Original Score – Nazi Zombies
Composition • Recording • Mixing • Mastering • Electronics
Vertical layered score I composed for one of my favourite videogames: Nazi Zombies mode in Call of Duty.
Nazi zombies is a “horde” game mode in the famous Call of Duty franchise.
You start off in a small room with boarded windows. Zombies start pouring in from every hole in the wall and you need to use guns, powerups and your wits to survive and in some maps, progress through the rooms and challenges the levels have to offer.
The nature of the game ranges from calm and tense to extremely dramatic and suspenseful. Nothing quite like being chased by a few hundred german zombies when all of your friends have been killed or downed and its all up to you to survive.
So the music needed to reflect exactly that.
Because of the quick changes in combat and general fast paced nature of the game, vertical remixing was going to work best here. This allows for layers of music to come in and out quickly without startling the player and keeps the player immersed whilst being able to adapt the music very quickly and smoothly on the fly.
I set up the score to have 3 layers.
Base Layer – (Ambience & Atmospheric)
This is the main atmospheric and ambience layer. Almost always active, it provides an unsettling “impending doom” effect. Consisting of various creepy sounds and effects and a basic dissonant pad on top of a light drone. This layer is there for when theres breaks in between the rounds or little to no zombies left (low threat).
Meat Layer – (Unsettling Energy & Suspense)
This is the second layer, it provides a steady dramatic, energetic and intense hostile atmosphere. Syncs up with the base layer and adds basic percussive elements, droning dissonant basses as well as darker tones and thick rhythmic textures to keep the energy high and the player on the edge of their seat and tensed up during battles.
Spice Layer – (Intensity & Terror)
Third and final layer, aims to improve the meat from the previous layer. Enhances the drum pattern by adding in double time accents and light rhythms, together with the basic backbeat it essentially “doubles” the the tempo and feel creating a massive amount of urgency and and intensity. The extremely low tuned distorted guitar texture and an unsettling detuned high synth voicing carries the feeling of terror and extra intensity.
This section of the score is completely and seamlessly loop able. with layers being added or removed as the player kills zombies and progresses through the rounds. This keeps the same piece of music interesting and dynamic.
The way the example is laid out above is the same section looped 3 times, and each time a layer is added. Ranging from base layer to super intense layer.
Here are some stingers / Musical Sound Design I’ve added that goes with the score to enhance gameplay elements:
Disclaimer: I do NOT own the cover art.