indie game

Introducing the Game: Railed (A Casual Puzzle Game on Steam)

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Interview By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Last year, I discovered Railed, a railroad puzzle game, at the time, in development by WarGem LLC. I was commissioned to work on the game music soundtrack and was so pleased to learn all about it! It’s an amazingly addictive game which is easy and fun to play but challenging to master. Here’s my interview with the maker of Railed…

Please tell us about Railed Express and what it’s all about!


‘Railed is a railroad-themed, casual puzzle game where players connect train tracks between four destinations and a gold/silver mine. Railed is procedural and each game is different. Players start with $30 million dollars and make strategic tile placements with random track pieces. The high scores are tallied on a global scoreboard and players can build rank according to their scores.’ 

Where did the idea for this game come from?

‘Railed is based on an interesting pen & paper game, 30 Rails, by Julian Anstey. Although the gameplay has expanded in Railed, it still captures the original essence of the fun puzzle game.’

How and on what platform can you play the game?

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‘Currently, Railed is adapted to the Windows PC. Rolling train cars delivery railway tile pieces that the player places on a 6x6 game board in rows and columns corresponding to the color of the boxcar. These pieces can be rotated and assembled to connect railroads and ore mines. There are bonus track pieces along the way that add to the dynamic gameplay.‘ 

How long have you been working on it and how did you get into game development?

‘All-in-all, the development project took about 9 months, not counting a couple extended breaks. I began learning to program games in 2016 and this is my first release.’

What part does music play in the game and what do you think of it’s soundtrack?

‘Every great game deserves and requires a great soundtrack. Ninichi was able to capture the melancholic mood I had envisioned and set the tone perfectly with her original compositions. The music is relaxing and beautiful and players enjoy it very much.’  

What’s your plan for the game and after it’s release? 

‘After the release of Railed, the plan is to provide a free version of the game, called Railed Express, that could increase exposure to a larger player base. Until then, caring for the game and the customers is my main focus.’

Where can we play it?

‘The Railed storefront can be found on the popular Steam platform. Plans to publish on and Humble Bundle are also in the works.’

That’s awesome and very exciting. I’m sure that we all look forward to seeing how Railed develops and giving it a go! To check out other interesting indiegames take a look at:


About the Interviewer: 

Ninichi is a freelance video game music composer & big supporter of indie games. If you need help with the music for your game or project, contact me now to explore how we might work together. 

Learn more About me (Ninichi) and check out examples of my game music here.

Introducing the Game: Arcadium (A Brick & Paddle Retro Game)


Interview by Ninichi | Contact | Follow

After having worked with William Palma (@Gedorgames) on the game music to his new and exciting game Arcadium, I am really excited that it’s now on Kickstarter! Arcadium is a super fun game and here’s a little interview with William to give us some more information on it…

How do you play your game Arcadium?


'Arcadium is played mainly with the mouse to control the paddle. The keyboard is used for the menus. Half of the game is pure brickbreaker action with the goal being to destroy all the bricks in the level. the other half has other goals like destroying enemies, bosses, or competing with opponent paddles & getting the most points or trying to get the ball past them in classic Pong style.

You lose a life if you lose the ball or the paddle gets destroyed. there are 3 different game modes for making the games easier or harder. I plan to have 7 sections of the game with ten levels on each section. the game also has a lot of enemies with their own movement and also powerups that help the player in the levels.'

What made you decide to create this game?

'Well, as a kid growing up in the late 80's and 90's I remember playing Arkanoid and similar games like Traz and Krakout. I always liked those games & i wanted to create something that connected me to my childhood and the retrostyle.

I also wanted to experiment with what I could do with these kind of games to make them more fun & add a little variation to the gameplay.  When I am creating this game i'm always asking myself: "How can I make this game as fun as possible?".'

What did you build the game in ?


'I am making this game in a program called Game Maker which is really easy to use and great for both beginners and more experienced programmers. If you don't know any programming language and just want to have a quick start at making an easy game or just try and experiment with it then you can use something called the Drag and Drop (DnD) commands which don't require any coding.

