Ever wondered who is behind the dulcet tones of the menu screens, the triumphant choruses of battle in Longting, or the lilting joyous tunes of the city of Hao Jing? Well, wonder no more, and meet Zheng Jinming and Ye Chenyang. They are both Composers at Booming Tech, the developer behind Conqueror’s Blade based in Hangzhou, China.
You may remember Ye Chenyang from Music Week earlier this year, where we quizzed them on the creative process of devising music for Season VII: Wolves of Ragnarok!
As part of the Music Week celebrations this time around, we spoke with both Zheng and Ye to delve deeper behind the scenes of Season VIII: Dynasty’s epic music and its cultural inspirations.
How did you begin to compose the music for a Conqueror’s Blade Season?
Zheng: Normally, I start by understanding the requirement. Then I choose an appropriate style, begin writing the harmony and then the orchestration. For example, Season VIII is based on Chinese history, so I'd go for either a traditional pentatonic (or heptatonic) scale. To add to that, I'll use a Chinese folk orchestral style or add Chinese instruments to an orchestral piece.
Ye: Before producing the music, I will first research the cultural and regional features of the new season and think about the emotions that I want to convey to the players. So I will be inspired to write a few music demos based on these elements. And the final stage is to polish the structure of the demo to complete the final music.
Where did your love of music (and gaming) begin?
Zheng: One of the biggest influences on me in terms of game music is probably the Final Fantasy series. And, of course, the 8-bit music from the NES I used to play as a child.
Ye: I have been particularly interested in games and music since I was a child. But it wasn’t until receiving my first guitar that I began to understand music systematically.
Which game, in your opinion, has the best soundtrack of all time?
Zheng: Honestly, there are too many to mention. One of the most recent ones I can think of is probably the Final Fantasy 15 soundtrack.
Ye: God of War (2018).
How did you begin your research for the sound of Season VIII?
Zheng: I began with Chinese traditional folk tunes.
Ye: Currently, I am still in the process of getting familiar with the style of the new season by studying movies and games of similar themes.
What is your favourite piece of music that you have worked on in Conqueror’s Blade?
Zheng: The day and night pieces for the capitals.
Ye: The background music of Heilung Fjord.
What's your favourite music style from any period of history?
Zheng: I really enjoy electronic and orchestral music.
Ye: Post-rock and jazz.
Play Season VIII: Dynasty to hear the brilliant composition of Ye and Zheng, and keep an eye out for more Music Week articles!