This interview is part of a series focusing on candidates in the running for the 2014 ENnie Awards. The Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (the “ENnies”) are an annual fan-based celebration of excellence in tabletop role-playing gaming, with voting beginning 7 a.m. Central on Sunday, July 20 through 7 p.m. Central on Wednesday, July 30. The winners will be announced at Gen Con, the Grand Hall at the Historic Union Station on Friday, August 15. To vote, see http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/. In this installment I interview Edward Douglas, Co-Composer, Producer for Midnight Syndicate Soundtracks.
Michael Tresca (MT): Tell us about your company.
Edward Douglas (ED): Midnight Syndicate has been creating soundtracks for the imagination and the roleplaying game industry for over 16 years. The albums are a blend of orchestral instrumental and a touch of sound effects designed to set the mood for your gaming experience. A few years ago we teamed up with Wizards of the Coast to produced the first official roleplaying soundtrack for Dungeons & Dragons. Much of our albums have darker themes which makes them great for horror-inspired games like Call of Cthulhu, Vampire, Zombies!!!, etc.
MT: Has your company been nominated for any ENnies in the past?
ED: We won an ENnie for our 2005 Call of Cthulhu-inspired release, "The 13th Hour." We were nominated for a Dungeon Crawl Classic module called "Cages of Delirium" that was based on and came packaged with our album, "Gates of Delirium." We've also had two of our albums nominated in recent years, "Dead Matter: Cemetery Gates" and "Carnival Arcane."
MT: Tell us about your nominated products/site.
ED: "Monsters of Legend" is our nominated product for this year. It's a tribute to the great, classic horror films of Universal Studio and Hammer Films. When you put on the disc, our goal is to make you feel like you are in the world those films took place in. A world where any on of those famous creatures of the night could be right around the corner. Great background for any horror-themed game where atmosphere is key. In addition to dark, gothic stylings, this disc has more of a fantasy influence than anything we've done since the Dungeons & Dragons soundtrack. I think that will give DMs more latitude to use the album in different ways. People can visit our website, at www.midnightsyndicate.com to listen to samples. You can also preview the album on Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes.
MT: What distinguishes your entries from your competitors?
ED: Since we've begun releasing soundtracks for the gaming industry, we've seen a lot more game masters integrate music into their sessions. Adding the proper music can be extremely helpful in bringing your players into the world you're trying to create. Music such as "Monsters of Legend" will sometimes make them feel like they are in a movie... only it's a movie that has yet to be written.
MT: What products will you be producing for the remainder of this year?
ED: We are working on our first-ever live Midnight Syndicate concert series right now. It's a blend of music, theater, and film that we'll be performing at Cedar Point's HalloWeekends every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from September 12 through November 1. It's a really exciting project that's been a long-time coming for us. It will be our focus for the rest of the year.
MT: Have you participated in any recent Kickstarters? Are there any upcoming Kickstarters on the horizon?
ED: Last year we launched a Kickstarter to help fund our first Midnight Syndicate live concert. It was during that campaign, that Cedar Point (a client of ours), reached out to see if we'd want to work on the live shows together. It's the perfect combination and it's giving us the opportunity to work with a world-class amusement park that I grew up with.
MT: What do you think of the new edition of D&D?
ED: Extremely excited about it. In my opinion they are doing everything right this time. Enough respect for the origins of the game and the best of the earlier versions while making improvements. I love too that you will be able to play the older modules I grew up with. That's part of the tradition for me, sharing those great adventures that got you hooked on Dungeons & Dragons with the next generation.
MT: Will you be at Gen Con? Where? Will any new products debut at Gen Con?
ED: Absolutely. Our booth number is #1505 right across from Atlas Games. I will be there with our entire product line along with a new LARP stand-alone adventure based on "Monsters of Legend" from our friends at Figments of Your Imagination.
MT: Where can we find out more about your company online?
ED: You can visit us at www.midnightsyndicate.com. We're also very active on Facebook (www.facebook.com/midnightsyndicate) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/midsyndicate) where folks can catch weekly updates on the live show, our upcoming projects, and other related fun stuff.
MT: Anything else you'd like to share?
ED: We feel really fortunate to have been a part of the gaming community for so long and we're looking forward to the future. We appreciate the opportunity to be nominated for an ENnie and hope folks will consider us this year. I really feel this is one of our best albums. See you at GenCon!