Mass Effect - Jack Wall Interview

Jack Wall, the award-winning composer behind the Mass Effect soundtrack, recently had a chance to discuss his contributions to BioWare’s sci-fi epic with Game Informer. And if you wouldn’t mind venturing past the RPG angle, the interview also touches on his work on the Call of Duty series.

Here’s a couple of sample questions:

You have a very distinct and personal orchestral approach in a lot of your work, how did you balance that for a sci-fi series like this?

Wall: For Mass Effect 1, it was mostly synth. Any orchestral sounds were supposed to be more like synthetic strings and brass. For Mass Effect 2, however, we wanted synth to be mixed in with orchestra, that was the general idea for the sequel.

By the time Mass Effect 2 released, the series was achieving "Best Game Series" status, did that make the role of lead composer more daunting in any way? Does the hype of popular franchises impact your creative process at all?

Wall: Interestingly enough, no! It doesn't matter what the game is, to me personally. To me, I treat it like the multi-million dollar hit that I believe it is. I approach them all the same. The more freedom I get I think the better job I do, so if the developer gets nervous and starts second-guessing what I'm doing, then it might get a little dicey but that hasn't been my experience with most games I've written for.