It can’t be easy to put beats to your favorite beasts. Yet, Planet Zoo composer JJ Ipsen managed to go beyond that, creating a genuinely joyous soundtrack to accompany our hours spent plonking down park segments. In this edition of HyperX’s GameTrax, we had a chat wIth Ipsen about how he approached crafting the melodies we’ve enjoyed while creating our parks.
GameTrax: The expansive sound of Planet Zoo (ft. JJ Ipsen)
JJ Ipsen started out playing in bands and crafting his own music purely for the sake of adventure. Video games, fittingly, provided a new level of challenge to attempt. Along with working on the music to Reigns: Her Majesty, Ipsen collaborated with developer Frontier Developments on their popular park sim, Planet Coaster. His success there made him the natural pick when it came to the creature comforts of Planet Zoo, though Ipsen didn’t always find it easy to score such a cheerful world.
In the GameTrax video above, Ipsen discusses how he balanced real and virtual instruments, the timeline of crafting iconic tracks, and how to help yourself recover from creative blocks and mental struggles. Spoilers for that last one, but going outside is a necessity.
If you enjoyed the video above, be sure to check out some of HyperX’s previous GameTrax videos including Will Roget, II’s breakdown of the surprisingly emotional Mortal Kombat 11 music, and a look into the phenomenal soundtrack to Journey with composer Austin Wintory, or Cris Velasco’s breakdown of Bloodborne’s spooky themes. You’ll find the full playlist of GameTrax episodes here for easy viewing (and listening).
And if GameTrax isn’t enough to sate your audiophile needs, we’ve also got a full series of Composer’s Choice for you to read. In it, we interview top talents from across the industry to find out what video game soundtrack is their personal favorite.