However, I would advise people to learn the Game Maker Language (GML) as you can do so much more with it. I learned how to use the code and at first it was quite confusing since I did not have any experience with any programming language prior to Game Maker but after a while I got more comfortable with it and this game is made completely in the GML.  I learned a lot from trial and error and understanding why some things work and others don't.'

What's the game development process been like?

'When I first started on this game I did not think it would take that much time to finish, maybe a couple of months at most. However, I have learned that making games always takes a lot longer than you think since I have worked on this game for over a year.

I think what most people don't understand about making a game is that all the little things about it like fixing bugs, adding new enemies and bosses, adding new elements and functions to the game is really time consuming, as is the polishing & re-doing of things to make it better.  I constantly see things in my game that I am not happy with or that I know I can improve and doing all these things takes time, but every time I fix something or add new sounds or improve the graphics I always feel really happy about it even if it is just a small thing.' 

What is your plan for the music & what do you think of the tracks?

'The original idea was to have a track for each section of the game and I think I will stick with that. I also want a theme for the boss and a final boss theme as well as an introduction song and a song when you beat the game. 

I have enjoyed working with you and I am really greatful that you showed interest in the game and wanted to help me out with the music. I also appreciate all the help with the marketing and I hope that this article will help make more people interested in my game as well as your music and your talent as a composer. 

I really like the tracks and I think they suit well for the game. It is important to have music that you can listen to for a long time without being tired of it and I think that can be said about the tracks. I have discovered that I actually like the tracks even more now than when I first heard them.'

That's really great! Now a bit more about you - would you want to work in a team?

'Working in a team would speed things up a bit but I think I prefer to work mostly alone with my games since I want to be free in doing the kind of games that I like and not having to compromise on anything.  

I am not completely alone though since my brother has helped me alot with the graphics & making a lot of the sprites for the game and of course now I have you helping me with the music for which I am very grateful.'

Have you had any challenges along the way? 

'There is sometimes the problem of motivation! Sometimes I feel like working and other times I am not so motivated! I guess it depends on what I am currently doing, since some things are really fun to do & others things are boring but they are all necessary in order to make a good game.

Most challenges were in the early process due to the fact that I was a beginner and constantly got stuck on things. The most challenging thing about the game is to avoid getting the ball stuck inside something. Even if I had added a lot of code to fix collisions with the ball there are still things that i will have to work on. However, it has gotten a lot easier and I feel confident that I can do everything in code now. It is just a matter of thinking of a good way to do it since there are many ways to make something.  When I learned how to use variables everything got a lot more easier.'

Tell us more about you & how you got into game development... 


'I was born in Sweden & grew up there with my mother & two brothers. I have always been quite calm and never wanted to draw attension to myself. I have always liked to play games both board games and video games.

I remember that my oldest brother used to own different computers like the Commodore 64, Atari and Amiga 500 & I loved to play computer games whenever I got the chance. Back then you used floppy discs that contained the games which you input directly to the keyboard. I guess the computer was built into the keyboard since there existed no hard drives then.

With the Commodore 64 however, it was even more primitive as you had all the games on cassette tapes, which you put into this thing that looked like a tape recorder with a three digit number that was always set to 000 and went to 999. You had a cassette tape with games and all the games had different numbers, so if a game had the number 073 for example you had to wait as the tape recorder slowly began rolling from 000 and upwards one number at a time. But, it stopped each time it reached a number where there was a game, so you basically put the cassette tape in and then played the first game it stopped on and then continued on until it stopped again and so forth. I also remember the startup screen - it had a lightblue background and white letters and everytime a game was loaded you had to type "Run" to play the game. I know that all of this sounds like the stone age compared to what we have now but back then that was the reality & no one thought it was slow or clumsy then! 

I grew up before the internet existed & before mobile phones were used. I am quite happy to have witnessed how everything has evolved when it comes to technology - especially the computer & video game industry.'

When it comes to me becoming a game developer it all started when I was on vacation with my family. We bought this magazine called 'Retro and Retro Gaming', which had articles about the gaming industry - how it all started, old games from the 70's, 80's, 90's and early this millennium. I found it fascinating to read about people who founded great companies who made computers like the Commodore 64 and Atari and also people who worked with making games and how the process was and what they said about games.

