Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Interview

Sound Blaster Gaming interviews audio director Brad Derrick about the sounds and music of WAR.
Q2. With a game as massive as Warhammer Online what was your approach to the audio, was there a theme you tried to maintain or keep to?

Well, that's the key - "massive". Without some sort of style guide, for both music and sound effects, we'd run the risk of getting completely lost along the way. So, yes...in the early stages of development some ground rules were laid out to keep all audio in line with the Warhammer IP. I suppose the overarching theme (which extends beyond just audio) is one of gleeful and pervasive WAR, with a pinch of black comedy. So the music and sound effects can be very dark and intense, but always tempered with a shot of levity and wink-winking at the player, to keep things fun.

Q3. Do the different factions have different music and how are they different?

Most definitely. There are six distinct races in the game and each has its own highly unique and tightly defined style. Every aspect of the music - orchestration choices, melodic content & pitch sets, rhythmic & metric considerations, etc. - all get mapped to the races in slightly different ways. So at one end of the spectrum you'll have a race with lilting, string-based, diatonic, etheral music...and at the other extreme you'll have a race whose music is nothing but smashing and scraping bits of metal over pounding drums, disembodied voice effects, and an orchestra sounding like cats being drawn-and-quartered. I took great care to make sure that any given piece of music would be easily identified with the race it was composed for.