We made a short yet interesting interview with Halil Can Öztürk, the author of the music for Inner Voices. This indie game contains elements of horror so we focused mainly on the role of the soundtrack in such games. See below what the composer has in mind about it.

gamemusic.net: For how long have you been composing music for video games?

Halil Can Öztürk: It is kind of new field for me, indeed. Although it has been seven years since I’m composing music, we can say that I’m composing video game soundtracks for two years.

gamemusic.net: How did you start collaborating with the Polish studio Simulation Games?

Halil Can Öztürk: When they were developing The Purgatory (it was called The Purgatory then), CEO of the company mentioned me about their game project and kindly asked me whether would I be interested in. It was in early process then. Later on, I met with team members and we had some meetings about the game and all sorts of discussions regarding the game and its soundtrack. As you can guess, later on we decided to cooperate on this project which was called Inner Voices.

I have been working on several projects and I honestly tell you, horror is the easiest genre for composers. – Halil Can Öztürk

gamemusic.net: Are you personally a horror fan? Do you find yourself well in the horror genre as a composer?

Halil Can Öztürk: I like horror games and movies for sure yet it does not mean that I like to play or watch all of them. I have been working on several projects and I honestly tell you, horror is the easiest genre for composers. At least that is my opinion, it is for me. Since I had lovely feedbacks regarding my horror compositions, I can say that I have a potential in that genre. Cannot say more than that, we will see what will be in the future. However, I hope that companies will not keep offering me horror projects. I would like to create different things as well.

gamemusic.net: What was your goal while composing the soundtrack for Inner Voices? Did you aim to make the players feel scared, or were you planning to evoke some other feelings in them?

Halil Can Öztürk: I am a gamer as well. And I believe that for a horror game, sound design is way more important than the score. I am not saying that soundtrack is not important, I mean that is my job, but I believe that sound design for such projects had an absolute effect on me. Thus, I did not try to scare people indeed. Because scary elements were already there. Considering that Inner Voices is not a pure horror game, it has a psychological side you know, so I focused more on about evoking other feelings as you said.

gamemusic.net: Do you think that minimalism in composition intensifies the listener’s feelings of anxiety and melancholy? What was the background of choosing such composing technique?

Halil Can Öztürk: Yes and no, it depends on your usage. I personally believe that you can create quite melancholic pieces in this genre, for instance. And majority of audiences would agree with you on this. Yet you can fortify those feelings with another genres as well. So, I felt like that option would be better for the atmosphere of Inner Voices. Wanted to focus on psychological and story part.

I am a gamer as well. And I believe that for a horror game, sound design is way more important than the score. – Halil Can Öztürk

gamemusic.net: Could you tell us about your both current and future plans regarding composing soundtracks for video games?

Halil Can Öztürk: As I just mentioned, I am a gamer as well beside being a composer. So, it is a pleasure for me to work on video game soundtracks. In fact, I have been planning on making an investment for gaming industry and currently working on it. Yet ironically, I never imagined myself as a ‘video game’ composer before. Back then gaming industry was not much popular as it is right now. Therefore, we usually focused on movie and TV fields as composers. Because they were more popular and of course because of economical reasons they were first choices of many composers. Nevertheless, gaming industry improved itself during the last fifteen years and right now it has more than a great potential. It is a huge and rich industry with incredible options for both composers and other artists. I am currently working on other game and movie projects. You never know what will happen in the future but I can say that I am quite happy about working on video games as a composer. And would like to work on many more similar and different projects in future as well.

Executive Editor

Izabela Besztocha

Independent games enthusiast, mainly horror games, paying close attention to sound design. Dreaming of becoming a sound designer. Dissonance, distortion and other unpleasant sounds is what she enjoys to listen to most.