River City Girls Composer Interview: Megan McDuffee

Updated on September 25, 2019
KPM2017 profile image

Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!

Megan McDuffee
Megan McDuffee

River City Girls is an homage to the great retro games of the Kunio Kun franchise (River City Ransom, etc.) with an energetic, synth-laden soundtrack created by some of the best video game composing talent out there now. One of the musical contributors to the game was composer and synthwave/synthpop diva Megan McDuffee.

In this emailed interview, Megan tells me about how she got involved in the project, what the goals for the soundtrack were, the approach that was taken in creating it and how she came to contribute vocals to many of the songs in the game!

Karl Magi: Tell me a bit about how you got involved with the River City Girls project?

Megan McDuffee: It was one of those networking miracles! I'm part of a group called the Materia Collective (a community of video game music remixers and arrangers). The awesome composer Dale North (who also has a few tracks on the OST) is friends with WayForward people, and heard they were looking for some synthpop and retro-inspired music for an upcoming project. He dropped a few names, and after hearing my stuff WayForward got in touch with me. It's so cool because Dale and I had never met before, but we had a bunch of mutual acquaintances and he was familiar with my style.

KM: What were the main goals for the soundtrack of the game?

MMcD: To be engaging, synth-laden, and with a bit of retro '80s synthwave flair! We also wanted to weave in some connection with one of the bosses of the game, who is a rockstar. My vocal songs ended up being that character's music which was so different and cool

KM: How did you approach the composition/creation of the soundtrack? Tell me about influences, musical ideas and inspirations.

MMcD: So the game's directors initially handed over a few example tracks in a style they liked (synthpop) and just let me run with it! The art and animation style had so much sass and character, I was super inspired to write a soundtrack to match. A couple of the vocal pieces even ended up with some Chvrches and Fleetwood Mac flavor.

KM: Tell me about how you balanced the creation of the score between all of the different composers?

MMcD: This was all laid out from the get go, with each musician being responsible for his/her chunk of the soundtrack. When I started working on the game, I knew I was tackling all the level, menu, shop, incidentals, and cutscene tunes. Chipzel would be handling most of the boss fights, the arcade section would be handled by Dale North, and the intro/outro songs would be penned by NateWantsToBattle. There was no collaboration between us, so it was super interesting to hear how it all came together at the end!

KM: I'm curious about how much influence you all took from the original River City Ransom soundtrack?

MMcD: Speaking for myself, I knew a handful of tracks would need to play homage to some previous Kunio Kun franchise songs. WayForward already had the list of tracks they wanted me to 'nod' to, and so I transcribed each by ear into my own synthy style, adding new melodies, chord progressions, and sizzle.

KM: What was the thought behind including vocals so prominently in the soundtrack?

MMcD: This idea came about when WayForward was looking into my past work, and discovered that I was a seasoned vocalist as well as a composer. From there, we thought it would be super cool having Noize's songs peppered throughout the game, so that when the player finally fights her later he/she would realize that they were hearing her songs the whole time. There are little boomboxes sprinkled throughout the game, which play her tunes on the radio.

KM: How do you hope the score is received both as a standalone soundtrack and as part of the game?

MMcD: I hope people are really loving it, both in game and as a standalone album! I really put a lot of love and my own signature flair on each and every track. The other musicians each did amazingly on their respective songs as well! I'm so happy to have been part of such a talented team, and a really amazingly gorgeous (and fun) game. Here's hoping there are many more to come.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)