My interest in game making made me search for programs to make games in and i came across Game Maker, learned how to use it and here I am today making my first game. Thanks to the support of my family I can work on this full-time for which I am more grateful than I can put into words, I have the most fun and best job in the world.'

Arcadium sounds awesome! Let’s all go and support it’s development now on Kickstarter.

About the author: Ninichi is a game music composer and created the soundtrack to Arcadium (amongst other games/films/media). 

If you need some music for your game or project, contact me to explore working together now! Learn more about me (Ninichi) and listen to some of my game music.

Also feel free to explore Ninichi's music blog further for more interviews with game developers and tips/advice on marketing games and creating great game music. Follow me @ninichimusic

Introducing the Mobile Game: Mini Hospital - on iOS & Android!

Do you love mobile games and have you always wanted to run your own hospital? If so, this is a game that you have to check out!

Earlier on this year I, Ninichi, had the pleasure of connecting with Andrea, the Chief Pixel Officer (and much more!) at Twit Games, and I was super excited to learn all about Mini Hospital and to work on the game music soundtrack for it.

Read More

Introducing the Game: Calico - Out on Kickstarter Now!

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Interview By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

What is Calico all about?

Calico is a cute and cozy community sim game where the player is a magical girl who inherits a cat-cafe. They are tasked with filling the cafe back up with new fuzzy friends, furniture, and wonderful baked goods. ‘

Who’s it for & where did the idea come from?

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‘Our game is for anyone who loves cuties, pastel, magical girls, or just needs a nice break in a cat-cafe. I was surprised when we started, at how few other games there were like this. The most exciting thing for me is that you will be able to pet and interact with every animal, including play with cat toys, and being able to play with animals you wouldn't in real life, like red pandas! We also have a magical aspect which will allow the player to do things like enlarge the cat to ride like a horse. Who wouldn't smile at that?’

When will we get to play it?

‘If funded, we expect to release some time in 2020, but for those a bit more impatient we have a demo releasing along with the Kickstarter! Check out our Kickstarter page to see how to download it.

Our game is set for PC, but has the potential to be on any platform depending on demand and funds.’ 

Tell us about you! Who’s been involved in creating this wonderful game?

‘Calico is the first game being produced by CatBean games! We're a small team of only two people based in Seattle, WA. The first half (me) grew up in NYC and then Minnesota, coming to Seattle 5 years ago for the game dev scene. Before this, I worked as a freelance illustrator, as well as a community manager at various companies including Microsoft and Holospark. Our other half, Andrew, moved here to Seattle from Illinois and previously worked as a programmer. He switched to learning Unity programming, and is the more technical half of our team.

We've also been working with a few incredibly talented individuals for areas that the two of us can't cover. 

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Freelance Composer Ninichi ( | @ninichimusic) is our music magician, creating adorable music to to go along with adorable visuals. 

Diego De la Rocha ( | @diegodelarocha) has been helping us with animation, creating super cute magical girl movements.’

Why have you launched a Kickstarter & what are you hoping to achieve from it?

‘We wanted to try to avoid relying on a publisher if we can, seeing as our game is centered around themes not generally represented. We're hoping with the Kickstarter that we can raise enough funds for living expenses to allow us to work on the game full time.’

Why should we support you & what rewards are on offer?

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‘I hope that anyone who is like me and has wanted a game like this to exist for a long while will find everything they wanted in Calico. I believe we need way more cute and cozy games, and hopefully people agree!

I'm very excited about our Kickstarter rewards, a few of which involve putting your own pets into the full game!’

Where can we find out more? 

What are your plans after the Kickstarter?

‘Our first plan is a little self reward. We will be donating to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA for the chance to get up close with a real Red Panda! 

After that, it's going to be some intense time at our desks, trying to make Calico the best, cutest, and most heartwarming game it can be!’

Wow awesome! Thank you so much for sharing everything with us. I wish you the very best of luck with the Kickstarter. Everyone please show your support for this heartwarming game now by visiting!


About the Author: 

Ninichi is a freelance game music composer & big supporter of indie games. If you need help with the music for your game or project, contact me now to explore how we might work together. 

Learn more About me (Ninichi) and check out examples of my game music here.

