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October 26th, 2009, 00:34
Shack News interviews Matt Uelmen, Torchlight's composer.
Matt Uelmen is a product of that era. Rather than attempting to mimic a marketable Hollywood ideal, his music is trademarked by live recordings and eclectic instrumentation. He's a humble, multi-talented guy, who can both conjure sound effects out of thin digital air and compose symphonic scores by hand.
I originally set out to run a tribute to the Diablo scores in 2007, a little over a decade since the release of the first game. However, after contacting Blizzard that summer, they told me that Uelmen had recently left the company, and I feared that he'd permanently moved on to other endeavors.
But after a short break from game development, Uelmen and many of the key figures once involved in the Diablo franchise have come full circle. The team at Runic Games--a start-up founded by former Blizzard North icons Max and Erich Schaefer, Peter Hu, and Fate designer Travis Baldree--is currently readying to release a new action-RPG, Torchlight, on Tuesday.
A budget-priced game in the style of Diablo, Torchlight is the first step toward a full online effort for Runic; a bold new venture, and a perfect opportunity for an interview.
In this lengthy ten-page conversation, we cover Uelmen's entire career: the early days at Blizzard North--a company first known as Condor--to the tragic 2003 breakup of the studio; his years at Blizzard Irvine spent contributing to the music of World of Warcraft; and his exciting new gig at Runic Games.
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October 26th, 2009, 00:35
Not that it's a deep field, but this is one of the best gaming interviews I've read online in a long time.

How many hours of my life have I spent listening to Matt Uelmen music? Thousands, certainly.

It was really nice to get a first-hand account of what exactly happened with his quasi-departure from Blizzard. Hopefully the music in D3 lives up to his legacy. (What I've heard so far sounds like it does, in my opinion.)

I would spend $20 just to purchase 40min of new Matt Uelmen music alone… the game itself will be a nice free bonus!

The more I hear about the Torchlight editor, the more excited I get for what's coming over the next few years. There were some great mods for NWN1.

I can't wait to play one of the really cool dungeon crawls that somebody reading this will create.
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October 26th, 2009, 00:42
Wow, that looks like one big interview! I'm too tired at the moment, but will make some time tomorrow to read it with the Diablo soundtracks as background music and the lights turned off.

The Tristram theme is still one of the most atmospheric music pieces I know.
"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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