Alex P. Grover, Freelance Composer

Alex P. Grover, Freelance Composer

I help indie video game producers who need great soundtracks connect music to their vision.

I’ve had the fortune to work with some awesome people and make music for some dope projects.

Keep scrolling for samples from my recent collaborations.

SMU Guildhall

My friend and frequent collaborator Hershall Cook brought me on as composer for two capstone games made by students at SMU Guildhall, arguably one of the world’s top graduate game design programs. Working remotely in New York, I composed several songs for Interstellar Racing League and FrostRunner, which has a 9/10 rating on Steam with nearly 1.4k reviews.

Interstellar Racing League

  • Type: 3D Racing
  • Summary:Interstellar Racing League is a 4-player couch competitive splitscreen racing game in a futuristic sci-fi setting” — Gerald Milton, game producer

“The Race Chooses You (Main Theme)”: This was originally supposed to be just the song that plays in the menu… but went on to be the theme for the entire game!

“City” (First Draft): One of the levels I composed for was a futuristic cityscape. I went for something a bit cheerier, but the producers wanted something a bit more dark/cyberpunk…

“City” (Final): …which yielded this piece. The producers were quite happy when I went all minor on them. At the end of the day, I’m the proud parent of two very different city songs!

FrostRunner

  • Type: 3D First-Person Platformer
  • Summary:FrostRunner is a first-person platformer “speedrunning” game, where the player rapidly completes platforming challenges before the timer runs out.” — from Steam

“Ice Flow (Main Theme)”: This theme took a few drafts to nail down. The first draft was much slower and leaned into the ice motif, but since this was a running game, it had to be much faster. Apparently after I sent what would be the final draft, the others on the team were singing the hook for days…

Hershall Cook

Hershall and I connected in 2016 and hit it off immediately. I have to be honest, it’s quite easy working with Hershall: he knows how to communicate his vision and his sense of humor is top-notch. I’ve had the pleasure to collaborate with him on four games (including When Goats Join Cults and Ridiculous Text Adventures).

When Goats Join Cults (In Progress)

  • Type: 2D Puzzle Platformer
  • Summary: A goat must outwit two warring cults by… pretending to be a human!

“Loving Home”: Hershall wanted something “cute, but muted so as not to affect the scene too strongly.” After a tweak to the first draft, we got this little ditty.

“Dungeon”: The direction for this was stealth, but had to play out in mind with absurd lines from goats like “I’m going to be here for the rest of my life!”

“Walkways”: It’s quite challenging to create a theme for a level with relatively no conflict. Luckily, Hershall and I landed at this draft to play during a low-stakes stroll.

“Slave Barracks (Intense)”: Sometimes a mishap can yield fortune. This was the first draft for a song that needed to be a little quirkier/have more levity. This found life in the end: We did need an intense variation of the intended theme, which this draft suited quite nicely!

Ridiculous Text Adventures

  • Type: Text Adventure
  • Summary: “You’ve been gifted an AI companion! There’s just one problem: it’s in love with you” — from Newgrounds

“Hope! Dan Assesses Me”*: In one of the subgames, you play the unsuspecting Dan, trapped in a conversation with the Nice Person™ AI that attempts to, erm, court you. As the name suggests, Ridiculous Text Adventures requires a goofy theme to complement its zany dialogue.

“Despair! Dan Hates Me”*: If you aren’t nice to the Nice Person™, they get quite upset…

“Triumph! Dan Loves Me”*: …though if you show any sign of affection, they will want to marry you.

Sidekicks Never Win

  • Type: Text Adventure
  • Summary: “No one ever cared about the sidekick. Until now” — from Newgrounds

“Main Theme”*: Since Sidekicks takes place in a city, I took a walk down my own block and imagined what I’d hear. As a fan of Hey Arnold, I imagined jazzy sax lick, and the rest fell into place.

“This City Produces Angry People”*: The same people who believe in a not-so-superhero will be quick to trounce his unlucky sidekick for saying the wrong thing. The first draft of this song was actually much more CNN news report, so I drafted this to keep the urgency but add some intensity.

“We Call It Derpy Suave“*: Hershall wanted a “spy” theme, so I gave him this Pink Panther/Odd Couple romp.

The Blind World

  • Type: 2D Platformer
  • Summary: “Sci-fi platformer where player deaths affect story and gameplay: die, and become powerful” — from Newgrounds

“Axis’ Theme”*: Since The Blind World is so dark, guitar lent itself nicely to the grungy feel of certain levels. You meet Axis under… not-so-great circumstances, and this plays when his minions descend upon you.

“Listening Post”*: The world Hershall built also gave great flexibility in terms of atmosphere. I had a lot of fun writing this piece for the mysterious listening post.

Rude Rodders

I’ve also had the privilege to work on games with Joe Frizzell and Rude Rodders, including Scrappers, a looter-shooter in space!

Scrappers (In Progress)

  • Type: 2D looter-shooter
  • Summary: Collect scrap, build weapons, and fight your way through the FAT-E Federation!

“Ship”: The first draft of this song played out a bit more melancholic than Joe or I wanted. Flying a ship around the cosmos should be fun, plain and simple. So we went with this!

“Ship (Intense)”: Naturally, you will have enemies in space. This theme plays when you’re under attack in your ship. I employed a bit of vertical layering so the intense stems can slip in seamlessly.

Oaf (In Progress)

  • Type: 2D Action-Adventure
  • Summary: “If the problem for Merlin is everything in his past is everyone else’s future, how big of a problem if this Oaf for everyone’s future?” — Will Owen, writer

“Outside”: What plays when you are out and about in Merlin’s world? This.

*Mixed and mastered by Neil Floyd.

Enjoy what you heard?

I’m currently taking on new freelance projects! If you have a video game that needs a killer score to take it to the next level, smash that email button below.