Hi there. I’m Daniel Finney and I’ve always been a fan of the X series, ever since X-Beyond The Frontier was first released back in the day. Hours upon hours of my childhood have been lost to trading energy cells in Seizewell, capturing Pirate Orinocos and basically flying around enjoying the view. One thing I’ve always loved more than anything else about the games however is the soundtrack. Every time I sit inside my ship, the music has me captivated and I can’t help but fall into it. I don’t know if this is just the way I am, being a musician at heart, but it is something that I have always felt. Luckily, I was a member of The X Universe forums about a year ago (where some of you may know me as Woffin) and helped contribute towards the Xtended mod with a few tracks of my own.
Then along came X3: Terran Conflict. The guys at Egosoft offered me this fantastic opportunity to be a part of something which has been such a big part of my life for so long. At short notice, I was drafted into the team not long after the project had begun and was immediately faced with writing the music for the Teaser video. I was told that this would have to be my best piece of the entire project (no pressure there!) as it would give all of you people your first glimpse at the game. I have fond memories of working with Martijn (Mishra) for this, as he was the guy who did the video side of it. We would spend night after night communicating with each other, sending various versions backwards and forwards between ourselves, fine-tuning everything you could possibly think of. We were initially aiming at a purely electronic sound and experimented with Bass, Drums, Synth and a few String parts as you can hear in one of our early mixes:
Click for first version.
Although decent, we weren’t satisfied and thought we would throw a few extra parts in there with some more percussion and some more orchestral instruments. Once again it sounded decent, but not quite enough. We both realised that only the best was good enough, so we singled out the orchestral parts, which you can have a listen to here:
Click for second version.
One night, Martijn appeared online out of nowhere and started shouting to me “Why don’t we try a guitar?!”. Good point Martijn. I’d never thought of using a guitar before because it’s not normally something you expect when you listen to X music as it’s mostly ambience, orchestral and synth parts. So out came the guitar and I put down a quick recording, mixed it down and sent it back over. “What do you think of this?” I said to him. It was at that moment that we both realised a guitar was exactly what we needed. Over the next few days (during which neither of us got any sleep!) and after many mixes and file transfers backwards and forwards, we’d refined the track and got it perfectly hooked up with the scenes in the video too:
Click for final version.
Simply put, no. That was only the start. Very shortly afterwards, Alexei and me were given our targets and our tasks, so we set off to work. While Alexei focused more on the plot and theme side of the soundtrack, I worked on the ambient tracks and general sector background music, with some of them also being used for the recent trailer videos too. What you can expect to hear on your travels in X3 Terran Conflict is more of the high quality work that you come to expect from these series of games, but with a slightly menacing twist. As you’ve probably discovered by now, the universe is on the brink of war and everywhere you go, conflict is ready to break out and this is what I aimed to achieve in the music. You’ll find that guitar from the trailer coming back to you in certain places but there’ll also be times when you should, very rightly so, feel isolated and alone and on the edge of your seat, waiting for that attack that could come at any moment. Then there’s the safe havens, the reclusive sectors, where you look around and just lose yourself in the vast and magnificent surroundings, where all of the violence and all of the troubles that face you seem to not matter any more.
All in all, you’ll have to keep your ears open when you’re exploring the many new areas that X3 Terran Conflict has to offer you. It may just be that it makes you feel like you’re really there.