Introducing the Game Music for Tank Tank Rush


By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

This is the third article in the 'Introducing the game music' series. Each one tries to offer a little bit of insight into what lies behind the music for a specific game I've worked on. As a game music composer, I really enjoy the process of connecting with and working with such a wide range of talented game developers. I've found that each one has their own vision for their game and it is my job to help ensure that this vision is brought to life through the music and the game's soundtrack. 

Now, let's take a look at Tank Tank Rush... 

What is Tank Tank Rush?

Tank Tank Rush is unique blend between an artillery and side-scroller game, created by the amazing talented Antonin Duboc (@PutschMobi) - owner of Smart Game Studio. In the game, you control a soviet army tank and fire your tank gun at the enemy. The game is set during the Great Patriotic War on the Eastern Front and this is where all the action happens!

The game is still in development, but it's definitely one to watch for those who like shooting things and like a bit of tank fun!

What’s interesting about the music for this game?

The setting for this game makes it quite unique and required quite a specific style of music i.e. a USSR style military march. I worked with Antonin – the solo developer to the game, and composed the theme tune to Tank Tank Rush.

The track gets played in the game during the start menu and so it sets the scene for the game and is the first thing that one hears when looking at the game.

I was asked to create something that has a mix of feeling solemn and being something that one might listen to before going to war i.e. something that gives you courage for battle.

I wanted the game music to sound quite distinct and to work well with the look and feel of the game.

Antonin was also very clear that he didn’t want any other music within the game itself and so I felt that it was important to make this main theme tune track something special.

How did I go about creating the music for this game?

I listened to other music from this era and in this style to ‘get into the zone’. For me this is always an important step in creating any new piece of music as it gives me a good sense of the style when something specific is needed and is also a great source of inspiration and ideas.

I have experience in playing military style music and have heard quite a bit of it in my time. I’m a classically trained musician and used to play in various orchestras and so have a solid grasp of what an orchestra can do. I’ve also actually studied a few of the Russian composers in the past and so felt quite comfortable with this style. I’m very lucky to have had a lot of experience across a wide range of musical genres, which I think helps me a lot when it comes to being able to compose for different projects.  I love listening to different kinds of music and the variety that comes my way when being asked to work on and create new music. 

Any other thoughts or tips when creating game music?

I've created the music for several indie games now (have a little listen) and absolutely love it! One of the amazing things is how different each game can be and therefore, the wide range of music styles I've had the opportunity to create music in.

One thing I'd say is not to limit yourself when deciding what kind of music you think could fit your game. Take the time to explore different styles and to understand what you really like yourself vs. what you feel others may like to hear when playing your game. You don't have to do what others do necessarily either. Let your creativity flow and let your composer work with you to find a unique sound for your game. (Also see: How to Communicate Effectively with a Composer)

When creating music for a game, it's always important to fully understand the setting for where the music fits with everything, so that when composing, you can create something that will enhance the gameplay and immerse people into that world and specific section of the game. 

All music in a game is important I feel, however, the main theme tune should certainly be given extra attention since it's the tune that should stick in people's mind for a while and that they are most likely to associate with your game. 

I hope some of this has been interesting! Good luck with your game development and if you'd like some custom music for your game, get in touch!

Other articles in the 'Introducing the game music' series:

You may also like:


About the authorNinichi is a freelance composer and music enthusiast. She has composed the soundtracks and music to several indie games. Contact her: to explore working with her on your game, film or media project.

Check out examples of Ninichi's game music compositions and soundtracks & read more articles like this on the Ninichi music blog

Follow her @ninichimusic

Introducing the Game Music for Arty Swirly Colourful

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By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

This is the second of my 'insight' articles which aim to offer a bit more of a glimpse into how I created the music for different games. This one is called Arty Swirly Colourful and I was really excited when asked to work on the soundtrack for this game. Everything that I learnt and discovered about the game was quite inspiring and so I wanted the music to reflect the calm and beautiful world as well. See what you make of it...

What kind of game is Arty Swirly Colourful?

Arty Swirly Colourful is a beautiful exploratory game created by the talented game development team at Owl Sanctuary Studios.  It’s a narrative driven game where you take on the character of a photographer sent into a stunning park – the ficticious Green Bay National Park, where you are tasked with taking photos. These photos are meant to recreate a series of paintings created in the park 100 years previously.

