaying games for years. Most of the time, I’ve had to build custom playlists or pick soundtracks from movies that don’t have big name rock stars headlining their soundtrack (which usually means vocals that will interrupt the game). Another good source has been video game soundtracks.

However, the problem with soundtracks from movies, TV shows, and video games is that they cover the entire story arc and the whole emotional curve from apex to antapex, zenith to nadir. I’ve found that often the trumpet fanfare of an upbeat piece will come at EXACTLY the wrong time in the game.

There was a humorous moment, though, when the Mel Gibson screamed “Freedom!!!” on the Braveheart soundtrack at precisely the right moment in a D&D game. It usually doesn’t work out that way, though. You pays your money, you takes your chances.

How to solve that problem with minimal effort and still have fabulous ambiance music for a dark game of contemporary occult noir, you ask? Simplicity itself. Midnight Syndicate to the rescue!

These amazing albums (use another word if album makes you feel old) are chock full of great mood music that’s dark, energetic, and mysterious.

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They have provided me much inspiration and motivation as I’ve been writing the novels in The Seraphim Conspiracy and the Modernity Roleplaying Game. Thank you, Midnight Syndicate!

There are more, but those are ones I’ve listened to and use for game purposes. I’ll post more RPG soundtrack options in the future.