Behind the Music: The Creative Pulse of DJ Cat’s Soundtrack by Alex Dop

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Alex Dop – Composer at Push Gaming

Step behind the scenes with Alex Dop, the creative force behind DJ Cat’s captivating soundtrack, as he shares insights into the game’s musical evolution.

From the influence of DJ Fox to the infusion of retro hip-hop vibes, Alex discusses the innovative process that shapes the player’s auditory journey.

Bigwinboard: Can you start by telling us what your inspiration was for the soundtrack behind DJ Cat, presumably the game was born from the success of DJ Fox?

Alex Dop: Yes! There’s no denying that DJ Cat was inspired by the success of its predecessor DJ Fox. Ultimately we wanted to take all of the elements that made DJ Fox so popular with players and inject them into a brand-new title with a different feel.

The aesthetic of DJ Cat lends itself to a more of a throwback Hip-Hop sound. I liked to imagine that these games were taking place in the same nightclub, just on a different night and with a different DJ!

You would go to the DJ Fox club night if house music was your thing, and you’d go to the DJ Cat club night for a nostalgia trip into the world of 80’s and 90’s Hip-Hop. It definitely feels as if we’ve expanded upon a new Push Gaming musical universe with this release!

Bigwinboard: As players unlock new rows it feels as if new elements of the soundtrack come into play. Where did this idea come from?

Alex Dop: This idea came from Andy, our Head of Audio at Push Gaming. It’s something that felt very different from a sound design point of view, especially as it’s not something we’d seen before in this space. It was also something that was new for me compositionally!

Not only have we added new layers on top of existing music to increase the intensity, but we also added different variations onto the same piece of music. This in itself was a great challenge, but all of the hard work was worth it as DJ Cat sounds great for it!

dj cat slot
DJ Cat by Push Gaming

Bigwinboard: Just how much of an impact, would you say, can a strong soundtrack have on a new release?

Alex Dop: I might well be biased, but I genuinely believe that a strong soundtrack massively changes how a game comes across, and how much fun the player can have!

There have been many occasions in recent years where a tiny tweak to a game’s soundtrack can make a monumental difference in terms of how player’s engage with the game. We’ve also had to perform re-writes to music as the animation develops in order to fit with the aesthetic.

A poor soundtrack that’s the wrong style can subconsciously make players feel as if something isn’t quite right with the game, whereas a strong soundtrack can pull players in and have them humming the tune as they do the dishes hours and days later!

Bigwinboard: How do you know when you’ve written a winning soundtrack for a game? Do you know straight away when you implement it, or do you rely on feedback from colleagues and customers?

Alex Dop: You definitely go through various phases when it comes to developing a soundtrack for a new title. Phase one is essentially just me spending as much time as I can getting a good feel for what I’ve written and ensuring I’m happy with it. From there the soundtrack goes onto the audio team who will do their bit tweak it so that it’s at its best. The final internal hurdle is the wider-development team, they will give me an indication as to whether or not it’s a fit.

There have been times where I’ve written something that I thought was a winner only for it to not make the cut. On the other hand, there’s been times when something I’m less enthused about has been loved by everyone else and, upon reflection, I end up loving that soundtrack too.

There are so many moving parts when it comes to creating game audio, it’s not necessarily just about the music. Once every box has been ticked and it looks like the game is ready to go it truly is a great feeling.

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