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Tropical Dream

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Woooo! My submission for NGADM '14 round 1! I thought I was lucky enough to get in last year, I guess I was lucky again this year.

I figured I'd take it easy this time around and just make what I want without the stress of thinking "will it be good enough?" ...
I just wanted to make something that captured the essence of summer, tropical environments, bays, beaches etc. All that sunny happy stuff, like you'd hear in a video game.

Just imagine waking up on a beautiful island somewhere with the sea water gently brushing against you as you wake up. Then... ADVENTURE!

I hope you enjoy it and good luck to all the NGADM contenders!

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Reminds me of the world map theme for a beach level honestly :D

This is an NGADM Round 1 Review.


I think I've mentioned this to you before, but the one thing that always pops up in my head when I think of your music is how you theme each one so effectively. It's like, you decide "right, I'm going to make a track to depict X theme", and then make a track that depicts that theme so well that anyone who hears it would instantly agree. This sounds EXACTLY like a tropical island, what with the classic island mallet, bright, warm instrumentation such as the acoustic guitar, beach sound effects, ethnic percussion, and a happy, laid-back mood to put icing on the cake. It works like clockwork, and I must commend you on having such a clear ability to make music fit a certain theme, as it's a skill that any game composer in their right mind would die to have!

You have some great production here. I love the snappiness of the percussion, the deep bass, the overall clarity, and the levelling. Some of the sounds you use are significantly blander than others (looking at you 1:03 brass and 2:55 strings), but that hardly takes away from the piece. The composition I'm in two minds about. On the one hand you have some REALLY addicting stuff such as 1:17's motif and pretty much all of your transitions (seriously, the transitions in this are just the BOMB), but on the other hand a lot of your primary motifs, such as the one that first appears at the start of the track, sound a little forced to me and not very memorable. Also, I feel like your track slightly overstays its welcome. I mean, it's pretty varied, but gets pretty monotonous after around 3 and a half minutes.

Anyway, this is one of my favourites from you. Wonderful work.

SCORE: 8.8/10

DuttonsaysHi responds:

Hey thanks for the in depth review! :D I really appreciate it.

I'm really glad you picked up on the theme I was going for :D. I mean I tried to make it as obvious as possible with the title and instrumentation and all. I actually usually decide a theme half way through my tracks once the ball gets rolling, but this time I though I'd use steel drums as a starting point to make something in the theme of summer/sunny things.

Haha yeah a lot of complaints I've had in the past have been because of my instrument quality. Since I use reason, things like East West symphonic orchestra and such are out of the question. I have to stick with good ol' sound fonts which aren't necessarily bad, it's just sometimes I make their authenticity a little too obvious.

About the song "over staying it's welcome"... yeah I have to agree, I thought the same too. I figured it was just because I grew tired of it after hearing it over and over. I thought it was just me rather than the song. >_<

I may not have made it to round 2 but I managed to try a theme I've always wanted to do so I'll call it a win. :D

Thanks again!

Nice! I think you captured the essence of summer etc very well. This would fit superbly in an adventure game. The quality is great, and the piece is constantly adding new elements which is nice and keeps it interesting. I think that the piece would work as a background piece whilst the character explores. My only complaint really is that I wish there could have been more sections in it, to be a little less repetitive - but maybe thats just personal taste. Overall though its great, good luck :)

DuttonsaysHi responds:

Hey thank you! I'm glad you feel I accurately portrayed the vibe I was going for :]. I was actually going to name the song "hunt for the giant crab" and have it be all about exploring, so I'm glad you picked up on that :D

Yeah as you said, I tried to add different elements throughout to keep it interesting all to avoid repetition. I guess there's some consistency within instrumentation and some recurring themes that shunts it a little. Still, thanks for the review!

I will always be impressed by your melodies and overall creativity with every song you release, Mr.Dutton. One of these days it's gonna get you in somewhere. Great work.

DuttonsaysHi responds:

Thank you that's very kind of you to say ^_^ I appreciate it.

This sounds amazing. You did such a good job evoking a relaxing, tropical mood, with the Caribbean instruments and the calm melodies. Great work.

I think the intro sounded a bit fuzzy, though. The sounds of the waves seemed a bit low-quality, but really, that doesn't matter because the rest of the song sounds great.

Good luck in NGADM!

DuttonsaysHi responds:

Hey thanks! I see you managed to get into our group due to a drop-out, so good luck to you as well! I look forward to seeing what you come up with. :D

Yeah.. you may be right.. It's hard to tell since rushing water does sound kinda fuzzy, especially salt water. It's also layered with another recording for the seagulls but that one didn't have much background noise other than the seagulls, so I don't think that's it. Anyway, thanks for the review!

Credits & Info

4.81 / 5.00

Aug 13, 2014
11:29 AM EDT
Video Game
File Info
9.2 MB
4 min 1 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.