Hey folks. This week you’ve got supersoup behind the music.
First off, we’re not going VR exclusive. April Fools. We fully intend to continue supporting our non-VR game on both Windows and Linux, no VR headset needed. But if you do have a VR headset, play Half-Life: Alyx. Oooooooh boy is it good.
You might notice a new song in an upcoming trailer and in the game as of last week. Called “The Doozie,” it’s the first of what I hope to be multiple musical contributions from me for NewCity. A member of the community said that it reminded them of The Sims—and as far as I’m concerned, there could be no higher praise.
Aside from being a stellar soundtrack, I have a more personal reason for being so moved by the comparison. If you’re interested, I’ll dive into the background behind the song in the next few paragraphs. But please feel free to skip past it if it does not pique your interest. I’ll have a link to a sample from the next song I’m working on afterward. We’re going to get personal, mostly because I believe that sharing our stories can serve to encourage and edify one another. So here we go…
Back in 2017, I was at the bottom of one of the deep valleys of life. I had dealt with depression and anxiety for years without knowing that I did or how exactly they affected me. I simply understood the lies and flawed conclusions my brain generated regarding life to be “reality.” I was in a customer support job I hated. My tiny office (more a closet) was barely big enough to fit my desk and chair. It had a single window that opened up into a workshop that in turn looked out onto a manufacturing floor. My work consisted of phone calls and Excel spreadsheets and the occasional road trip to industrial facilities in the area. Add in two hours of commute, and it meant that I would mostly come home to sleep and do it all over again. It was the sort of job that satisfied all the material needs of life and provided valuable experience, but for me personally, presented a daily struggle to stay positive.
Then I ended up in the hospital one day when my anxiety boiled over. And that marked the beginning of my climb out of the valley. The night before I ended up in the hospital was one of the longest nights of my life. In trying to find a piece of driftwood to cling to and weather the storm, my wife and I landed on an old, old song from my youth. Something to remind me. So we listened to The Sims 1 - Building Mode 01 on a loop, all night long until the sun rose again. Then when I could bear it no longer, we went to the hospital, and the first day of the rest of my life began.
Despite the darkness of that season, I found my creativity fueled in unexpected and potent ways. In the interest of making the most of my financial stability, I invested in an iPad with the intent of pursuing an interest in writing during my downtime and lunch breaks—but of course the iPad came loaded with GarageBand as well. I began to dabble with songwriting, feeling out the potential for self-expression through the music itself instead of words. It wasn’t long before one track in particular began to take shape; something filled with energy and positivity, reflective of my desire to change my outlook on life and my refusal to slip back into the valley I was climbing out of. Something that reflected my upward journey of healing. It was heavily inspired by game soundtracks I loved growing up, as well as a healthy dose of Owl City, Ryan Farish, and innumerable other ambient and electronic artists.
The result was “The Doozie,” so named because upon showing it to my two-year old son, his first response was “That one’s a doozie, dad.” It’s been on my iPad ever since. When I joined Lone Pine Games, I wanted to see if I could contribute some songs to the game. But I didn’t want to offer “The Doozie,” as you might imagine. I found it rather personal and kept it close to the chest. Over time, however, as I began to pour more of myself into the game and became an official employee, I changed my mind. So I offered the song in the hopes that Lone Pine would find a place for it. And here we are!
After the long night where The Sims soundtrack looped until I saw the sun again, to compare “The Doozie” to that wonderful music is the best possible compliment. And I’m so excited to bring more of my musical ideas to life for NewCity.
If you’ll allow me another moment on my soapbox, I sincerely hope that if you’re struggling as I did, you make the choice to reach out for help. Whether that’s letting friends or family in on the struggle, or simply contacting a non-judgemental and knowledgeable helper on a hotline, you are not alone and you don’t need to carry that burden alone. Especially in this current season of life. It’s not a sign of weakness to recognize that you’re carrying such a heavy load in mind and soul and you don’t need to do so by yourself.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Well, that’s a terrifying block of text… Onward!
I have a few more songs in the works as well! Have a small snippet from one of them:
Tonight, Lone Pine will be teaching me how to play Factorio on stream. I really don’t know much about it, so I’m curious to see how this goes down. Perhaps you are as well? Join us at 10pm PDT/1am EDT over on our Twitch to follow along as I learn all about automation and anarcho-capitalism on an alien world.
Questions? Comments? Feedback on the game? Sound off on our Discord.
As always, we’re incredibly thankful for our great community across the web. We love seeing the hard work and attention to detail you pour into your cities, and it inspires us every day to keep building. Thank you again for your support!
If you want to play the game and haven’t contributed yet, head over to our IndieGoGo page. We’re also on Reddit and Twitter. Give us a follow if you haven’t, and we’ll keep you up to date on what’s new with New Cities!