Interview with Allister Brimble – Music & Sound
1) Aside from Superfrog, which Team17 games did you do the music for?
Alienbreed 1 /2 / Tower Assault
Body Blows 1 / 2 / Galactic / Ultimate
2) When you were asked to do the music, did you have any initial plans/ideas for what it should be like? Were the completed musical scores the same as you wanted them to be?
Yes, I thought the music should be a cross between a cartoon and Superman. I first wrote the title tune with this idea and it worked well. I found a frog croak also and added this for fun. The aim was to make people laugh. The other music was written along the same lines and it pretty much turned out how I wanted it. Each in-game tune was written in 4 channels but I made a channel with very low priority sounds so that if the sound effects played in this channel the music would still sound ok.
3) Did you use any actual audio samples?
Everything was made with Amiga sampled MODs and the instrument samples were mostly taken from my synthesizers at the time - a Kawai K1, Akai S950, Korg O1 and Yamaha SY77.
4) The sound effects... did you make them?
Yes, I made all of the sound effects except for the frog croak which was found on the internet.
The enemy splat sound when you jump on an enemy has a funny story. Andreas & Rico had come to visit at my parents house in order to work on Superfrog in a peaceful environment. We were all trying to make "splat" sounds using our voices into a microphone, and then Rico was very silly and made a fart sound! This got recorded and when tried in the game worked perfectly. We laugh every time we hear that sound!!!
5) What/who would you say inspires your work mostly (not just for Superfrog)?
Very much the early game musicians from the C64 days - Rob Hubbard, David Whittaker and later on, Tim Follin. Also Jean Michel Jarre was a very big influence.
6) Were you involved in the eventual marketing of Superfrog?
No, this was all done by Team 17 and as I work freelance from home I was not part of this.
7) Was there much communication between you and the rest of the team making the game, as sound people didn't really need to be "in-house"?
Yes, I used to get regular updates of the game with my sound effects implemented. Then I could hear which sounds worked well and which needed changing. Also the sound effects levels could be changed if they were too loud or soft.
8) What do you enjoy doing, other than writing game music?
I play badminton to league standard at my local club. I also love wine and port tasting and fishing trips out on my friends (Carolyn & Dave's) boat.
9) Were you content with the finished product?
Yes, very. The game was designed by Rico Holmes but a lot of the final level design tweaks were down to Martyn Brown who has a knack of getting gameplay just right. For me, the fact that the frog could fly made all the difference and turned it into a new style of cute platform game.
10) Have you played Superfrog? Do you like the plot and characters, and do you have a favourite?
Yes, a long time ago and I think I've forgotten most of the characters now! I will soon play it again on my Amiga emulator software! Of course, my favourite character must be Superfrog himself.
11) Do you actually like Lucozade?
No, can't stand it!