Round 4: Scoring a VGM video - Collaboration with a game studio challenge event.

31-Oct to 13-Nov. Deadline: End of the day 11:59pm UTC-0 13th November. Voting: 14-20 November

Join the discord.

Our last three rounds have explored existing VGM themes, anime style vocal music and traditional medieval music - time to change it up again completely and head into a science fiction future of space travel and alien races...

Drone Swarm - Epic Trailer Score

Out of nowhere a gigantic sphere arrived in our orbit and a swarm of alien drones attacked Earth. This was the day life as we knew it came to an end. Families were ripped apart and cities destroyed, but people fought to survive until the very end. Mankind however did not stand a chance. Carter, an ex-soldier, and his brother Ayden tried to save as many helpless inhabitants of their city as possible – but when the military unleashed all available nukes in a last desperate attempt of defense, the fires of apocalypse consumed the planet.

When Earth laid in ruins and only a few survivors were left to hopelessly fight the swarm, Ayden subconsciously found out that he is the key to end this destruction – but it came with a heavy price: he had to sacrifice his own life. Ayden was able to transfer his soul into a drone and with this gained the ability to control it. Other 32.000 human psionics like Ayden resolved to sacrifice themselves as well to save the remains of humanity. This was how the psionics became mankind’s last hope. Another powerful psionic, Eva, discovered her special connection to the Sphere itself. Through it, she was able to understand its nature and found a way to build the Argo – an interstellar ship built around the Sphere designed for the search of New Earth.

With the swarm now under human control you lead this mission as Captain Carter – the swarm is yours to command. But you are not alone, your fellow crew members will help you to accomplish your mission. But be careful, there are risks waiting. You will encounter unknown alien races. The Voohr and the Dashan are the two dominant factions in this region of the galaxy, only it is not predictable whether they are willing to talk or whether it will come to inevitable conflicts.

The universe and story of Drone Swarm is the result of a collaboration between 451 Media and stillalive studios. 451 Media, co-founded by star director Michael Bay, will publish Drone Swarm comics that tell the prequel story. Meanwhile, Austrian developer stillalive studios is working with publisher astragon Entertainment on an action-packed strategy adventure game in which you will control 32,000 drones against a wide variety of enemies.

A huge thank you to Chris Polus from stillalive studios for collaborating with us on this challenge. Chris runs the stillalive Game Labs discord server, and hosts regular sound design and music challenges, usually themed around scoring to a game trailer or game footage from awesome video games. Check it out, its a great server!

You can read more about Drone Swarm on the stillalive studios website.

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

We are joining stillalive Game Labs in a parallel challenge round to create an original score for stillalive's 2020 game release - Drone Swarm. We will be writing to a special Halloween version of the trailer. The challenge round will run at the same time on both VGML and SGL and you can submit your videos to both servers.

  • Grab the video trailer which has had the music removed and craft your own sci-fi epic trailer score. (See the link below.)

  • You are open to interpret the score in any style you wish, just make it attention grabbing!

  • Render your music with the video to create your submission as a video, and post the video file to the #challenge-submissions channel, along with an mp3 of just your music (ie. no trailer sound effects). If you are not able to create a video yourself, reach out on the server to get some help.
    mp3 file naming is: [your discord].[track name].mp3
    video file naming is:
    MC28 - [your name] - Drones of Halloween.mp4


Use ShutterEncoder (https://shutterencoder.com/) to encode your videos to make them smaller and convert them into H.264 MP4 file. It's free, donationware, and works really well.

  • You are encouraged to join stillalive Game Labs discord and submit your entry there as well. Follow the directions for posting your clip in the #music-challenge channel. (Please note the file naming convention for uploads.)


Download this version of the trailer.

Working with Video in your DAW

If you are wondering how to approach scoring a trailer there is an older thread on the server that shows my process:

If your DAW doesn't support video directly there is a great VST that I use for this, works really well and very affordable. VidPlayVST

If you are not able to score with the video in your DAW for any reason, you can still create your trailer music your usual way, no problems.

As always, remember the challenge is to participate and try something new, so.... just have fun!!