The game is set in a beautiful world populated with interesting wildlife, park rangers and other people to talk to, amazing surroundings and more. The music therefore is designed to reflect the gentle and calming nature of the surroundings as well as the emotional journey that one takes through the different areas of the park.

What is the music like?

The main mood for the music and for the game is that it is relaxing and soothing. The team at Owl Sanctuary Studios were very clear that they didn’t want any heavy electronic sounds and that they wanted a relaxed yet fun vibe. Playing the game and moving through the park is meant to be a chilling and gentle experience and so I’ve tried to make sure that the music supports this.

The first set of tracks composed for the game, are designed for the summer scenes. There are plans to build out the soundtrack further as the game develops and grows but for now we have focused on making the summer tracks fit the various settings and areas within the game.

What are the different game music tracks?

There are 5 tracks that I worked on:

Swirly Summertime – which is meant as a track for the daytime in summer, within the game. It’s therefore on the cheerier side yet still calming and soothing to listen to.

Early Sunrise – is meant to have that feel of awakening, discovery and a sense of wonder around what might be and what opportunities lies ahead

Summer Sunset – is at that beautiful shimmery time of day, when the light is it’s most beautiful. This is important for the photographer / player of the game and so hopefully the music reflects this sense of beauty.

Open Terrain – is meant to feel more airy than the daytime Swirly Summertime track.  Who knows what you’ll find in the open areas! It’s a mystery but a fun one!

Forest Trees – is a track that would play when you’re in the forest terrain. Here, I was trying to blend a sense of magic, mystery and calming quietness.

Have a listen to them and see what you make of them! Hopefully you’ll find them just as relaxing as the Owl Sanctuary team do!

A few other things that could be interesting to share about how I worked on these with the Owl Sanctuary Studios team:

  • we communicated via a combination of emails and Discord

  • there was a good range of tracks to use as inspiration, ideas and as references

  • the team listened to each of the tracks to make sure that they all agreed on and liked them before signing each one off

About the authorNinichi is a freelance indie game composer and music enthusiast. She has composed the soundtracks and music to several indie games. Contact her: to explore working with her on your game, film or media project.

Check out examples of Ninichi's game music compositions and soundtracks & read more articles like this on the Ninichi music blog

Follow her @ninichimusic

Introducing Shakey’s Escape Original Game Music Soundtrack

Shakey's Escape Original Soundtrack by Ninichi - cover art with Shakey the cat sleeping

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

I ran a poll on through my Twitter account (@ninichimusic) asking what people might like to see more of on my blog.  The top votes went for ‘Updates on my music’ and ‘Game music tips’.  So, I’ve been thinking about what I can share about the music I’ve been working on and here is the first blog of hopefully a series of them, which offer a little bit more insight into the game music and other music projects I’ve had the privilege of working on, and how they’ve come together.

I’ve also done several interview style blogs, which have generally been received well and so although it may be a little strange interviewing myself – I’m going to use that kind of format to hopefully make these easy and fun to read!  So here’s goes my first one!

What’s Shakey’s Escape about?

Shakey’s Escape is an adventure game about a cat, Shakey whose owner kicks him out of the house and from there on, your journey begins! You wander the streets coming across various puzzles, villains and much much more.  

It’s a game developed by Smashing Pixels, also known as Doobly HQ. Earlier on last year I wrote an article taking a closer look at the game just as it was about to launch: Introducing the Game: Shakey’s Escape.  It’s now available on Android and i0S and is free to download.

What’s the soundtrack like?

The original game music soundtrack consists of 10 tracks, which I would probably separate out into 3 different styles and/or moods:

1. Dreamy and relaxed

For the main menu track I tried to create a dreamy feeling. It’s when Shakey the cat, is snuggled up by a lovely, warm fireplace. In the music I tried to make it feel cosy and relaxed, and I think that the harp helps greatly in achieving this.

2. Light and sneaky

A lot of the game music that I composed for this game fall into this category. This is because the bulk of the game is when Shakey is exploring different places. There’s sneaking, discovering, playing, jumping, getting into trouble in lots of different ways – and I tried to reflect this in the music.

