In addition to awesome gameplay, Dungeon Boss is going to have awesome music as well! We spoke with Boss Fight’s Audio Director, Stephen Rippy, to learn a bit about the man behind the music.
What is your role at Boss Fight?
I’m responsible for anything you hear in our games – so, writing the music, recording the sound effects, putting together the voiceover…that kind of thing.
How did you get into the game industry?
Sort of by accident. My older brother David (Boss Fight’s CEO) was working at what became Ensemble Studios when it was making database add-ons. When the CEO decided he’d rather make games instead, I got David to pass him a tape of some of my music. He liked it well enough that I was able to write some stuff for the first Age of Empires between classes while I was in college. That game took off right about the time I graduated, and I’ve been doing this since then.
What other games have you worked on other than Dungeon Boss?
Every Ensemble Studios Age of Empires release (including Age of Mythology and all of the expansions,) Halo Wars, We Farm, the Game Chest series, Adventure Bay, and CastleVille.
How did you come to work for Boss Fight?
For some of the people here there’s been kind of a through-line from the early days – Ensemble Studios to Microsoft, Bonfire Studios, Zynga, and now Boss Fight – and I fall into that bucket. I’m happy they’ve let me hang around so long!
Describe your average day at Boss Fight?
That depends on where we are in a given project. A lot of the time I’m working from my own studio, either recording music or banging things together for some sound effect or other. When a game is about to launch, most of my time is spent at the main office making sure stuff gets in correctly, fixing things, and playtesting. That’s where I find myself these days, so we must be getting close…
What is your favorite tool related to your work and why?
Like the average day, it sort of depends on the project. Dungeon Boss has a pretty retro style, so a few months ago I dug out an old synth of mine (1981 vintage) to use on some tracks. It took some restoring, but it’s all up and running like new again – and it’s a great one to play. So that guy gets my vote for now.
What do you consider to be the most important trait for someone in your role?
I tend to juggle lots of tasks on separate projects with different styles pretty often, at least since we started making mobile games. Being able to do that and keep everything moving forward at once has become a necessary part of the job. So that and a little bit of tenacity; those sound bugs aren’t gonna get resolved without it.
What’s your proudest contribution to any of the games you have worked on?
I’ve been fortunate enough to get to do a lot of cool stuff over the years, but I think I’d still single out CastleVille as one that I’m proud of. At the time, most of those kinds of casual games didn’t really offer much in the way of audio and I feel like we were able to raise the bar quite a bit. A lot of the music has a different character to what I’d written in the past, so I’m fond of it for that reason as well.
What part of the world do you call “home”? (Where did you grow up/go to school/.etc)
Other than a brief preschool-age stint in Georgia, I’ve been in Texas my whole life – Houston as a kid, Austin as a student, Dallas since then.
What’s your favorite part about working at Boss Fight?
Well, a lot of people here are old friends (and literally family in one case.) The work itself is fun…really, I guess it’s all pretty good except for the parking.