Obsidian Entertainment audio director Alexander Brandon discusses the creation of the Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir soundtrack in the latest entry to the company's blog on IGN.
I had played D&D computer games since Curse of the Azure Bonds, and I had played PC role playing games since Stuart Smith's Adventure Construction Set, possibly even earlier (Zork?). Tony and I had a fondness for these old soundtracks and wanted the pure thematic quality that they showcased to be another factor in the soundtrack. These days it is very easy to lose a good melody when you're worrying about your instrumentation and software.
Tony had a hand in filling out what pieces we required after I drew up a list based on the module design documents. After a bit of back and forth we settled on what music was required, but who was to write it? Tony's references included Heroes of Might and Magic, so I called up Rob King who did the soundtracks and got his rate. But we wanted to vary things up a bit and Rob also had a lot on his plate, so we reviewed several demos including some from Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold of Bob and Barn. Their work on Primal was excellent, and to top it off Andrew mentioned that a live orchestra would be possible (with live tavern instruments!). However there was still a significant amount of music to do, so either we used live orchestra for everything and got less music, or looked around for a rookie composer and got more. The latter won out with demos by Rogue Dao Studios, headed by Kevin Chow with additional music by GÃ¡bor Valasek, NÃ¤rhi and Antti MÃ¤ntysaari. The styles all melded brilliantly and we had our team.