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Big Huge Games: Hot for Kirkhope
by Brad Shoemaker on
Insert "sad pinata" picture here.
Anyway, on his MySpace blog longtime Rare composer Grant Kirkhope announced during the week of E3 that he was departing from the company, effectively shooting a big railroad spike straight through my heart. I'm a tremendous fan of Kirkhope's work; he was responsible for the Viva Pinata soundtrack--the lilting whimsy of which was largely responsible for my creepy, deep adoration for that game--as well as other significant Rare games going all the way back to stuff like Banjo-Kazooie and GoldenEye. Let's all thank our lucky stars the man apparently completed his work on Trouble in Paradise and Nuts & Bolts before giving Rare the slip. (Those guys finally posted most of the good tracks from Viva Pinata on their site, so go check that out and tell me what a weirdo I am for listening to it somewhat frequently.)
The other reason I wanted to post this: a week before E3, I'd actually already stumbled onto Kirkhope's MySpace profile while looking for pictures to post on his wiki page in an effort to beef up our people section prior to the site launch. That's when I made the stunning discovery about Kirkhope's not-so-secret past. A past that involved big amplifiers and bigger hair, a succession of metal bands, and, you know, hanging out with freaking VAN HALEN. (Dig the picture to the right for the shocking! photographic evidence. According to Wikipedia, dude plays an axe bequeathed to him by Eddie himself.) This is sort of like finding out that Hideo Kojima dons a costume at night and fights crime in the Tokyo underbelly, or Will Wright is working on a project to terraform Mars in his spare time. Wait, that last one might actually be true.
That's my favorite aspect about our gigantic database of game-related stuff: the list of people who make games has a way of humanizing or putting a face on the often anonymous process of game development. If you harbor some secret knowledge about your favorite game-makers (or hell, especially if you are a game-maker), go fill out the appropriate wiki! It's my sincere hope that one day we'll amass the biggest collection of useless developer-related trivia in the known universe.
As for Kirkhope, Music4Games reported that he's assumed the role of audio director at Big Huge Games, the people who made Rise of Nations and some other relatively dry strategy games that don't seem at all similar to Rare's typically whimsical fare. Hey Grant, wanna chat with us about what you're up to over there? Give us a shout: bombcast at giantbomb dot com.