top of page


Vilse is a student project developed by students at The Game Assembly and Östra Grevie Folkhögskola in 8 weeks. It is a dark top-down adventure inspired by nordic folklore, where the player journeys through the haunted forest and mire to find their way home.

Note that I am responsible for ambience, music and cutscenes in this game - not regular SFX

To this day, this is my only game project so far where I wasn't the only sound designer on the team - my classmate and I worked on the game together, which was a fun and valuable learning experience!


My responsibilities

Because we were two sound designers on the team and the project period was only 8 weeks, we decided to split up our main responsibilities. The result was that I focused on the overall ambience, the adaptive soundtrack as well as the cutscenes.

While I did miss doing the gameplay sound effects, I got the chance to dive deeper into creating ambiences, setting a mood as well as building an adaptive and immersive soundscape. And we did help eachother out regardless, of course.


The ambience was very important for creating the right atmosphere in this game. The game was supposed to be dark and scary, and I wanted to make the player feel like they truly are lost (that's what Vilse means in swedish - lost) and small compared to the ominous environment.

With this in mind, I aimed to make the ambience very non-linear. The ambiences for the three different environments in the game - forest, mire and "the in-between" - all use multiple loops of varying lengths to create never-repeating patterns and there are a lot of one-shot sound effects with randomized settings such as their variation, pitch, 3D-position and whether they play at all. With these techniques, the ambience feels like it lives its own life, rather than just being a soundfile on loop.

You may not notice it while playing, but the crows are already flying in circles above you if you listen very closely...




Adaptive music

To be honest, I struggled with finding the right mood for the music at first. I started out making some traditionally spooky "horror-music" inspired by Little Nightmares, but it didn't feel quite right. After some discussion with the team, I decided on some important things that I wanted to accomplish with the soundtrack. The music should:

  • Be scary, ominous and dark to fit the atmosphere.

  • Be ambient and non-melodic, it should influence the player's feelings but not grab their attention

  • Use nordic folk instruments and "kulning" to emphasize the nordic folklore theme

  • Be adaptive and very distinctly different when in combat and out of combat

  • Feel more like being chased rather than a heroic battle when in combat

  • Be non-linear and not repeat, just like the ambience

The adaptive elements of the music are not all that complicated technically, though it did require quite a bit of extra thought when composing the tracks. The music is divided into three layers; an ambient base layer, a non-combat "instruments" layer (for lack of a better term), and a combat layer.

By default, the ambient and instruments layer will be playing. While the player is detected by enemies they are considered in combat, and the adaptive combat layer will fade in on top of the ambient layer. At the same time, the volume of the instruments layer goes down considerably until combat is over. This behaviour was rather simple to implement in FMOD. The music also uses the same "non-repetition" technique as the ambience, with ambient loops of different lengths to create a stream of music that never repeats the exact same way twice.

With these things established, I had an easier time coming up with something that suited this specific game and its peronality. In the end I'm very happy with the unique style and mood that the music brings.

"Main" level themes, ambient + non-combat instrument layers:

Their combat layers:

bottom of page