About the game

Thief’s Soul is a project that began at a game jam. Although I wasn’t part of its initial development, I was later invited to join the team at a subsequent event. The team aimed to continue working on the project beyond the jam and sought someone to manage the audio aspect. Intrigued by the game’s concept, I gladly accepted the opportunity to join the team.

Thief's Soul protagonist reaching a door inside a ruined temple.

The game centers around the theme of survival and sacrifice. It features four playable characters, all with identical appearances. According to the plot, these characters symbolize a thief’s soul that was divided into four equal parts. This division occurred after the thief stole a valuable gem from a ruined temple, which was cursed. The curse not only split the thief’s soul but also unleashed numerous demons and monsters within the temple.

The player turn in Thief's Soul.

In this turn-based game, players must make strategic moves with their souls to reach each level’s exit. They can lure enemies using other souls as bait to divert them from their path, often requiring sacrificing them in the process. However, with fewer souls alive, the travel distance of each soul is reduced, increasing the challenge. Fortunately, only one soul needs to remain alive at the level’s exit.

About my role

In this project, I was given complete creative control over all aspects of the game’s audio, including music, sound design, and implementation. For the implementation aspect, I opted to use FMOD, one of my preferred tools for game audio.

I began by outlining the soundtrack. Initially, I aimed to use the bass as the driving element, as I thought that, along with specific phrasing, it would align well with the sneaky nature of the game. After experimenting with basslines on my electric bass, I found that the sound lacked the character I was aiming for—a fun, video game-like vibe. Consequently, I decided to design a plucky synth sound to infuse it with the desired personality. Ultimately, I layered the two bass sounds to achieve the desired effect.

Thief's Soul protagonist sneaking around.

For additional instrumentation, I drew inspiration from the game’s mystical plot and otherworldly elements. To create a fitting exotic texture, I combined various elements, including synthesizers, percussion, and the bassoon.

To add some excitement during gameplay, I opted to create four looping music segments, each corresponding to one of the four possible game states. These states reflect the number of remaining souls available to the player. As the player experiences losses and loses one of their character souls, the next music segment is triggered. These segments were designed to escalate in tension, starting with the most relaxed segment for “all souls” and progressively intensifying with “three souls,” “two souls,” and “one soul,” respectively. For the enemy turn, I designed three different small cues that are played randomly for variety.

The enemy turn with a worm attacking in Thief's Soul.

The sound design for this game involved the creation of various sound effects and ambiences, such as footsteps with different impacts depending on the size of the characters, attack sounds, and the loss of souls, among others. Additionally, a video cutscene was produced for the game’s intro, featuring custom music and sound design to complement the visuals.

The game was a passion project, but it had to be concluded sooner than expected because team members had to shift their focus to other projects, leaving them with too little time to continue this one. As a result, the game presents some lack of polish. Nonetheless, it remains highly playable, offering five pre-made levels and a level editor that allows players to create their own, extending its replay value. It’s currently available for free on itch.io.

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