Round 3


Round 3: GameDev Challenge 1 - Chance to join a small team of composers in a real world game development project.

17-Oct to 30-Oct. Deadline: Midnight UTC 30th October Voting closes: 31 October

Video Game Mod - Crusader Kings 3

Love, fight, scheme, and claim greatness. Determine your noble house’s legacy in the sprawling grand strategy of Crusader Kings III. Death is only the beginning as you guide your dynasty’s bloodline in the rich and larger-than-life simulation of the Middle Ages.

This is the background for CK3, a very successful immersive grand strategy medieval roleplaying game. With thousands of players, this game has spawned numerous modding communities that have extended the game with all manner of additions, and for this challenge there is an opportunity of join a mod team working of extending the music for the game. The CK3 Expanded Mod Server, with over 3.5k members, is hosting a number of mod projects, including one for the music-soundtracks-expanded mod. The lead composers for this project will be reviewing member submissions for this challenge and may extend an invitation to a couple of members to join the project. (It is a big project, about 168 tracks all up, so make sure you have time to commit to it! Ideally you would be providing several tracks over the next 3 months, though one-off tracks may be considered as well.) It won't be everyone's cup of tea of course, but large scale mod projects like this are a great foot in the door to game developer communities.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it is...

Option 1: If you are keen to get involved in the CK3 Music-Soundtrack-Expanded project there are some specific requirements for your track.

  • The important one is to create an original piece of music that conforms with the reference track provided below called "Mead and Wine".

  • The style of the music should match the time period of the game, so medieval, early music, baroque. The project will be creating versions of tracks for all the following regions: Eastern, Indian, African, Norse, Mongolian and Byzantine... so feel free to explore music in any of those styles.

  • Use a variety of historical and traditional instruments that represent the time period. (Search for free VSTs, there are quite a few out there if you don't have any in your library, or use a close approximation.) Think Bagpipe, Citole, Dulcimer, Fiddle (Vielle), Flute, Gemshorn, Gittern, Harp, Hurdy-gurdy, Lute, Lyre, Mandora, Organ, Percussion, Pipe & tabor, Psaltery, Rebec, Recorder, Shawm, and Trumpet.

  • Use textural sounds to help enhance the music and add ambience.

  • Tip: For early music, keep it simple and light. Feel free to add vocal elements.

This is your reference track.

Your task is to create your own original track to replace Mead and Wine in the game. It should have a celebratory feel to it, but you can cast your version to match any of the following regions and use the early music style and instruments for that region. The more authentic it sounds the better, but don't worry too much if you can't get hold of the actual period instruments, just use the closest you can find. (See resources below.)

  • Middle Eastern, Indian, African, Norse, Mongolian or Byzantine

Celebratory drinks from the regions include:

Middle Eastern - Arak
Indian - Desi daru
African - Mbege
Norse - Mead
Mongolian - Kumis
Byzantine - Wine

Option 2: Writing music in a classic medieval style with period instruments will not be everyone's cup of tea I realise, so if you are not worried about joining the mod project, you can instead re-imagine any of CK3s tracks in your own style (the OST is above). So this is not doing a cover of the track, but creating your own original track inspired by one of the existing track themes, or... imagining that track recreated in a completely different way that you feel would work well in the game. (You can use the game play video to get a feel for the game.)

Submission Requirements:

  • Post your track to the #challenge-submissions channel on the server as an MP3 audio file before the due date.

  • Please indicate if you are posting for Option 1 or Option 2.

  • Briefly explain how you approached the process of making your track and the instruments you used.

  • Your track should be more than 1 minute long for this challenge.



CK3 Music-Soundtrack-Expanded: Meet the team...

The CK3 Music-Soundtrack-Expanded project is part of the family of Mods created in the CK3 Expanded Mods Discord server. Being invited to join the CK3 Mod team is a great opportunity to get some serious game music creation under your belt, some high profile recognition in a very active gaming community, and includes the release of an album (or albums) of music to all streaming services that will generate some income for the composers.

Lead Composer: George Hammond

George Hammond is a Composer and Producer mainly specialising in medieval inspired works for Games, Shows and Films. He’s been composing music since 2015, and has previous experience working on music for CK3, composing the soundtrack for the total conversion mod: The Fallen Eagle, which has over 65K subscribers on Steam. George’s music has attracted listeners from over 140 countries, and his love for mixing traditional medieval instruments with synthesisers has allowed him to draw in listeners from all genres, being featured on the Spotify Dub Techno playlist with over 20K followers and having an EP released on the Swedish Techno Label: Mercurial Tones.

George lives in rural Suffolk, surrounded by nature, which is a constant inspiration to him. He enjoys writing for small indie games, where he is most able to express his wide range of musical styles.

Composer: Utopia

Utopia is a self-taught video-game composer with a unique thematic and melodic style. Born in New Zealand but now based on Vancouver Island, Canada, Utopia began experimenting with composing in 2009 and quickly found himself indulging in cinematic and video game music. Influenced by great composers like Howard Shore, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Martin O'Donnell and Geoff Knorr, Utopia finally began publishing music to the world in September 2020.

Currently, Utopia composes using Sibelius 7.5, Noteperformer 3 and Garritan Personal Orchestra 5 to compose orchestral music for a range of Clients, primarily focusing on Paradox Interactive games. His work has includes soundtracks and themes for video game mods, advertisements, motivational videos, trailers and podcasts.

Since 2020, Utopia has composed music for a majority of Europa Universalis 4's most popular mods. He is most known for the main themes of Anbennar and Third Odyssey, as well as the original soundtrack for Ante Bellum. Collectively, Utopia's music has reached over 200K subscribers and has received over 30K direct downloads on Steam.

Contributing Composers:


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