We stan a blocky, contemplative queen, and her name is Tetris Effect. Trust me, I never expected to be as moved and affected by a Tetris game as I was with 2018’s absolute masterpiece Tetris Effect. Made by the folks behind Rez, this stylized explosion of colors, shapes, and sounds is one of the best things to come from the PlayStation 4 generation and certainly has one of the best soundtracks. That full, original soundtrack can now be yours as it becomes available for purchase on Bandcamp, as well as listenable for free via YouTube Music.
The PlayStation Blog has a fascinating interview with the composer group Hydelic that covers its creative process, as well as how the team’s music affected game design. “In the early stages of development, we created a rough demo showcasing the general mood and atmosphere of the sound. This was then implemented into the game, and from there our designer would alter elements or make visual adjustments to better align with the music, incorporating synesthetic changes. This is when we started to get a better picture of details such as particle movement, which in turn allowed us to make further adjustments to improve the balance between visual and aural elements,” the group said.
What’s cool about the interview is that it confirms that the vibes many players got from the game is the exact tone and feeling planned from the start. At one point Hydelic was told by the producer and art director that “This is like zen Tetris,” and that sentence perfectly encapsulates everything that makes Tetris Effect work so well. It’s also interesting to see how the music side of a game gets involved with the development, as the blog post talks about the actual “storyboarding” of levels and how each stage took multiple tracks into consideration.
In regards to the first level of the game, Deep Sea, Hydelic said, “We wrote over 10 music tracks; because development started with this stage, the engineers and designers spent the most time working on it. Similarly, there was a ton of trial-and-error on the sound and musical side of things. At first, it was ambient music with no vocals, next it became something with a beat, and then we experimented with both male and female vocals. It gradually developed into the present version of ‘Connected (Yours Forever)’ featuring Kate Brady.”
The full Tetris Effect soundtrack with original and in-game remixed versions of the tracks is available now wherever fine music is acquired.