Since Shakey has just been kicked out by his original owner, everything that he sees and discovers through the various levels of the game is a new experience. So, there are elements of danger, mystery, uncertainty and cautiousness in the music too.

A few things that you may notice when you listen to the game music, is that a lot of the soundtrack is in a minor key and I’ve chosen to use a lot of pizzicato strings.  To me, that was a way to create that sneaky, jumpy, cat-like feel.

3. Fights & Action

As one may expect, there are some fights in the game! Shakey’s adventures aren’t all just wandering around and discovering new things. There are villains that cross Shakey’s path and that must be dealt with!

So, for the levels and sections where there is more action taking place, the music becomes more intense to reflect this.

You may also notice that the music style changes as you get to the higher levels. It becomes more energetic, urgent sounding and retro. These are the tougher levels, which are much more difficult to get through and everything that Shakey is experience is really out of his comfort zone e.g. trying to fly a helicopter!  The music, therefore, is more intense and faster to reflect this.

What did I enjoy most about working on this soundtrack?

Shakey’s Escape is the first original soundtrack that I’ve released and so I’m really honoured to have worked on it with Rob, the developer of the game.

It has been such a fun and rewarding journey to see the game develop and the music develop alongside it. I saw lots of clips of the game as I worked on the music for each level of the game. That really helped to give me an idea of what I needed to make the music work well with, and it was also just really stimulating and fun to see how the game was coming along.

By the time we finished working together, I couldn’t wait to see the full game released!  It has been really well received so far and I just hope that the soundtrack does the game justice and gets just as well received as the game itself!

Is the soundtrack available and what’s next?

Yes indeed it is. Shakey’s Escape Original Game Music Soundtrack is available:

In terms of what’s next for me – well, I’d love to do more game music soundtracks as well as other music projects. So, if you need some help with your game music soundtrack, let me know (i.e. contact me here)! I’d also love to release more of the soundtracks I’ve done (check out my discography here) and sharing more blogs/information on them too, so watch this space!


About the authorNinichi is a freelance composer and music enthusiast. She has composed the soundtracks and music to several indie games. Contact her: to explore working with her on your game, film or media project.

Check out examples of Ninichi's game music compositions and soundtracks & read more articles like this on the Ninichi music blog

Follow her @ninichimusic

Introducing the Game: Cat Quest

Interview By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

This week, I'm happy to be exploring Cat Quest, which is the latest game created by the award winning games studio responsible for bringing the popular game Slashy Hero to Android & iOS! Let's see what they have to tell us about the game.

Tell me about your team and your game... 

'The team behind Cat Quest is none other than The Gentlebros. We're a team made up of veterans of the games industry. Having worked on console (PS3, PS4) titles in Koei Tecmo, we're all very experienced developers and we're looking to bring that knowledge to our own games.

Cat Quest is a 2d Open World RPG set in the fantastic and wonderful world of cats! Play as a catventurer as you explore a massive continent crafted in the unique style of tapestry! Relive the good old days of exploring an overworld map as you raid dungeons for epic loot, complete quests and meet the many furry denizens of this world!'

How long have you been working on your game for? How have you gone about developing it?

'We've been working on Cat Quest close to a year(including pre-production). We decided to use the Unity engine to make it as it is the most user friendly engine out in the market now, and there's a huge community working on the engine as well.'

What's different about it & why should we check it out?

'A streamlined open world action RPG set in the unique world of cats! Imagine a world where cats are the main inhabitants. How would things change?

Go to places like the Catpital where the Lion King rules, or experience delicacies like the catnip pie! Talk to the locals, some already on their 7th or 8th lives (what? not all cats have nine lives y'know), and go on a catventure through a world you've never seen before!'

What part does music play in your game?

'Music is an important part as it sets the mood and tone of the areas in the game. Its bright and cheerful when exploring the overworld, and dark and creepy when deep inside dungeons.

Music helps to separate these different areas from each other, and heighten the feeling we want players to have. Indeed, without music, the game would feel dead and flat.'


About the author: Ninichi is a game music composer and film music composer. She has worked on a number of games and is a great supporter of indie developers and indie games. If you're looking for music that will help your game to stand out contact her now to discuss your game music needs.

Follow her @ninichimusic